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.
Producers, manufacturers, importers, service providers and wholesalers placing their products and/or services on the EEA (the European Union, Lichtenstein, Norway and Iceland) market can apply for the EU Ecolabel. Retailers can also apply for products placed on the market under their own brand name.
Can a producer or manufacturer from a non-European country apply for the EU Ecolabel?
Yes, any product or service that is supplied for distribution, consumption or use in the EEA market can be awarded the EU Ecolabel, regardless of the origin of the product. The EU Ecolabel Regulation allows manufacturers, producers and retailers based in non-European countries to apply for the EU Ecolabel on the condition that they meet the criteria for their respective product group and that the product is sold in the EEA market.
The application can be made to the competent body of the country where the products are produced (if inside the EEA) or will be marketed (if outside the EEA).
Annex III of the new EU Ecolabel Regulation lays down the rules and limits for EU Ecolabel fees. Competent bodies charge fees on an individual basis in accordance with the limits and rules set out in Annex III. Reductions are available for micro-enterprises and SMEs, companies from developing countries and companies registered under EMAS or certified under ISO 14001.
Under normal circumstances, within two months of receiving an application, the competent body checks whether the documentation is complete and notifies the operator accordingly. After this, the applicant has six months to complete the documentation if necessary. If the application is not completed on time, the competent body may reject the application.
Some assessments and verifications of EU Ecolabel criteria require product tests. Specific assessment and verification requirements are indicated within each criterion. Where the applicant is required to provide declarations, documentation, analyses, test reports, or other evidence to show compliance with the criteria, these may originate from the applicant and/or his/her supplier(s) and/or their supplier(s), etc. as appropriate. Competent bodies should preferentially recognise attestations which are issued by bodies accredited in accordance with the relevant harmonised standard for testing and calibration laboratories and verifications by bodies that are accredited in accordance with the relevant harmonised standard for bodies certifying products, processes and services. Where appropriate, test methods other than those indicated for each criterion may be used if the competent body assessing the application accepts their equivalence. Where appropriate, competent bodies may require supporting documentation and may carry out independent verifications or site inspections to check compliance with these criteria. Discover more about testing methods. A list of accredited laboratories for most European countries is available on the European Accreditation Corporation’s website.
Introduction on how to apply
Any company/business wishing to obtain the EU Ecolabel should contact and submit its application to the relevant competent body. The following should be considered:
- If a product originates in an EEA state, the application should be presented to a competent body of that country;
- If a product originates in several states within the EEA (in the same form), the application can be presented to a competent body in any one of the countries in which it originates;
- If a product originates outside the EEA, the application should be presented to a competent body in any of the Member States in which the product is going to be placed on the market.
We encourage you to choose the product group of your interest among the different product and service groups that are currently covered by the EU Ecolabel scheme, to carefully read the associated EU Ecolabel criteria and to make sure that your product falls within its scope (normally the scope is indicated in Article 1 of each criteria set). Please consider also the user manual for your product group, it will help you in preparing the technical dossier. For a short overview of the criteria, you can also look at the Factsheets that are provided for each product group under the respective tabs in the full list of established product and service groups.
Depending on the product/service group, you may need to provide declarations, documents, data sheets and test results to prove compliance with the EU Ecolabel criteria. For more information about tests on products, see the question, ‘Where can businesses have their products tested?’.
While the complete technical dossier should be sent to the relevant national competent body for assessment, an online application should also be notified to the Commission via the ECAT ADMIN Tool. For more information, please consult the dedicated ECAT User Manual for applicants.
You can also reach out to your national competent body (or check their national websites) for competent body guidance in the application process.
For more information on how to make an application, refer to the ‘How to apply for Ecolabel’ section.
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 for applicants and license holders, 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 for applicants and license holders. 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.
Find the detailed fees related to your specific EU Ecolabel application below.
Should you have any questions regarding the related criteria for your good or service, or regarding your application contact your national Competent Body.
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.
Additional information can be found in the ECAT User Manual for applicants License Holders and the EU Ecolabel Logo Guidelines.