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New Ecodesign Requirements and Energy Labelling Rules for Ventilation Units Published

Hong Kong traders engaged in selling ventilation units will soon have to comply with a set of new ecodesign requirements and an energy labelling regulation. The main purpose of these new rules is to safeguard the environment and to better inform European consumers on the energy consumption of ventilation units. According to the Commission’s preparatory studies, the energy use of these products can be significantly reduced.

The ecodesign requirements have been adopted in Commission Regulation 1253/2014, published on 25 November 2014. This new Regulation is an implementing measure under Directive 2009/125/EC, the framework ecodesign Directive adopted in 2009. The Regulation defines ventilation units (VU) as “an electricity driven appliance equipped with at least one impeller, one motor and a casing and intended to replace utilised air by outdoor air in a building or a part of a building”. The text further distinguishes between residential ventilation units (RVU) and non-residential ventilation units (NRVU) and sets out different rules for each.

RVUs are defined as ventilation units where: (i) the maximum flow rate does not exceed 250m³/h or (ii) the maximum flow rate is between 250 and 1000 m³/h, and the manufacturer declares its intended use as being exclusively for a residential ventilation application. NRVUs, on the other hand, are ventilation units where the maximum flow rate exceeds 250 m³/h or, where the maximum flow rate is between 250 and 1000 m³/h and the manufacturer has not declared its intended use as being exclusively for a residential ventilation application.

The two kinds of ventilation units are subject to different obligations under the Regulation, and have different dates of application, to allow for a gradual introduction of the ecodesign requirements. This will provide a sufficient timeframe for manufacturers to re-design products subject to this ecodesign implementing Regulation.

From 1 January 2016 onwards, RVUs will have to comply with ecodesign requirements provided for in Article 1 of Annex II to the Regulation, which include, amongst other matters, the obligation for the specific energy consumption (SEC) to be no more than 0 kWh/(m².a), and the obligation to equip all RVUs (except dual-use units) with a multi-speed drive or variable speed drive. More stringent requirements, set out in Article 2 of the same Annex, will apply starting 1 January 2018. RVUs will also have to comply with information requirements listed in Annex IV, such as information on the SEC, the sound power level, the supplier’s name or trademark.

Ecodesign requirements for NRVUs are listed in Annex III, Article 1 (starting 1 January 2016) and Article 2 (starting 1 January 2018), while Annex V sets out the information to be provided from 1 January 2016 onwards.

Manufacturers have to carry out a conformity assessment as provided for in Annexes VIII and IX (respectively, for RVUs and NRVUs). The Commission will assess the need to set requirements on air leakage rates no later than 1 January 2017, and will assess the ecodesign implementing Regulation in light of technological progress no later than 1 January 2020.

Finally, Article 1 of the ecodesign implementing Regulation provides a list of exempted products. This includes, amongst others: (i) unidirectional or bidirectional VUs with a power input of less than 30 W (except where information requirements have to be provided); (ii) VUs exclusively specified as operating in a potentially explosive atmosphere, and (iii) VUs specified as operating for emergency use for short periods of time. Regulation 1253/2014 enters into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

In addition to these ecodesign requirements, manufacturers will have to comply with Commission Regulation 1254/2014 implementing framework Directive 2010/30/EU on the energy labelling of residential ventilation units. This Regulation does not apply to NRVUs, and also provides for a list of exempted products in its Article 1.

Pursuant to Article 3 of the energy labelling Regulation, starting on 1 January 2016, suppliers placing RVUs on the market will have to ensure that the requirements it sets out are fulfilled. These requirements include, amongst others, the obligation to ensure that: (i) an energy label is provided with the products, at least on the packaging (a detailed explanation of the format and information to be provided on this label is provided in Annex III, which differentiates between uni and bidirectional RVUs); (ii) instructions for use are made available; (iii) any advertisement for a specific model of residential ventilation unit that discloses energy-related or price information contains the specific energy consumption class of that model.

Dealers of RVUs will also become subject to obligations as provided for in Article 4. They must ensure that each RVU bears the energy label, and is marketed with the information provided by the supplier. They must also ensure that any advertisement for a specific model of RVU which includes price or energy-related information contains a reference to the specific energy consumption class of the unit. The same requirement exists regarding the technical promotional material.

Finally, the energy labelling Regulation provides for measurement methods, for specific energy consumption (Annex II) and other information such as the annual heating saved or electricity consumption (Annex VIII). The Commission will review this energy labelling Regulation in light of technological progress no later than 1 January 2020. The Regulation enters into force twenty days after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

According to the Commission, the combined effects of Regulations 1253/2014 and 1254/2014 are expected to raise the aggregated saving by 1300 peta joules (PJ) (45%) to 4130 PJ in 2025. Hong Kong companies in the business of marketing these products to EU customers should study the Regulations and their annexes carefully, as there is plenty of technical information which must be digested for a full understanding of the requirements.

Please click to read, respectively, the Commission regulations imposing ecodesign and labelling requirements:
Commission Regulation 1253/2014
Commission Regulation 1254/2014

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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