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Completed Study on the Ecodesign Working Plan 2015-2017: Publication Imminent

The European Commission is expected to soon publish a final report on its year-long Study for the establishment of an ecodesign Working Plan, covering the years 2015 to 2017. Sources indicate that the Study has been completed, but the final report is currently in the process of being approved for publication.

It may be recalled that on 6 January 2014 (just over a year ago), the European Commission launched the one-year study to provide information and support for the establishment of the Ecodesign Working Plan 2015-2017. The Study develops a classification of product groups and an indicative list of priority product groups – many of which are likely to be of interest to Hong Kong sellers – which will fall subject to future Ecodesign and Energy Labelling legislation.

The final reports on the first three tasks of the study were published from May until September 2014. The draft version of the Task 4 Report was published on 15 October 2014.

The reports identify an indicative list of 16 priority product groups for future Ecodesign and Energy Labelling measures. This list includes the following product groups: hair dryers, hand dryers, kettles, mobile phones, toasters, wireless chargers for consumer electronics, base stations, building automation control systems in non-residential buildings, gateways, high pressure cleaners, lifts and PV inverters.

The Task 4 Draft Report investigated additional aspects for each of these product groups, including the environmental impacts, the policy coverage, the appropriateness of having Ecodesign and Energy labelling in place for the product groups, and industrial competitiveness.

With regard to mobile phones for instance, the Task 4 Draft Report considers that there does not seem to be a case for efficiency labelling, but recommends the following ecodesign measures:

  • requirements for easy retractability of battery at end-of-life;
  • requirements for easy retrieval and erasure of personal data;
  • requirements for easy reparability, especially replacability of battery by end-user without additional cost; and
  • possibly long-term support for security- and performance-relevant software updates or equivalent measures.

As regards hand dryers, the Task 4 Draft Report notes that the following types of ecodesign measures could be envisaged:

  • minimum requirements on energy efficiency; and
  • minimum requirements on noise levels.

These recommendations do not yet refer to specific ecodesign measures. Such specific recommendations will be developed in the course of future preparatory studies and the regulatory process, should these products be chosen for the Working Plan 2015-2017.

The publication of the final report of the Ecodesign Working Plan 2015-2017 can be expected shortly. The study has been completed, but the final report is yet to be published: it is in its final stages of endorsement for publication.

Please click on the following link to view the reports.
Further information can be accessed via the following link on the survey.

On the basis of the Study, the European Commission will adopt the Ecodesign Working Plan 2015-2017. It seems that the Working Plan might be adopted sometime after September 2015.

Finally, it may also be interesting for Hong Kong traders to note that the discussion within the European Commission, on the Working Plan, is now part of a wider discussion. That discussion includes a fresh review of the Energy Labelling and Ecodesign Directives.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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