EU Parliament votes in favour of Directive revising rules on unfair commercial practices and prohibiting greenwashing

26 JANUARY 2024

On 17 January the European Parliament sitting in Plenary voted with 593 votes in favour, 21 against and 14 abstentions, to support the compromise text on the EU directive on Empowering consumers for the green transition.

The directive restricts the way marketing claims around environmental performance of goods can be made to consumers. It does this through:

 · Prohibiting generic environmental claims, e.g. “environmentally friendly”, “natural”, “biodegradable”, “climate neutral” or “eco”, without proof of recognised excellent environmental performance relevant to the claim;

· Prohibiting commercial communications about a good with a feature that limits its durability if information is available on the feature and its effects on the durability;

· Prohibiting claims based on emissions offsetting schemes that a product has neutral, reduced or positive impact on the environment;

· Prohibiting sustainability labels not based on approved certification schemes or established by public authorities;

· Prohibiting durability claims in terms of usage time or intensity under normal conditions, if not proven;

· Prohibiting prompting the consumer to replace consumables, such as printer ink cartridges, earlier than strictly necessary;

· Prohibiting presenting software updates as necessary even if they only enhance functionality features;

· Prohibiting presenting goods as repairable when they are not.

Council will now have to give its final approval to the directive, and it will be signed into law. Once it is published in the Official Journal, Member states will have 24 months to transpose it into national law. 

Additionally, the committees of the European Parliament are also considering the Green Claims Directive (Substantiation and communication of explicit environmental claims), with the vote in the joint committee (Environment and Internal Market and Consumer Protection) scheduled for mid-February 2024

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Contact: Lebo Mofolo,