August 12, 2020 by Olivia Tran
The European Commission released guidance1 at the end of June on EU Ecolabels awarded by the UK Competent Authority under the Withdrawal Agreement and transitional period. Companies with EU Ecolabelled-products awarded by the UK Competent Authority are presented with two options to maintain the validity of their EU Ecolabel licence on the European market after the transition period:
- Submit a new EU Ecolabel application to an EU Member State; or
- Arrange for a transfer of the Ecolabel certificate and relevant files from the UK Competent Authority to another EU Competent Authority. This option requires a contractual agreement between the company holding the EU Ecolabel certification, the UK Competent Authority and the Competent Authority of an EU Member State.
Products with the EU Ecolabel awarded by the UK Competent Authority which are placed on the European market before the end of the transition period are allowed to remain on the European market until it reaches the end-user. “Placing on the market” for this purpose means the first supply of a product for distribution, consumption or use. This means that UK producers can sell their products with EU Ecolabels to a UK distributor, who may distribute the product to the EU after the transition period. UK producers will have to maintain records to prove that the product was placed on the EU or UK market before the end of the transition period.
Use of the EU Ecolabel in Northern Ireland after the transition period is subject to special provisions under the Ireland/ Northern Ireland Protocol. A Northern Ireland Competent Authority (currently not designated) may award EU Ecolabels, however these products can only be placed on the market in Northern Ireland and not in the EU.
Based on information in the EU Ecolabel product catalogue2, there are 29 licence-holders with almost 500 products that were awarded the EU Ecolabel by the UK Competent Authority.
The UK so far has not indicated any initiatives to create its own ecolabel or negotiate for continued use of the EU Ecolabel. In the draft Environment Bill3 published in January, legal text is proposed to allow the possibility of regulatory provisions for a product label or marking to provide resource efficiency information.
If you require assistance in preparing an EU Ecolabel application to be submitted to any of the remaining EU-27 Member States, please contact us to see how we can help.
- European Commission. June 2020. Notice to Stakeholders: Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU rules in the field of EU Ecolabel. Accessed on 30 July 2020.
- European Commission. The EU Ecolabel Product Catalogue. Accessed on 6 August 2020.
- UK Parliament. January 2020. Environment Bill (draft). Accessed on 30 July 2020.