The new regulation for the ecological design of products – Eco-design for sustainable products regulation (ESPR)

On 28/6/2024, the new regulation 2024/1781 was published in the official journal of the EU, which defines the eco-design requirements for sustainable products, amends directive 2020/1828 and regulation (EU) 2023/1542 and finally repeals directive 2009/125.
This Regulation defines a framework for establishing eco-design requirements that products must meet in order to be placed on the market or put into service, with the aim of improving the environmental sustainability of products, so that sustainable products become the norm and reduce the overall carbon footprint and environmental footprint of products during their life cycle and ensure the free movement of sustainable products in the internal market.
This regulation also establishes the digital product passport, provides for the establishment of mandatory requirements for green public procurement and creates a framework to prevent the destruction of unsold consumer products. This regulation applies to any material goods placed on the market or put into operation, including components and intermediate products, but excluding important categories of traded goods such as food, animal feed, medicines, etc.
The regulation empowers the European Commission to adopt a working plan defining products that should be subject to its requirements as a matter of priority. For the first work program to be drawn up (2024-2027), the following products are identified as a priority: iron, steel, aluminium, textiles, in particular clothing and footwear, furniture, including mattresses, tyres, detergents, paints, lubricants, chemicals, information and communication technology products and other electronic products.
The eco-design criteria referred to in Article 5 include durability, reusability, upgradeability, presence of substances of concern, recycled content, rebuildability, recyclability, anticipated waste generation, etc.

The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 72 to supplement this Regulation by establishing ecodesign requirements. A very useful tool in Article 21 is self-regulatory measures, which economic operators (as long as they cover 80% of the market) can submit to the Commission. The self-regulatory measures lay down ecodesign requirements for products that do not fall within the scope of a delegated act issued in accordance with Article 4 or are not contained in the work programme.
Article 65 analyzes green public procurement and chapter III gives the basic principles of the digital product passport (DPP), which will simplify digital access to information related to specific products for sustainability, circularity and legal compliance.
The new regulation enters into force on the twentieth day after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union

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