On 5 December, the Council and Parliament reached a provisional political agreement on the Ecodesign regulation, establishing a framework for ecodesign requirements for a wide range of products. The regulation focuses on making products not only energy and resource-efficient but also more durable, reliable, reusable, upgradable, reparable and recyclable.
This provisional agreement expands the scope beyond energy-related products, extending to almost all categories of goods in the EU market. It excludes motor vehicles, when those are already regulated in other pieces of legislation, as well as products that have an impact on defense or national security.
The industry will have 18 months, after the adoption of the delegated act, to comply with new eco-design requirements. The Commission could also set a faster timeline for implementation “in duly justified cases”.
Pressured by the European Parliament, negotiators agreed that the European Commission should prioritise a number of product groups in its first working plan to be adopted no later than nine months after the entry into force of the new legislation. These priority products include iron, steel, aluminium, textiles (notably garments and footwear), furniture, tyres, detergents, paints, lubricants and chemicals.
On the destruction of unsold goods, the regulation will introduce a direct-ban on the destruction of textiles and footwear. Small and micro companies will be exempted of this ban, while medium size companies will benefit of a 6-year exemption. This ban will be applicable two years after the entry into force of the regulation. In addition, the agreement empowers the Commission to set conditions for destroying unsold goods.
While the provisional agreement foresees some harmonised criteria for penalties, Member States remain responsible to determine which sanctions should be imposed in the event of an infringement.
The compromise text also reinforced provisions for digital platform cooperation with member state’s market surveillance authorities, aligning with the Digital Services Act.
The provisional agreement awaits formal adoption by both the European Parliament and the Council before being published in the EU Official Journal.