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EU publishes guidelines for validating green claims

The European Union (EU) has adopted new rules for companies to comply with a ban on greenwashing of products.

The so-called green claims directive complements the already-approved EU ban on greenwashing.

MEPs agreed with the Commission that companies should submit any future environmental marketing claims for approval before using them.

The claims would be assessed by accredited verifiers within 30 days, according to adopted text.

Companies who break the rules may be excluded from procurements, lose their revenues and face a fine of at least at 4% of their annual turnover.

The Commission should draw up a list of less complex claims and products that could benefit from faster or simpler verification, MEPs say.

It should also decide whether green claims about products containing hazardous substances should remain possible.

MEPs also agreed that micro enterprises should be excluded from the new obligations and SMEs should get one extra year before applying the rules.

MEPs confirmed the recent EU ban on green claims based solely on the so-called carbon offsetting schemes.

They now specify that companies could still mention offsetting schemes if they have already reduced their emissions as much as possible and use these schemes for residual emissions only.

The carbon credits of the schemes must be certified, as established under the Carbon Removals Certification Framework.

Special rules would also apply to comparative claims (i.e. ads comparing two different goods), including if the two products are made by the same producer.

Among other provisions, companies should demonstrate they have used the same methods to compare relevant aspects of the products.

Also, claims that products have been improved cannot be based on data that are more than five years old.

“Studies show that 50% of companies' environmental claims are misleading. Consumers and entrepreneurs deserve transparency, legal clarity and equal conditions of competition,” said the European Parliament’s rapporteur  for the Internal Market Committee Andrus Ansip.

“Traders are willing to pay for it, but not more than they gain from it. I am pleased that the solution proposed by the committees is balanced, brings more clarity to consumers and at the same time is, in many cases, less burdensome,” he added.

The draft report was adopted with 85 votes to 2 and 14 abstentions. It will now be put to a vote at an upcoming plenary session and will constitute Parliament’s position at first reading, most likely in March.

The file will be followed up by the new Parliament after the European elections on 6-9 June.

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Upcoming Events

in-cosmetics Global

Paris Expo Porte de Versailles
16th – 18th April 2024

NYSCC Suppliers' Day 2024

Javits Center, New York
1st - 2nd May 2024

9th Anti-Ageing Skin Care Conference

Royal College of Physicians, London
25th - 26th June 2024

in-cosmetics Korea 2024

Hall C, Coex, Seoul, South Korea
24th - 26th July 2024

in-cosmetics Latin America 2024

São Paulo, Brazil
25th - 26th September 2024

IFSCC 2024

Recanto das Cataratas Thermas Resort, Iguazu Falls, Brazil
14th - 17th October 2024

Access the latest issue of Personal Care Magazine on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Personal Care Magazine app from your device's App store

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