On June 15, 2021, the Ministry of Environment (MOE) of South Korea published a draft amendment “Eco-Label Target Products and Certification Criteria” and invited comments on the draft by July 5, 2021. The Eco-label Target Products and Certification Criteria has established a scheme in which target products that meet the stipulated criteria can bear an eco-label by making an application to MOE for certification. In consideration of the current technological level of the domestic industrial sector and harmonization with other related schemes, the draft amendment proposes to strengthen the certification criteria (such as permissible levels of hazardous substances) and testing and verification methods for a total of 33 products including toner cartridges, copiers, printers, furniture, LED lamps, gas boilers, and air fresheners. In addition, the draft amendment will allow companies to choose certifying laboratories that will test their products for eco-label certification from among qualified testing laboratories, whereas currently certifying laboratories that perform the testing are designated by the government.
The outline of the eco-labeling scheme is as follows:
- The eco-labeling scheme is a voluntary one that aims to provide consumers with information on the environmental performance of each product and to encourage companies to develop environmentally friendly products.
- Companies wishing to obtain an eco-label must prepare required data on the environmental performance and quality of the intended product and submit an application to MOE for certification.
- This scheme covers about 170 types of products, including office equipment such as computers and printers, office supplies such as stationery, household products such as furniture, construction materials and equipment and detergents, and electrical and electronic products such as air conditioners, washing machines, and televisions. Specifically, the Annex 1 of the Eco-label Target Products and Certification Criteria provides the list of the target products.
- If a product gets certified under this scheme, it will be subject of environmental policy-related incentives (e.g., it will be added to the list of products that public institutions are obliged to procure).
- The design of the eco-label is as indicated below:
(“Eco-friendly” in English)
After the public consultation, the draft amendment will be submitted to the Plenary Session of the National Assembly following examination at the responsible standing committee.
The draft amendment can be viewed at:
- The Eco-label Target Products and Certification Criteria: