Understanding the EU’s Digital Product Passport



In 2024, the European Union (EU) will start a new regulation that requires almost all products sold in the EU to have a Digital Product Passport (DPP).  The aim is to make product information clear and accessible, meeting the growing demand from consumers, investors, and other stakeholders for details about where products come from, what they are made of, and their environmental impacts.


What is a Digital Product Passport?

A Digital Product Passport (DPP) is a digital file that provides detailed information about a product’s life.  This includes where it comes from, the materials used, its environmental impact, and how to dispose of it.  Each product gets a unique identity linked to this data, making the product’s journey and sustainability clear.


The EU’s Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR)

The goal of the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) is to make sustainable products the norm in the EU, reducing their environmental and climate impact.  This rule applies to all products sold in the EU, no matter where they are made.  It includes strict rules on how companies should manage products, like banning the destruction of unsold clothing and footwear, and making products last longer and easier to repair.

The ESPR proposal was introduced by the European Commission in March 2022, as part of the Circular Economy Action Plan under the European Green Deal.  As of June 2024, the ESPR had been proposed but not fully adopted. The regulation aims to make sustainable products the norm within the EU by setting strict rules on product design, durability, reparability, and resource efficiency, among other factors.  The European Parliament approved the ESPR in April 2024, but the full adoption process involves further negotiations and finalisation by the Council of the European Union.


The New Digital Product Passport (DPP)

A key part of the ESPR is the Digital Product Passport.  The EU Commission will run a public web portal where consumers can look up and compare sustainability information from the product passports.  Companies with complex supply chains will need to understand and document each stage of their value chain to meet these requirements.


Timeline and Scope

Digital Product Passports are not required yet, but they are expected to become mandatory for various products between 2026 and 2030.  This rule will apply across all 27 EU member countries and cover many types of products, focusing on those with high environmental impacts and big improvement potential.  These include:

  • Textiles (e.g., clothing and footwear)
  • Furniture
  • Chemicals
  • Batteries
  • Consumer electronics
  • Electronic devices
  • Construction products

Components of the Digital Product Passport

To meet the EU’s DPP data requirements, a Digital Product Passport should include:

  • A unique product identifier (UID)
  • A global trade identification number as per ISO/IEC standards or equivalent (International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC))
  • TARIC (Integrated Tariff Rate System) code and other relevant commodity codes
  • Compliance documents (e.g., declaration of conformity, technical documentation, conformity certificates)
  • Information on substances of concern
  • User manuals, instructions, warnings, and safety information
  • Details about the manufacturer, operators, and importer
  • Unique facility identifiers
  • Information for consumers on how to install, use, maintain, and repair the product to ensure long life and minimise negative impact
  • Information on how to return or dispose of the product at end-of-life
  • Information for treatment facilities on disassembly, recycling, or disposal

The exact data required will vary depending on the product type and specific delegated acts of the ESPR.

Benefits of Implementing Digital Product Passports

Enhanced Transparency

DPPs give detailed information about product origins, materials, and environmental impacts, increasing visibility for a company’s brand and fostering trust among customers.

Improved Supply Chain Management

DPPs provide a full digital record of a product’s value chain, helping companies optimise processes, reduce environmental impact, and ensure a more sustainable and efficient supply chain.

Regulatory Compliance

DPPs help companies easily meet environmental standards and regulations, promoting responsible and sustainable business practices.

Trust Building

By providing transparent and verifiable information on a product’s origin, authenticity, and compliance with relevant standards, DPPs help build trust among customers, investors, and other stakeholders.


The introduction of the Digital Product Passport is a big step toward better transparency and sustainability in the EU market.  By understanding and preparing for these new requirements, businesses can not only comply with regulations but also enhance their brand’s reputation, improve supply chain efficiency, and build stronger trust with stakeholders.

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