Directive 2005/32/EC on the eco-design of Energy-using Products (EuP), such as electrical and electronic devices or heating equipment, provides coherent EU-wide rules for eco-design and ensure that disparities among national regulations do not become obstacles to intra-EU trade. The Directive does not introduce directly binding requirements for specific products, but does define conditions and criteria for setting, through subsequent implementing measures, requirements regarding environmentally relevant product characteristics and allows them to be improved quickly and efficiently. Products that fulfil the requirements will benefit both businesses and consumers, by facilitating free movement of goods across the EU and by enhancing product quality and environmental protection. The Directive constitutes a breakthrough in EU product policy and introduces many innovative elements together with concrete application of the principles of the "better regulation" package.
By encouraging manufacturers to design products with the environmental impacts in mind throughout their entire life cycle, the Commission implements an Integrated Product Policy (IPP) and accelerates the move towards improving the environmental performance of energy-using products. After adoption of the Directive by the Council and the European Parliament, the Commission, assisted by a Committee, will be able to enact implementing measures on specific products and environmental aspects (such as energy consumption, waste generation, water consumption, extension of lifetime) after impact assessment and broad consultation of interested parties.
There are no obligations for all energy-using products, but only for those meeting criteria such as important environmental impact and volume of trade in the internal market and clear potential for improvement, for example where market forces fail to make progress in the absence of a legal requirement.
This policy initiative is expected to increase the effectiveness and synergies of other EU legislative acts and initiatives concerning environmental aspects of products. Examples of related measures are the Directives regulating the management of waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and the use of certain hazardous substances used in this equipment (RoHS) as well as Directives related to the energy efficiency of appliances such as the Energy labelling Directive. Existing Directives on minimum energy efficiency requirements shall be considered as implementing this Directive for the products that they cover with regard to energy efficiency during use.
Products which have been awarded the Eco-label will be considered as compliant with the implementing measures in so far as the Eco-label meets the requirements of the implementing measure. Although the EMASregistration on its own does not grant presumption of compliance to the products manufactured by the enterprise, enterprises which have an EMAS registration, which includes product design, may use directly their environmental management system for demonstrating that their product complies with the applicable implementing measure.
The text of the EuP Directive 2005/32/EC, as adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in July 2005 and published in the Official Journal of the European Union (L 121 22.7.2005), is available here
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