29 March 2023
Cotance is one of more than 30 EU industry associations that have submitted a joint statement highlighting a major loophole in the Ecodesign for Sustainable Product Regulation (ESPR), writes ILM.
The group of organisations, including the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (CEC), is warning that millions of products will be able to get around the EU regulations through a major loophole – where goods are sold online by trades located outside of the EU which do now have an EU-based economic operator that can be held liable for the traders’ products and activities.
The statement notes that many of the sectors identified by the ESPR are increasingly sold online, and heterogeneous definitions in existing legislation such as manufacturers, importers, distributors and dealers are not well adapted to realities of ecommerce.
The organisations also say that Europe is already experiencing “flagrant non-compliance linked to products sold online and imported from outside of the EU – with high rates of free-riding, tax avoidance, unfair competition to EU industry, product safety risks, toxicity and negative environmental impacts”.
Because the ESPR currently stands to allow businesses outside the union to sell and unfairly generate revenues from non-compliant products, the joint statement is recommending that:
The statement reads: “The undersigned organisations call for urgent action to prevent market failure under the Green Deal. A growing imbalance in new sustainability laws further distorts fair competition and undermines the efforts of European companies that invest in complying with EU rules.”