Directive for Setting Eco-Design Requirements for Energy-Using Products
In 2003, the European Commission proposed a directive on the ecodesign of energy-using products, such as electrical and electronic devices or heating equipment. It was intended that coherent EU-wide rules for eco-design would ensure that disparities among national regulations do not become obstacles to intra-EU trade. The proposal did not introduce directly binding requirements for specific products, but did define conditions and criteria for setting, through subsequent implementing measures, requirements regarding environmentally relevant product characteristics (such as energy consumption) and allowed them to be improved quickly and efficiently. The idea was that products that fulfil the requirements would benefit both businesses and consumers, by facilitating the free movement of goods across the EU and by enhancing product quality and environmental protection. Finally, on 6 July 2005, Directive 2005/32/EC established a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-using products, amending Council Directive 92/42/EEC and Directives 96/57/EC and 2000/55/EC. The proposal constitutes a breakthrough in EU product policy and introduces many innovative elements together with concrete application of the principles of the "better regulation" package. By encouraging manufacturers to design products with the environmental impacts in mind throughout their entire life cycle, the Commission implements an integrated product policy and accelerates the move towards improving the environmental performance of energy-using products.
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