Impact analysis and commission report to Parliament on voluntary agreement on imaging equipment: imaging devices are covered by a voluntary agreement. A voluntary agreement is proposed by the industries and serves as an alternative to EU ecodesign regulations. This self-regulation allows industries to achieve ecodesign goals faster or at a lower cost compared to mandatory requirements. The signatories of the agreement control their implementation. It was felt that at this stage there was insufficient evidence to develop policy proposals and that some environmental effects had already been taken into account under the Energy Star programme. That is why a voluntary agreement was proposed, although the Commission said that the regulation would also be taken into consideration. The voluntary agreement was signed at the age of sixteen. They are estimated to account for more than 90% of the total EU market for imaging devices. 20 April 2004: The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the proposed EU Framework Directive on Ecodesign for Energy Efficiency and other environmental features of products.
The resolution calls for the following measures: – One year after the adoption of the Framework Directive, the Commission should take action on products with high potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a high cost. These include heating and water heating, electric motor installations, lighting, appliances, office equipment, consumer electronics, and ventilation and air conditioning systems. Similarly, loss of availability of all products should be regulated as quickly as possible. – consumer information requirements for manufacturers and distributors, with information on the impact on the life cycle and the efficient use of products. – the creation of an eco-design body, with the balanced participation of all interested parties, including environmental NGOs. 10 June 2004: The proposal was debated by EU ministers on 10 June and they reached a political agreement, but some were still outstanding. Editor`s Opinion: It`s good news that consumables are on the table, but there are a lot of exclusions like subscription and contract sales (MPS). In particular, there are no targets for the reuse of consumables. The VA is certainly an improvement over the previous version, but it only applies between the signatories and does not address the whole market.