This page provides an overview of frequently asked questions. If you still have a query after searching through the answers, please get in touch.
An ecolabel is a voluntary environmental performance certificate that is awarded to products and services. Depending on the product group, these products and services must satisfy specific criteria that reduce the overall environmental impact.
The EU Ecolabel satisfies the definition of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for a type 1 environmental label. This means that the EU Ecolabel is voluntary, based on multiple criteria, and that a third, independent party grants approval for the use of the label.
Yes, EU Ecolabel is a reliable label. Products and services with EU Ecolabel have been independently assessed to have reduced environmental impact, from production to use and disposal.
You can view the assessment of Milieu Central in the Keurmerkenwijzer here.
Producers, manufacturers, importers, service providers, wholesalers, and retailers that produce products or provide services that fit within one of the defined criteria for product and service groups are eligible to apply for a certificate. Retailers can apply for a certificate for products that are brought to the market under their brand name.
The certification scheme is currently open to all non-food products and services, with the exception of pharmaceutical products and medical aids. You can see the full list of EU Ecolabel product groups here. Thousands of products have already received the EU Ecolabel in a wide range of product groups, including textiles, soap, shampoo, and tourist accommodation. Click here for the figures relating to the number of products that currently have the EU Ecolabel.
Products and services with a certificate for the EU Ecolabel can be recognised by the logo on the label with the corresponding licence number.
No, there is currently no product group for food.
SMK, the competent body, will use your application file to determine whether or not a product satisfies the EU Ecolabel requirements. The requirements that must be satisfied are set out in specific criteria documents (=Commission Decision) for each product group.
The User Manual must be used to compile an application file. This is a detailed guide on the content of a file, with examples of all requisite declarations, calculation sheets, and other documentation.
It is important to check beforehand and to determine whether or not products are eligible for the EU Ecolabel by assessing them against the description of the scope of a specific criteria document.
All document required for compiling an application file can be found on Product group page the website of the EU Ecolabel on the tab for the relevant product group.
If a product or service is made or located within the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Norway, you should contact the competent body in the country in which the product or service is made or located. If a product or service is made or located outside the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Norway, you should contact the competent body in one of the countries in which the product or service will be sold.
In all other cases, you should contact SMK, who will then refer you to the appropriate competent body.
As an independent competent body for the EU Ecolabel, SMK assess the application file. This means that we are unable to advise on the content or composition of the file. We can clarify the information that’s required and answer any substantive or other questions about the requirements and the User Manual.
An application for EU Ecolabel certification is only possible for products and services for which criteria have been developed. An overview of these products and services is available on the website of the EU Ecolabel, sorted by product groups.
Unfortunately, there are no EU Ecolabel criteria for other products and services, which means that no application can be submitted for those products. The work plan of the European Commission serves as a guide to reviews of the current criteria and development of new criteria.
There may be other environmental labels with criteria for your products and services.
See the step-by-step plan for having your product and/or service certified here.
Yes, any product or service that is intended for distribution, consumption, or use on the market of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Norway can been awarded the EU Ecolabel, irrespective of its origin. Manufacturers, producers, and retailers from non-European countries can submit an application for the EU Ecolabel, provided that they satisfy the criteria for the relevant product group.
The application can be submitted to the competent body in the country in which the products are produced or will be sold (if outside of the EU).
Yes, owners/operators of tourist accommodation or campsites in non-European countries can apply for the EU Ecolabel. The application can be submitted to the competent body in the country in which the services are sold or will be sold, e.g. by a ‘tour operator’.
According to the EU Ecolabel Regulation (Article 9 (1)(c)), non-European applicants are obliged to market their services on the European market. Otherwise, service providers are not eligible to apply for the EU Ecolabel.
When compiling an application file, it is usually necessary to have testing carried out by external laboratories. Whether or not the results of tests carried out internally are independent is not something that the competent bodies can decide on. This is why the EU Ecolabel criteria document states that competent bodies are, in principle, external and, ideally, accredited to ISO 17025 standards. Any assessments need to be carried out by bodies that have been accredited according to the ISO 17065 standard, or an equivalent.
It generally takes between four and six months for an application for EU Ecolabel certification to be positively completed. Assessments of the application file typically involve two steps.
Once the file has been submitted, we start by checking that all required documentation is complete. This may take up to two months, depending on the size and organization of the application file, and the scheduling.
SMK will then check the content of the complete application package, i.e. that all relevant EU Ecolabel requirements have been satisfied. The amount of time that this will take depends on the size of the application file and the schedule, but mostly up to two months. In practice, the applicant and its suppliers will usually need to supply some additional documentation before the EU Ecolabel certificate can be awarded, so how quickly everything proceeds is dependent on numerous factors. The total time taken is largely dependent on the quality of the file and the speed at which information can be obtained from suppliers.
The work plan of the European Commission serves as a guide to reviews of the current criteria and the development of new criteria.
The development and review of EU Ecolabel criteria is a process involving multiple steps and multiple stakeholders and is carried out in accordance with Appendix I to the EU Ecolabel Regulation (EC) No. 66/2010. If you would like to be involved in the ongoing development and review program, please register here for ongoing projects. Proposals for developing criteria for new product groups may be submitted to the EU Ecolabel Helpdesk.
You can read more about the development process here
The criteria for the EU Ecolabel are developed in a transparent process involving input from stakeholders. Academics, industry, experts from a wide range of industries, and impartial, non-governmental organizations take part in the development of strict environmental and suitability criteria. Each set of criteria goes through various rounds of discussion with stakeholders. The criteria are ultimately accepted by the Member States and laid down by means of a decision of the European Commission.
Each country in the EU plus Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein appoint a competent body. This is an independent and impartial organisation that implements the EU Ecolabel system at national level. The competent bodies play a central role in the activities of the EU Ecolabel system and are the first point of contact for applicants. They assess specific applications and award the EU Ecolabel to products and services that satisfy the set criteria. Consequently, they must ensure that the verification process is carried out in a consistent, neutral, and reliable manner by a party that is independent of the market participant that has been verified on the basis of international, European, or national standards and procedures relating to bodies that implement product certification systems.
The EU Ecolabel has been designed so that that the label is as inexpensive as possible to businesses that are interested in the system. The costs for laboratory testing are separate from the application costs and annual contributions and must be borne by the applicant. We cannot estimate the level of these costs as these depend, in part, on the scope of the application file and the requisite tests.
See the rates in the Netherlands here.
Contact form EU Ecolabel
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