EU Digital Passport

Everything you need to know about the new EU Digital Product Passport and what it means for your brand.

December 22, 2022

In an effort to curb climate change, the European Union is continually adopting new standards and setting regulations to move toward a circular economy.

A revolutionary part of the move to a circular economy includes a new proposal that was adopted in March 2022, formally known as the EU Ecodesign for Sustainable Product Regulation. This falls under the EU Green Deal, which aims to make the region climate-neutral by 2050.

Under these regulations, a majority of industries will be required to adopt what’s known as the EU digital product passport, which gives consumers insights into brand sustainability, a product’s lifecycle and more.

Here’s what you need to know about the new EU Digital Product Passport and what it means for your brand.

What is the EU Digital Product Passport?

The EU Digital Product Passport goes hand-in-hand with the European Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) to move to a circular economy.

Essentially, the EU Digital Product Passport holds brands accountable and empowers consumers, helping everyone play a role in the circular economy. With a single tap, it displays a plethora of information on a product.

The EU Digital Product Passport will:

  • Empower consumers, brands themselves, government and other agencies and more with detailed product information
  • Create a “digital twin” of the product with all the required information
  • Detail the product’s environmental (carbon and overall environmental) footprint
  • Increase product traceability throughout its lifecycle along the value chain
  • Track the extraction and production of raw materials
  • Share any substances of concern in the product
  • Detail a product’s durability, reliability, reusability and ability to be upgraded
  • Share resources for recycling, remanufacturing, repairing, reusing, reselling, or otherwise giving products a new or extended life
  • And more

Overall, the DPP gives a comprehensive overview of a product’s life cycle, its environmental impact, what went into making it and how consumers can extend its life by entering it into the circular economy.

This is much in line with the GS1 Digital Link, which is a similar system under the global organization’s standards.

Who Is Required To Have the EU Digital Product Passport?

Most industries will be required to have a Digital Product Passport.

Only a few sectors — including feed, food and medicinal products — will be exempt from the requirement.

As noted by GS1, the Digital Product Passport “applies to any physical good, including components and intermediates products, placed on the EU market or put into service.”

This applies to all products made in Europe and exported to the European Union, meaning all global companies that have products in the region will need to adopt the Digital Product Passport.

When Will Digital Product Passports Be Required?

The Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation package of proposals containing the DPP was adopted in March 2022. While it’s not legally required yet, many companies are getting a head start to be prepared when it is required.

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) submitted its approach to the proposal in July, highlighting potential issues and showing where there’s room for improvement. In September, the Council of the European Union’s Competitiveness Council held a policy debate on the proposal.

Next, the ESPR will head to the European Parliament, which will make a draft decision on the proposal and state whether it should be adopted, changed, or rejected.

While it’s unclear when an official adoption of the ESPR could happen, if it mimics EU battery regulations (which also include a Digital Product Passport), it could see adoption within the next year. (The EU battery regulation proposal was published in December 2020 and may be adopted in December 2022 for implementation in 2023.)

However, because there are still discussions surrounding the specifics of the ESPR, it’s not set in stone when a Digital Product Passport would be required.

The best thing brands can do is get prepared with all the right metrics and tools that a Digital Product Passport will require — like with a Digital Product ID powered by Blue Bite — to be set for success when the ESPR goes into action.


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