Portugal Approves Regulations for Waste, Energy Efficiency Labeling for Products

MADRID--Portugal’s caretaker government has approved regulations on waste and energy efficiency labeling to comply with EU standards.

The acting Council of Ministers March 24 approved two decree-laws (numbers pending) that will enter into force following publication in the Diário de República, Portugal’s national register.

The first decree establishes a general waste regime. It sets recycling and reuse goals to be reached by 2020, broadens the organized waste market to allow for the treatment and reuse of hazardous waste, simplifies the licensing process for waste treatment and management, and introduces an electronic waybill to accompany the transport of waste.

It requires monitoring of the life-cycle of products and materials and calls for new national goals for the management of used oils.

According to the Council, the decree aims to bring Portugal into compliance with the European Union's Directive 2008/98/EC on waste.

The second decree, which the Council said would help Portugal meet its goals in fighting climate change, will require that products carry energy efficiency labels and be accompanied by information allowing consumers to determine the energy impact of their purchases.

This will affect domestic, commercial, and industrial products, as well as certain products that do not necessarily consume energy but help to save energy, for example windows and insulation.

The decree aims to put Portugal in compliance with Directive 2010/30/EU on labeling and providing standard product information on the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products.

While Prime Minister Jose Socrates resigned March 23, the Portuguese Constitution allows the remaining caretaker government to adopt measures that are “strictly necessary in order to ensure the management of public affairs.” This includes the fulfillment of international obligations, such as through the decrees approved.

By Brett Allan King