EU Ecolabel Application Process

Introduction

The EU Ecolabel is a voluntary label you can use to show that your product or service meets a specific Europe-wide environmental standard.

To apply for the label, you must be one of the following:

  • a manufacturer
  • an importer
  • a service provider
  • a wholesaler
  • a trader or retailer marketing products under your own brand name

You can apply if your product or service is distributed, consumed or used in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Criteria

The basis for any application is the Commission Decision establishing the ecological criteria for the award of the EU Ecolabel for a specific product group. This sets out the criteria that must be complied with and how you can demonstrate compliance. The criteria are  available on this website - see Application Criteria.

 

Register your application

To get your EU Ecolabel licence, it is mandatory that you first register on the European Commission's Ecolabel Catalogue (ECAT) here.  A user manual is available to help you do this.

 

 

Get advice from UK Ecolabel Delivery

Once you have registered but before you start compiling an application, you should contact us. Our contact details are in the footer of each page of this website. Criteria for applicable product categories and the associated user manuals are  available on this website - see Application Criteria . The UK Ecolabel Delivery team will then guide you through the application process.

Test your products

You may need to carry out tests of your products to show how they meet the criteria. It'll say in the criteria for your product category if you need to do any tests (and whether they need to be independently verified). Some tests you may be able to do yourself but others will require an independent assessor or another laboratory to do them.

Assessment and inspections

UK Ecolabel Delivery will check whether your application meets the criteria for the type of product or service you're applying for. They'll contact you with any queries they have.

Assessments

UK Ecolabel Delivery will take a minimum of 4 weeks to assess your application, but the total amount of time depends on what queries they have and whether or not they need to carry out an inspection.

Application fees

You must pay when you apply - the amount you have to pay depends on the size of your company and the number and type of products you are applying for.

UK Ecolabel Delivery will tell you when and how much you will have to pay and how to pay. Check this on the Fees & Costs page

Inspections

UK Ecolabel Delivery may want to inspect your premises or any premises related to your product or service - they'll contact you if they need to do this. They'll always inspect your premises if the product or service you're applying for is in the following categories:

  • tourist accommodation
  • camp site services
  • copying and graphic paper

They may also inspect your premises if:

  • your product is made outside the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway
  • they have queries about your application and they need to inspect your site to answer them
  • they want to check your site to make sure you're complying with product group criteria
  • they're investigating a complaint

Inspectors will usually tell you if they're visiting to investigate a complaint, though they may not give exact details of the complaint.

Inspection fees

You must pay for any inspections unless they're done to assess tourist accommodation or camp sites.

Inspections usually cost about £1,700 plus VAT - they'll cost more if the inspected site is outside the UK - the exact amount will vary depending on where the site is, and inspectors' travel costs etc. You need to pay for the inspection before it takes place - UK Ecolabel Delivery will send you a quotation first of all.

Decisions

UK Ecolabel Delivery will make a decision about whether to approve your application and make a recommendation to Defra, who make the final approval decision. If Defra approves your application, UK Ecolabel Delivery will give you a numbered licence and a contract which will be included on the EU's list of EU Ecolabel products.

Annual licence fees

You will also need to pay an annual licence fee - the amount you have to pay depends on the size of your organisation. Check this on the Fees & Costs page

You need to pay your annual licence fee in advance at the start of each calendar year. If you're a new licence holder during the year you'll pay on a pro-rata basis. If the product group criteria are coming up for renewal, you'll only have to pay up to the date when the criteria are due to change. You will then need to apply as a new applicant when the revised criteria are agreed.

Expiry

Your licence will only expire if:

  • you don't pay your annual licence fee
  • you change your product or service and it no longer meets the criteria for the product or service category - you must tell UK Ecolabel Delivery immediately if this happens
  • the criteria for the product or service change and your product or service no longer meets them - you'll be given notice if this is happening

Suspension or withdrawal

UK Ecolabel Delivery can suspend or withdraw your licence if you breach the terms of your contract, for example by changing your product's ingredients without telling UK Ecolabel Delivery first.

Changing your product or service

If you change your product or service in any way, you must contact UK Ecolabel Delivery and tell them:

  • the products or services that you've changed and
  • what the change is

They'll tell you whether:

  • you need to reapply or not
  • you need to pay another application fee

Ending your licence

To cancel your EU Ecolabel licence, send a registered letter to UK Ecolabel Delivery – you need to give them at least three months' notice.