Wide-ranging new requirements for eco-design and energy labeling for mobile phones and tablets – don’t miss the opportunity to provide feedback

The European Commission has published two proposals aimed at introducing new eco-design and energy labeling requirements for mobile phones and tablets. Feedback can be sent until September 28, 2022.

On 31 August 2022, the European Commission published two proposals aimed at introducing new requirements for eco-design and energy labeling for mobile phones and tablets. The new requirements are far-reaching, going beyond those seen for other product groups, such as the introduction of new requirements for battery replacement by end users unless certain durability parameters are met, new requirements for battery replacement. resistance to accidental drops and scratches, protection against ingress of water and dust, as well as a new repairability rating.

In our view, this marks the beginning of a much more comprehensive approach to ecodesign and energy labeling in the EU.

The Commission is seeking feedback on the two draft proposals up to September 28, 2022.

What’s your name?

  • Commission regulation laying down ecodesign requirements for mobile phones, cordless phones and tablets under Directive 2009/125 / EC.
  • Commission Delegated Regulation supplementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1369 with regard to the energy labeling of smartphones and tablets.

What is proposed?

Under the new proposed Ecodesign Regulation, manufacturers, importers and authorized representatives of mobile phones and tablets placed on the market in the EU will have to comply with several new requirements, including:

  • Make sure that some spare parts (such as microphone, camera assembly, speaker, display assembly, SIM and memory card, etc.) are made available to professional repairers with a more limited list of spare parts for end users, for at least 5 years for mobile phones and 5/6 years for tablets. Replacement batteries will also need to be made available to end users or, alternatively, meet minimum durability standards (and for mobile phones certain dust and water protection parameters). In this case, the battery will still need to be available to professional repairers. Minimum delivery times apply for the supply of spare parts.
  • Design the product for disassembly for repair, resistance to accidental drops, scratches, water and dust ingress, and battery life.
  • Provide certain security software features and updates.
  • Provide information on parameters such as the recyclability rate and the percentage of recycled content.

The European Commission is also proposing to introduce energy labeling for mobile phones and tablets. The proposed label will need to include the energy efficiency class as well as a new repairability score as well as information on repeated free fall reliability, battery life and ingress protection.

The relevant legislative procedure for the proposed new rules is quite short and the new requirements could come into effect as early as early 2023.

There is a relatively short transition period of 12 months for the proposed Ecodesign Regulation (subject to some exceptions), which means that many of the requirements will start to apply from early 2024.

The proposed regulation on energy labeling sets a transition period of 18 months, possibly making the requirements applicable from mid-2024, with the exception of the obligation to provide the printed label to retailers which would apply 14 months after the entry into force of the proposed energy labeling regulation on labeling.

Who will it apply to?

The proposed new ecodesign requirements will apply to manufacturers, authorized representatives and importers and the new energy labeling requirements will apply to mobile phone and tablet suppliers and retailers.

Because matter?

The proposed requirements for eco-design and energy labeling will require cell phone and tablet manufacturers to ensure not only that cell phones and tablets are energy efficient, but are also designed to be durable, repairable and recyclable. Compared to previous ecodesign and energy labeling requirements for other product groups, the proposed new requirements for mobile phones and tablets are much broader in scope and we believe they show the European Commission’s direction of travel towards ecodesign and energy labeling requirements more substantive than we expect to see the proposed ecodesign regulation for sustainable products currently being drafted through the ordinary legislative procedure (this could potentially come into effect in 2023/2024).

Where can I find it?

The draft Ecodesign Requirements Regulation and the link to provide feedback can be found here.

The draft regulation on energy labeling and the link to provide feedback can be found here.

The feedback on both draft legislative proposals closes September 28, 2022

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