Within the UK and Europe, it would have been more straightforward if the regulations regarding energy labelling were straight-forward for all of the member states of European Union and also for the whole of the United Kingdom, however the reality is somewhat more complex. Firstly, the definition of the European Union relates to all member states and also to Northern Ireland, which under the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol will continue to operate within the EU system. For the United Kingdom, the term is now referred to is ‘GB’ which consists of the countries within the UK mainland, that of England, Scotland and Wales.
If we consider the European Commission Regulations relating to the EU and NI first, which will apply from the 1st of September 2021, and is given in the ‘Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2015 of 11 March 2019’ with regard to energy labelling of light sources. Within this document, Article 3, relating to the obligations of suppliers, states that ‘each light source which is placed on the market as an independent product (i.e. not in a containing product) and in packaging, is supplied with a label, printed on the packaging’ and ‘upon request by dealers ……. printed labels to rescale products are provided as a sticker, of the same size as the one which already exists’ Within Article 4, under the obligations by dealers, the dealer shall ensure that ‘existing labels on light sources at points of sale are replaced by the rescaled labels in such a way as to cover the existing label, including when printed on or attached to the package, within eighteen months after the application of this Regulation.’
If it is accepted that the supplier relates to that of the lighting manufacturer, then the dealer is that of the electrical wholesale distributor, then the wholesaler shall ensure that at the point of sale, existing labels on light sources are replaced by the rescaled label in such a way as to completely cover the current label within eighteen months after the application of the Regulation, of the 1st of September 2021, which is by the 28th of February 2021.
If we now consider the UK Regulation relating to GB, which to date has only been published as a draft document and which is expected to be published as a full UK Statutory Instrument during September 2021. The information detailed below is from the draft document and with the delay in publication the UK SI, it will apply from the 1st of October 2021 and allow a one-month transitional period until midnight on the 31st of October. Within Chapter 3 on Energy Labelling of Light Sources, the obligations of supplier’s states that ‘suppliers must ensure that – each light source which is placed on the market as an independent product and in packaging is supplied with a label, printed on the packaging’ and under the obligations by dealers, ‘dealers must ensure that – at the point of sale, each light source which is placed on the market and is not in a containing product bears the label provided by the supplier’ For light sources placed on the market before 1st October 2021, the requirements apply in relation to light sources which are placed on the market before 1st October 2021 where ‘dealers must ensure that, before 1st April 2023 – existing labels on light sources at points of sale are replaced by rescaled labels in such a way as to cover the existing label, including when the label is printed on or attached to the packaging’ and that suppliers must ensure that, upon request by dealers ‘in the case of any light sources marketed through a point of sale, a rescaled label is provided for each light source in the form of a printed sticker in a size that permits it to cover the existing label’.
What does this mean for the ‘dealer’ (electrical wholesale distributor)?
Firstly, it can be seen that the European Union (EU) and Northern Ireland (NI) will change on the 1st of September, with Great Britain (GB) changing one month later on the 1st of October. These dates for change relate to the date upon which products were placed on the market, whether that be before or after that date of application and which will vary according to the specific product as well as across different suppliers.
For the EU European Union (EU) and Northern Ireland (NI), the regulations shall apply from the 1st of September 2021 and any stock held in the EU/NI manufacturer’s warehouse and at your electrical wholesaler branch on that date will have already been placed on the market under the previous legislation and can therefore be offered for sale displaying the current EU Energy Label. This will mean that as the wholesaler, you can continue to display & supply to the customer, light sources with the current Energy Label, where those products had been placed on the market by the manufacturer before midnight on the 31st of August 2021 (CET) and onwards until all the supplier stock is sold through or until midnight on the 28th of February 2023 (CET) at which time the rescaled Energy Label must then be displayed.
For Great Britain (GB), the regulations shall apply from the 1st of October 2021 under the same conditions as for the EU, but delayed by one calendar month with all products which had been placed on the market by the manufacturer before midnight on the 30th September 2021 (GMT+1) and onwards until all the supplier stock is sold through or until midnight on the 31st of March 2023 (GMT) at which time the rescaled Energy Label must be shown.
What action is the dealer required to take on the 1st of September for the EU & NI? What action is the dealer required to take on the 1st of October for GB?
Immediately, well none really!!
The part of the regulations which applies is the date at which product was placed on the market, and all stock held at the supplier’s warehouse and also with you as the wholesaler, is already considered as being on the market, so requires no change. The supplier (manufacturer) will be required to make the changes as new stock is placed on the market subsequent to the date of which the appropriate regulation applies and this will be sold to you displaying the new energy label, so again no action required.
What action is the dealer required to take moving forward?
Not a massive amount, however, the action required is more of one to do with ‘housekeeping’ in that as new products arrive for stock, those members of your staff putting the products away should rotate the stock, as they do in the supermarket, so that the older stock is sold first, leaving the newer stock at the rear of the shelf. In doing this, it is hoped that all stock will be sold through prior to the date at which it is mandatory to change labels. This will hopefully mean that no further work is required on your part to request the new labels from the suppliers and take time to affix them to the relevant light sources, possibly a pretty time-consuming task. It can then be expected on that date, you will be fully compliant having sold through all current labelled stock, leaving you not having to carry out the task of placing new labels over old ones.