How to apply
You have decided to market your sustainable products with the EU Ecolabel? Congratulations, you have made the right choice! You will find all the information you need to apply for the EU Ecolabel in the seven steps below.
Please contact your national Competent Body or the EU Ecolabel Helpdesk in case you need assistance in finding the right goods or service group suitable for your purpose. You can also find more information on the Product group and criteria page and in the FAQs.
Which goods and services are eligible?
All goods or services supplied for distribution, consumption or use in the European Economic Area market (the European Union and Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway) and for which EU Ecolabel criteria have been established are eligible.
However, the EU Ecolabel does not apply to medicinal products for human or veterinary use, or to any type of medical device.
To be successful, your good or service will need to both fit within the specific scope of the established goods or service group and comply with the respective specific EU Ecolabel criteria.
The rules generally apply to products that originate from one or several EU countries. When a product originates from outside the EU, specific application conditions apply (see below).
Who can apply?
Producers, manufacturers, importers, service providers, wholesalers and retailers that produce goods or provide services that fit within any of the established goods and service group criteria are eligible to apply. Retailers are eligible to apply for products placed on the market under their own brand name.
Once you have found the criteria relevant to your good or service and are ready to start your application, contact your Competent Body, i.e. the independent organisation responsible for assessing, awarding and managing EU Ecolabel applications and licences at the national level. Your Competent Body will provide guidance on the documents needed for your dossier, such as declarations, data sheets and test results (see Step 3 below). They can also provide recommendations on accredited product testing laboratories or equivalent, along with any relevant technical expertise needed to complete your application.
How to identify your Competent Body?
- Your goods or service originates or is provided in theEuropean Economic Area (the European Union and Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway):
- Contact the Competent Body from the country in which the product originates or where your service is located.
- Your goods or service is located outside the European Economic Area:
- Contact the Competent Body in one of the countries (EU and EEA) where your product is marketed or will be placed on the market.
You can find details of all Competent Bodies here.
The EU Ecolabel goods and service catalogue (ECAT) is a database containing lists of EU Ecolabel goods and services, along with the corresponding goods or service information. This catalogue can also be used as a marketing tool to promote your goods or service to consumers.
The EU Ecolabel tourist accommodation catalogue is similarly a database containing an overview of awarded accommodations and campsites around the EU. Consumers can also use this tool to search for sustainable accommodation on their next trip.
ECAT is also the reference point for stakeholders to check licence validity. All licence holders are responsible for registering their goods and services in ECAT to ensure licence traceability.
To register goods and services, follow the instructions in the ECAT User Manual, which is downloadable in all official EU languages. If you have any problems using the system, please contact the EU Ecolabel Helpdesk.
An application dossier is required from all applicants in order to assess criteria compliance. The list of relevant documents required for your dossier (declarations, data sheets and test results) is provided in the criteria for each good or service group and in the ECAT User Manual. Your Competent Body will verify that all submitted information is accurate and substantiated; they will ask you for further documentation if necessary.
Whenever the assessment and verification of EU Ecolabel criteria requires product tests, please note the general guidance:
- All test and independent verification costs for criteria compliance must be met by the applicant.
- All required product tests should be preferably performed by laboratories that meet the general requirements of EN ISO 17025 or equivalent for that specific test. You can find a list of accredited laboratories for most European countries is available on the European Accreditation Corporation’s website.
Contact your Competent Body if you need any additional information about which laboratory to use.
Once your application dossier is ready, check with your Competent Body how to submit it, and attach proof of payment of application fees.
The EU Ecolabel is designed to be as low cost as possible. However, as the costs of running the scheme vary between Competent Bodies and from one product to another, fees vary accordingly.
The EU Ecolabel Fees table provides exact fares per Competent Body; alternatively, you can contact your Competent Body for a more precise cost estimate.
Reduced EU Ecolabel fees are available for SMEs, micro-enterprises and companies from developing countries**.
The table below presents the maximum application fees established in the EU Ecolabel Regulation.
Type of applicant*
One-off application fee (EUR) **
Annual fee (EUR) ***
SMEs and companies from developing countries****
All other companies
* Refer to the Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
** 30% reduction for companies registered under EMAS or 15% reduction for companies certified under ISO 14001 can be applied. Reductions are not cumulative and only the higher reduction applies where both systems are met.
*** Annual fees can be a flat fee or a fee based on the annual value of sales within the EU for the product awarded the EU Ecolabel. Where the annual fee is calculated as a percentage of the annual sales value, it will not be more than 0,15 % of that value. In the case of SMEs, micro-enterprises or applicants from developing countries, the annual fee is reduced by at least 25 %.
**** Check the complete list of developing countries here.(Please always refer to the latest “DAC List of ODA Recipients” available on the OECD website) Please note that Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau are not eligible for a fee reduction.
After receiving your application, your Competent Body will examine all submitted documentation (including any material that might have been sent directly by your suppliers) and gives initial feedback within two months. At that time, additional documentation may be requested. Competent Bodies can reject an application if sufficient documentation is not received within six months of any request for further information.
After all documentation has been assessed, your Competent Body may carry out an on-site visit of your or your suppliers’ sites. The Competent Body judges the necessity for this on-site visit on a case-by-case basis unless otherwise stated within the EU Ecolabel criteria and may charge a fee for it.
Contact your Competent Body for more information.
Once you have signed the contract, a certificate can be requested that details:
- The licence number that can be used with the EU Ecolabel logo;
- The legal name of the applicant;
- The services or range of products awarded the EU Ecolabel;
- All relevant trade names under which the product is sold or the service is marketed.
Your Competent Body will give you the final validation on when the EU Ecolabel logo and your licence number can be used on your EU Ecolabel services and products that have met the criteria.
Your products will become visible on ECAT.
As a licence holder, it is your responsibility to ensure criteria compliance throughout the entire validity of your licence(s). Your Competent Body will explain how often test samples of your product should be conducted to proactively verify criteria compliance.
Depending on your Competent Body, factory inspections and product tests or visits your service may be carried out. These inspections are intended to ensure that environmental excellence is maintained for consumers.
You or your supplier will need to keep a journal of all tests conducted on your goods or services along with their results. This documentation should be always available and may be requested by your Competent Body.
If the Competent Body receives evidence that your goods or service no longer complies with the criteria during the validity period, the Competent Body will request an immediate Corrective Action Plan or may even prohibit the use of the EU Ecolabel on that good or service
Take full advantage of the EU Ecolabel through advertising and communication! Ensure that the EU Ecolabel logo and your licence number are clearly visible on your good or service as well as on all related promotional material. Visit the EU Ecolabel Branding page to find more information on how to display the logo on your products.
The clear digital presence of your EU Ecolabel licence on your company website ensures the high visibility of your environmental and quality commitment via the EU Ecolabel. Make sure the EU Ecolabel logo and licence number are clearly visible on your homepage and create a webpage dedicated to your environmental commitment. You can also find ready-to-use materials for use on your social media platforms on the EU Ecolabel Branding page.
EU Ecolabel goods and service catalogue (ECAT)
Ensure that you have registered your products in the EU Ecolabel product catalogue (ECAT) or Tourist accommodation catalogue. These databases, which are designed to provide stakeholders with lists of EU Ecolabel certified goods and services per producer and retailer(s), are also a viable marketing tool for promoting goods and services to consumers across Europe.
Refer to “Step 2: Goods and service registration on the online EU Ecolabel catalogue” above for guidance on how to register your goods and services in ECAT.
Be featured on official EU Ecolabel publications and website
Success stories are regularly identified and promoted to spotlight all aspects of a licence holder’s journey with the EU Ecolabel. Focusing on quantitative returns on investment along with energy, water and resource savings – as well as on new business opportunities opened by the EU Ecolabel - these stories are also a great opportunity to share your journey with consumers.
On the EU Ecolabel Branding page you can find a collection of videos about the EU Ecolabel, including licence holder company videos in which the EU Ecolabel is highlighted, as well as other interesting marketing materials.
Ask your Competent Body, or reach out to the EU Ecolabel Helpdesk, if you want to share any relevant marketing, promotional and communication material available at the national level and for further assistance in marketing your goods or service.
For general questions about the EU Ecolabel scheme, for a first orientation and general questions about ECAT, feel free to contact the EU Ecolabel Helpdesk.