Energy labels, a qualified electronic seal and the EPREL database: how to get started?


Energy labels have been around for quite some time now. They were first introduced within the European Union back in 1994 for a few household appliances, but have since then been implemented in a fully developed framework. As technology advances, the European Union makes its best efforts to advance with it. In the context of the European energy label this resulted in the creation of an online product database (better known as EPREL) where suppliers need to upload specific information in order to generate the required energy label for their products.

This post will explain what this exactly entails for you as a product supplier and how Connective’s services and our Qualified Electronic Seal can help you fulfill your obligations.

What is EPREL?

Following Regulation (EU) 2017/1369, the European Commission was tasked with establishing and maintaining a product database consisting of a public part, a compliance part and an online portal giving access to both parts[1]. This obligation ultimately resulted in the creation of the European Product Database for Energy Labeling, EPREL.

As already mentioned, EPREL serves a dual purpose. On the one hand, suppliers must upload the technical documentation which is required in order to be compliant with the Regulation[2]. While on the other hand, the public part of the database should allow consumers (when scanning the QR code on the energy label) to find publicly accessible information about the product such as energy efficiency, dimensions, warranty, annual consumption, and more[3].

Which products must be registered in EPREL?

As from 1 January 2019, registration in EPREL is mandatory for the following product groups[4]:

Qualified e-Seal

Registration with a qualified electronic seal

Before you are able to register your products however, you will have to register your organization in order to use the database. This is where Connective’s services could prove to be an invaluable asset.

Since February 2022, the EPREL platform obliges suppliers (who are legal entities)[5] to digitally verify their identity[6]. Before you can verify your organization’s identity, you will have to upload your Business Register Number, your Business Register ID and your Organization Identifier onto EPREL. For your convenience, the European Commission has published a set of guidelines on how to do this on their website.

The actual verification of your organization’s identity will rely on the technology of electronic sealing[7]. In essence, electronic seals and electronic signatures are different sides of the same coin. The big difference is that electronic signatures are used for natural persons while electronic seals are used for legal entities. It thus comes as no surprise that electronic seals and electronic signatures are regulated by the same instrument: the Electronic Identification and Trust Services (eIDAS) Regulation.

The eIDAS Regulation distinguishes between three different types of electronic seals:

• Simple Electronic Seal
• Advanced Electronic Seal
• Qualified Electronic Seal

The differences between the different types of electronic seals are identical to the differences between the different types of electronic signatures. If you want to learn more about the differences between the three types of electronic seals/signatures, please consult one of our previous blog posts.

The European Commission has opted to require a Qualified Electronic Seal to verify the identity of organizations using EPREL[8]. The reason being that this type of electronic seal is best fit to ensure the authenticity of the uploaded information[9].

How can we help?

Although a Qualified Electronic Seal is indeed best fit to ensure authenticity, it is also the most difficult and complex type of electronic seal to come by since it may only be issued by a Qualified Service Provider. This is where Connective comes to the aid of your organization.

Connective is a Qualified Trust Service Provider compliant with the stringent requirements set out in the eIDAS Regulation. In collaboration with our partners, we can provide your organization with Qualified Certificates which you then can use to digitally seal your documents while using Connective eSignatures.

Using Connective’s services allows your organization to comply with its legal obligations by getting the necessary documents signed with the required Qualified e-Seal in order to verify your organization in the EPREL database.

Questions? Don't hesitate to contact us!

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