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Orgalim Position Paper – French Draft Decree on Consumer Information about the Environmental Qualities and Characteristics Of Waste-Generating Products

Orgalim Position Paper – French Draft Decree on Consumer Information about the Environmental Qualities and Characteristics Of Waste-Generating Products

Brussels, 21/12/2021

Orgalim Position Paper on French Decree Draft

OnInformation for consumers on the environmental quality and

Characteristics of waste-generating products

Executive summary

Orgalim, representing Europe’s tech industries, fully supports CommentFIEEC in France submitted the new Draft French DecreeConsumer information regarding the environmental qualities and characteristics for waste-generating products.

We oppose the provisions of the French Draft French Decree, as they restrict free movement of goods in EU Internal Market. It is vital that the EU has a unified approach to all the measures that inform consumers about the environmental qualities and characteristics, in order to ensure the functioning and success of the EU Internal Market. This is a key achievement of the EU. Furthermore, consumers must have the ability to meet their requirements.

We call on:

  • FranceIt is not necessary to establish national requirements. Rather, it is important to support the development the European Directive. Empowering consumersThe Sustainable Products Initiative and the proposal for substantiating are both important to the green transition. green claimsThis will be adopted and published next spring in the context the new Circular Economy Activity Plan under the EU Green Deal.
  • FranceTo exclude batteries from the French Decree draft due to the upcoming EU Batteries Regulation which will define the mandatory environmental information to be communicated according the battery categories.
  • Franceto delay the entry into effect to 1stJanuary 2024.
  • The European Commissionto examine the notified actions closely and to provide a detailed opinion.
  • EU Member Statesto raise concerns about specific French measures that will limit access to the French market.

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1. Introduction

The technology industries of Europe are committed to accelerating the transition towards a circular economy that is both economically sustainable and beneficial to the environment. You can find our Position Paper and recommendations about the circular economy. Here.

Information about the product that is clear and concise, and includes any relevant environmental impacts, can be helpful to consumers and public officials in making informed purchasing decisions. Our industries are committed helping consumers make better purchasing decisions and meeting legitimate expectations for better product information.

We are skeptical about the value of providing so much information for consumers, when compared to the cost and effort required by companies to implement these requirements at the French level. This is despite the fact that the European Commission is currently working on legislative initiatives. Empowering consumersThe Sustainable Products Initiative with a Digital Product Passport and the proposal on substantiating are two of the key elements to the green transition. green claimsAll of these will be adopted next year as part of the EU Green Deal’s new Circular Economy Action plan.

The draft DecreeAs currently notified in accordance with the TRIS procedure,This is a significant threat for the functioning of the Internal Market, and a restriction on the free movement of goods within EU. This is why the draft Decree Needs substantial adaptations to stop economic actors from becoming themselves, on 1st January 2022 in a position of not being capable of complying with their new obligations due application procedures and deadlines which ignore their constraints. We stress the importance of a Decree which takes into consideration the options and constraints of the companies in order to fully comply with these new obligations.

2. The draft French Decree contains critical issues

2.1 Functioning the EU Internal Market and restrictions on the free movement of goods within EU

We urge the French government to not establish national requirements but to support the development and implementation of the European Directive. Empowering consumersThe Sustainable Products Initiative, a Digital Product Passport and a proposal on substantiating are available for the green transition. green claimsAll of these will be adopted next year as part of the EU Green Deal’s new Circular Economy Action plan.

Coherence at EU LevelThese are the reasons why it is so important:

  • To preserve the coherenceEco-design for products that target the European market: France-specific product definitions would not allow producers define a clear and effective product eco-designAt the European market level. A fragmented approach would result in inconsistencies among producers due to the differing national markets.
  • To ensure consistency at European level of environmental informationElectrical and electronic products are designed and market to the European market in general. Consumers can easily buy products from other EU Member States via websites. This reinforces the need to harmonise European definitions of environmental characteristics. It would be absurd to have different criteria for recycling in France and another member state, as the rules are not compatible. end-of-lifeEuropean Directives establish the same treatment obligations for all countries (pollution control, limitation and hazardous substances) and the same recycling objectives.

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  • To reduce administrative burdenBy avoiding transitional measures in national settings within a strict time frame: The Sustainable Product Initiative will be adopted very soon with a set legislation to be reviewed by the European Parliament, the Council, and will specify some criteria in the French Decree.
    It is absurd to impose additional requirements in order to comply with the French text on subjects that will be obsolete or incompatible with European law. Consumers will not be able to benefit from the French requirements because they will have to be removed or revised to conform with European law.

Refer to theThe EU bans the free movement and movement of goods

  • The new EU Regulation for Batteries, which is expected to be approved around April, has been proposed.Mid-2022 stipulates in Article 3 free movement within EU “Member states may not, for reasons relating to sustainability, safety marking and information requirements applicable battery management or waste batteries management covered by this Regulation,”This European Regulation on Batteries will primarily be used to define the environmental information and characteristics that must be communicated to each battery category. We request that batteries be completely excluded from the draft French Decree(in particular criteria VI, III, and IX).
  • Without further clarification in French Decree, the French Decree prohibits the terms “biodegradable”, and “respective for the environment” without any other equivalent terms. This will create an equivalent effect to that of the restriction onThese terms are allowed in other EU Member States. This is not a good idea in France, as the Commission is currently preparing its initiative on substantiating Green Claims. This will address the issue establishing a cohesive policy framework to ensure that the environmental performance of products across the EU is consistent, comparable, and verifiable.

Concerning information on the existence of Substances of Very Great Concern, we request clarification in a draft French Decree. This refers to existing tools available to consumers – such a the EU database to find information on Substances of Concern within articles as such or complex objects (Products), established under the EU Waste Framework (ECHA SCIP database)It suffices to comply.

2.2 Requirements should be specific, measurable, enforceable, relevant, and not harm the competitiveness principle (SMERC principle).

See Also

We highlight the SMERC principle must be respectedin the definition of obligations. You must add new requirements specific, measurable, enforceable, rElevating the status quo and not causing harm competitiveness.

  • Specificity
    The criteria that apply to a product category must be defined in a lifecycle perspective. These criteria should also be specific. The criteria for recyclability, for example, is not applicable to electrical or electronic equipment (EEE), as it doesn’t conform to the European standard 4555x regarding material efficiency in energy-related goods.
  • Measurability
    Some criteria don’t refer to clearly defined and measurable methods. This creates legal uncertainty for companies and prevents fair comparisons between products. Recyclability criteria, such as the incorporation of recycled materials, the presence of critical material, and the presence of rare earth, must be defined accurately using harmonised standards at EU level.
  • Enforceability
    It is impossible to verify and enforce some requirements through market surveillance, such as the incorporation or presence of recycled materials, critical material, and rare earth criteria. This leaves the door open to unfair competition and greenwashing.

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  • Relevance
    New requirements must be relevant to the environment and users and apply even within the specified life cycle phase. Not to be incompatible with any other legal requirements, requirements must also be relevant. There must be evidence that there is significant improvement potential. We strongly object to a complete declaration on topics that are hard to understand or not helpful for consumers.
  • Competitiveness
    New requirements should not have a significant impact on the industry’s competivity. Competition must be fair, particularly regarding requirements that are only applicable in France and not other EU Member States.

2.3 Entry into Force Date must be postponed until 1 January 2024

The date of entry into force must be set.Economic operators will have sufficient time to comply with these requirements.

Although the applicable sanctions regime was delayed by one-year (to 1stJanuary 2023), but it is insufficient to permit companies to fully conform to the obligation to disclose information on certain criteria. A period of 24 months is requiredBecause of the significant constraints, the number and complexity of the products involved and the required IT developments.

Disclaimer

Orgalim – Europe’s Technology IndustriesPublished this content 21 December 2021It is solely responsible and accountable for all information contained within. Distributed by PublicUnaltered and unaltered, the original 21 December 2021, 11:49:01 UTC.

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