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Normas de sostenibilidad en la industria de la bicicleta

Product passports: the key to complying with a new generation of sustainability rules?

Por Kevin Mayne

With the European Parliament set to make a landmark announcement on the need for a European cycling strategy this month, 2023 may be the year cycling gains the recognition it deserves from the EU Institutions as a crucial mode of transport and industry to meet climate change and sustainability targets.

But the cycling industry, like many other key manufacturing sectors, are also being shaped by a host of new requirements and obligations announced at the end of 2022, with the EU taking several steps to move its sustainability and circular policy agenda forward. Delivering regulatory compliance solutions in due time will be a challenge for all. By working with Cycling Industries Europe, cycling companies have a chance to shape these solutions collectively and turn short-term headaches into long-term opportunities.

Batteries and sustainability

The new Battery Regulation announced in December 2022 is the most likely to have an immediate effect since it will introduce common EU requirements for all batteries, including e-bike batteries. The Regulation sets out new sustainability requirements on carbon footprint, recycled content and performance and durability that will be introduced gradually from 2024 onwards. Companies placing batteries on the EU market will need to comply with Extended Producer Responsibility rules by 2025, gradually use more recycled raw materials for battery production and meet increasing battery collection targets.

Product passports for batteries are being introduced as part of the Regulation to ensure and demonstrate compliance with the new rules. The inclusion of an identification number for each product, with information on origin, durability, repairs and performance – ultimately encompassing a product’s full life-cycle – and accessible through a QR code, is in all likelihood a first test case for a much broader deployment of product passports.

Further initiatives are likely to make product passports – backed by industry collaboration – the key to regulatory compliance. In 2023, the European Commission will be asked to follow-up on the European Parliament’s right to repair wish-list, which could lead to stricter requirements for the duration of availability of spare parts and the introduction of new durability and repair requirements in a future update of the Ecodesign Directive.


New rules on handling waste from packaging – incidentally, requirements pre-empted by CIE in its industry packaging pledge – as well as a ‘Critical Raw Materials Act’ and a ‘Green Deal Industrial Plan’, backed by the development of ‘Industrial Data Spaces’ for mobility and manufacturing all point to more digitalisation and enhanced traceability with product passports.

The European Commission’s intentions appear to the fore in its proposal to update Ecodesign rules, stating that “Structuring information on the environmental sustainability of products and transmitting it by means of digital product passports will help businesses along the value chain, from manufacturers, importers and distributors to dealers, repairers, remanufacturers and recyclers, to access information that is valuable in their work to improve environmental performance, prolong product lifetime, boost efficiency and the use of secondary raw materials, thus lowering the need for primary natural resources, saving costs and reducing strategic dependencies.”

As clear trends emerge from Brussels, Cycling Industries Europe will continue following these key developments for a sustainable and resilient industry and will be increasing its focus on supply chain and traceability issues in collaboration with its members. We see anticipating requirements and collaborating effectively as an industry as the key to overcoming upcoming compliance challenge and setting clear trends for the future.

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