We all know that CE marking your product is a requirement that must be met before you place your product on the market in Europe. But are you aware that you have to consider the Ecodesign Directive before you can affix the CE marking to your product?
In my last article, I discussed the EU’s 2020 target to drastically reduce our energy consumption. I also explained briefly that the EuP Directive is a framework directive and has now been revised to form the EcoDesign Directive or the ErP Directive (Directive 2009/125/EC on Ecodesign). Under the ErP Directive framework, regulatory measures have been adopted which establish eco-design requirements for a defined product type. These regulatory measures are known as Implementing Measures (IM).
It therefore means if an implementing measure exists for your product type, then you need to comply with the ErP Directive before you can affix the CE marking and place your product on the market.
What happens if you haven’t considered this? The Directive does not specifically hand down any consequences for non-compliant products. It does however leave this up to the Member States of the EU to determine the penalties, to apply, taking into account the extent of the non-compliance and number of units of non-complying products placed on the market. Regulation of the requirements is conducted by a suitable in country Market Surveillance Authority (MSA). It is estimated that in the EU, there are approximately 80 full time members of staff employed by such authorities who verify the compliance of the ecodesign and energy label declarations.
In Germany for example, a manufacturer of a video monitor with HDMI capability was issued a cease and desist order with a penalty in excess of 100,000 Euro for each case of non-compliance, for not displaying the appropriate energy labels. The Higher Regional Court ruled that computer monitors with HDMI ports have to be considered as television monitors irrespective of having non-standard video signal paths like DVI and SDI at the same time.
In the UK, the Market Surveillance Authority can bring criminal charges against manufacturers failing to meet these requirements and fines up to £5000 can be issued in the Magistrates Court. Most every country requires failing products to be removed from the market immediately and a fine issued against the manufacturer.
Both examples show how serious the EU is taking the Energy Efficiency requirements. Whether you evaluate your product yourself or consider using a 3rd party test house, the requirements for energy efficiency are not going away, in fact they will only get more aggressive. Here at UL, we pride ourselves on being a knowledge center and Energy Efficiency issues are no different. We have dedicated engineers located strategically around the world to support the existing and emerging regulations which may pertain to your product.