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The European Council’s Position on the Green Claims Directive: Key Takeaways

May 11, 2023 The European Council’s Position on the Green Claims Directive: Key Takeaways

Authored by Celia Le Lievre, Senior Regulatory & Requirements Compliance Specialist, Compliance & Risks

On 3 May 2023, the European Council adopted its position on the Draft Green Claims Directive.

This Draft Directive, initially proposed by the EU Commission in March 2023, will help consumers make informed purchasing decisions by obliging companies to substantiate and verify their environmental claims and labels.

The EU Council’s Position

In its negotiating mandate, the Council proposes to strictly prohibit generic environmental claims. Generic environmental claims may involve the use of broad terms such as ‘environmentally friendly’, ‘eco-friendly’, ‘eco’, ‘green’, ‘nature’s friend’, ‘ecological’ or other similar statements that suggest or create the impression of recognised excellent environmental performance.

Strict Prohibition of Generic Environmental Claims

What is more, the Council advocates for the prohibition of sustainability labels which are neither based on publicly accessible certification schemes nor registered as a EU or national certification mark. Non-certified or non-registered sustainability labels should be considered as unfair commercial practices and as such, be included in Annex I of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive.

The Council’s position also proposes to create a harmonised graphic format to inform consumers about guarantees of durability for specific goods. This proposal follows from the Commission’s intention to introduce a commercial guarantee of durability for producers. This guarantee is a commitment from the producer on the durability of the good, more specifically, it is a commitment that the good will maintain its expected function and performance during the guarantee period.

Extension of Transposition Deadline

Finally, the Council proposes to extend the deadline for transposition by Member States to 24 months, instead of 18 months in the Commission’s proposal. This extension will give Member States sufficient time to align their national legislation with the new Directive.

For further information, please consult the press release of the European Council.

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