Intro­duc­tion of the digi­tal pro­duct pass­port in the EU

The EU Com­mis­si­on is plan­ning to intro­du­ce a digi­tal pro­duct pass­port. This sim­pli­fies the exch­an­ge of product-related infor­ma­ti­on bet­ween com­pa­nies, actors in the sup­p­ly chain, aut­ho­ri­ties and con­su­mers. The infor­ma­ti­on is to be made available online in a com­pres­sed form. The plan is to make all rele­vant infor­ma­ti­on available about a pro­duct, inclu­ding, for exam­p­le, the mate­ri­als from which the pro­duct is made, infor­ma­ti­on about spa­re parts and repai­ra­bi­li­ty, ener­gy con­sump­ti­on, and dis­po­sal of the pro­duct. The infor­ma­ti­on can be acces­sed, for exam­p­le, by scan­ning a QR code on the pro­duct via an app that retrie­ves the infor­ma­ti­on from a data­ba­se (pro­duct pass­port regis­ter). The digi­tal pro­duct pass­port is inten­ded to ensu­re lon­ger shelf lives and dura­ti­on of use for pro­ducts. This will pro­mo­te recy­cling manage­ment and con­tri­bu­te to achie­ving the EU’s 2050 cli­ma­te tar­gets. At pre­sent, the­re is no con­cre­te time­ta­ble for imple­men­ta­ti­on; pre­vious­ly, a roll­out was plan­ned for 2022. 

The digi­tal pro­duct pass­port sol­ves many pro­blems with regard to ope­ra­ting ins­truc­tions and user infor­ma­ti­on that were pre­vious­ly requi­red as hard copies due to dif­fe­ring legal frame­work con­di­ti­ons. In order to imple­ment the digi­tal pro­duct pass­port, howe­ver, the more than 70 direc­ti­ves and regu­la­ti­ons that curr­ent­ly sti­pu­la­te cor­re­spon­ding requi­re­ments for pro­duct labe­l­ing and ins­truc­tions must be adapt­ed at the Euro­pean level.

In the draft for the new Ecode­sign Regu­la­ti­on published on 30 March 2022 the­re are frame­work con­di­ti­ons for the digi­tal pro­duct pass­port. Artic­le 8 sets out requi­re­ments for the pro­vi­si­on of infor­ma­ti­on and Artic­les 9–11 set out rules for imple­men­ting the pro­duct pass­port. The Ecode­sign Direc­ti­ve alre­a­dy gives pre­fe­rence to repai­ring ener­gy con­sum­ing pro­ducts rather than dis­po­sing of them. With the adop­ti­on of the Ecode­sign Regu­la­ti­on, regu­la­ti­ons could be exten­ded to other sec­tors and pro­duct groups.

To bet­ter enforce ecode­sign requi­re­ments, natio­nal aut­ho­ri­ties and the Com­mis­si­on are to have direct access to data car­ri­ers. Stan­dar­di­s­a­ti­on bodies, indus­try asso­cia­ti­ons, con­su­mer orga­niza­ti­ons, experts and inter­na­tio­nal part­ners are also to be invol­ved in the con­cre­te design.

We will start by estab­li­shing the digi­tal pro­duct pass­port for resour­ce and ener­gy inten­si­ve goods such as bat­te­ries. In this regard, the Bat­tery Regu­la­ti­on is to replace the Bat­tery Direc­ti­ve in the future. The Bat­tery Regu­la­ti­on is sla­ted to con­tain requi­re­ments for the enti­re pro­duct life cycle of a bat­tery. Accor­ding to the cur­rent sta­tus, the Regu­la­ti­on will come into force at the begin­ning of next year. Num­e­rous amend­ments are curr­ent­ly being dis­cus­sed. It can be assu­med that demand for bat­te­ries will rise shar­ply in the coming years, par­ti­cu­lar­ly due to the incre­asing inte­gra­ti­on of elec­tric vehic­les in road traffic.


To date, the­re have only been pro­duct spe­ci­fic regu­la­ti­ons on cer­tain pha­ses of the pro­duct cycle, for exam­p­le for dome­stic appli­ances. Now, pro­duct spe­ci­fic infor­ma­ti­on must be pro­vi­ded digi­tal­ly and meet increased trans­pa­ren­cy requi­re­ments. Com­pa­nies can get invol­ved in the design of digi­tal pro­duct pass­ports and alre­a­dy deve­lop an inter­nal imple­men­ta­ti­on con­cept for them. The tech­ni­cal imple­men­ta­ti­on of a pro­duct pass­port is also a chall­enge that has not yet been sol­ved and will only be meaningful­ly resol­ved with the par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on of industry.

Howe­ver, com­pa­nies can expect a uni­form solu­ti­on to pro­duct infor­ma­ti­on requi­re­ments in the medi­um term that will be resour­ce effi­ci­ent and practical.


Stay up-to-date

We use your email address exclusively for sending our newsletter. You have the right to revoke your consent at any time with effect for the future. For further information, please refer to our privacy policy.