In addition to the basic legal requirement that self-regulatory initiatives shall comply with all provisions of the Treaty (in particular internal market and competition rules), as well as with the international engagements of the Community, including multilateral trade rules, the following non-exhaustive list of indicative criteria may be used to evaluate the admissibility of self-regulatory initiatives as an alternative to an implementing measure in the context of this Directive:

1.Openness of participation

Self-regulatory initiatives shall be open to the participation of third country operators, both in the preparatory and in the implementation phases.

2.Added value

Self-regulatory initiatives shall deliver added value (more than ‘business as usual’) in terms of the improved overall environmental performance of the EuP covered.


Industry and their associations taking part in a self-regulatory action shall represent a large majority of the relevant economic sector, with as few exceptions as possible. Care shall be taken to ensure respect for competition rules.

4.Quantified and staged objectives

The objectives defined by the stakeholders shall be set in clear and unambiguous terms, starting from a well-defined baseline. If the self-regulatory initiative covers a long time-span, interim targets shall be included. It must be possible to monitor compliance with objectives and (interim) targets in an affordable and credible way using clear and reliable indicators. Research information and scientific and technological background data shall facilitate the development of these indicators.

5.Involvement of civil society

With a view to ensuring transparency, self-regulatory initiatives shall be publicised, including through the use of the Internet and other electronic means of disseminating information.

The same shall apply to interim and final monitoring reports. Stakeholders including Member States, industry, environmental NGOs and consumers' associations shall be invited to comment on a self-regulatory initiative.

6.Monitoring and reporting

Self-regulatory initiatives shall contain a well-designed monitoring system, with clearly identified responsibilities for industry and independent inspectors. The Commission services, in partnership with the parties to the self-regulatory initiative, shall be invited to monitor the achievement of the objectives.

The plan for monitoring and reporting shall be detailed, transparent and objective. It shall remain for the Commission services, assisted by the Committee referred to in Article 19(1), to consider whether the objectives of the voluntary agreement or other self-regulatory measures have been met.

7.Cost-effectiveness of administering a self-regulatory initiative

The cost of administering self-regulatory initiatives, in particular as regards monitoring, shall not lead to a disproportionate administrative burden, as compared to their objectives and to other available policy instruments.


Self-regulatory initiatives shall respond to the policy objectives of this Directive including the integrated approach and shall be consistent with the economic and social dimensions of sustainable development. The protection of consumers' interests (health, quality of life and economic interests) shall be integrated.

9.Incentive compatibility

Self-regulatory initiatives are unlikely to deliver the expected results if other factors and incentives — market pressure, taxes, and legislation at national level — send contradictory signals to participants in the commitment. Policy consistency is essential in this regard and shall be taken into consideration when assessing the effectiveness of the initiative.