FAQ

On EuroVAprint

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  • What is EuroVAprint ASBL?

    EuroVAprint is an association of leading producers of imaging equipment. It has been created as a not-for-profit organization and is based in Brussels, Belgium.

  • What is the background to the establishment of EuroVAprint ASBL?

    Amid growing concern about energy usage and its long-term environmental effects, the European Union (EU) adopted Directive 2009/125/EC on energy-related products (ErP) (formerly EuP). This directive created a framework for the development of EU-wide rules for improving the environmental performance of energy-related products through minimum eco-design requirements. Anticipating EU moves towards regulation aimed specifically at imaging products, industry leaders developed the idea of a voluntary agreement to improve standards as an alternative to legislative regulation. This approach was agreed jointly in 2011 with the European Commission after it had commissioned a preparatory study following the standard methodology for the assessment of products groups under the ErP Directive.

    EuroVAprint ASBL was set up as a platform for the management and oversight of the voluntary agreement. For more information on the voluntary agreement please see section on voluntary agreement below.

  • What does EuroVAprint ASBL do?

    EuroVAprint ASBL serves as a legal and administrative framework for the operation of the voluntary agreement and ensures that the provisions of the voluntary agreement, particularly with regard to the compilation and reporting of information, are carried out. Establishing a binding and separate framework in this way acts as a guarantee of the industry’s commitment to meeting its obligations under the voluntary agreement. The signatories to the voluntary agreement want to ensure that their customers and partners have confidence in the industry’s integrity.

  • How is EuroVAprint ASBL run?

    EuroVAprint ASBL is managed by a board of five members (Canon, Epson, HP, Lexmark and Xerox) from five of the original six companies (Canon, Epson, HP, Lexmark, Oki and Xerox) that came together to create the association. EuroVAprint ASBL is subject to Belgian legislation on not-for-profit organisations. EuroVAprint ASBL’s day-to-day administration is managed by a Secretary General who is appointed by the board.

On the voluntary agreement

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  • What is the voluntary agreement about?

    The voluntary agreement is an accord drawn up by the members of EuroVAprint. It sets out a range of measures and targets that signatories are expected to fulfill from 2012 in order to improve the environmental performance of imaging equipment placed on the European market. The wider purpose of the voluntary agreement is to showcase the imaging industry as an innovative sector that is constantly improving the sustainability of its products.

  • What products are covered by the voluntary agreement?

    The voluntary agreement covers imaging equipment belonging to one of the following product categories that have been assessed during the EuP Lot 4 preparatory study:

    • copiers
    • multifunction devices
    • printers
    • fax machines.

    The marking technologies covered by the voluntary agreement are: 

    • electrophotography (laser)
    • inkjet
    • solid ink

    Other products can voluntarily be registered under the voluntary agreement by one or more signatories.

    Further details on which products are covered can be found in the voluntary agreement, section 3.3.

  • What does the voluntary agreement commit my company to do?

    The voluntary agreement commits signatories to comply with a set of design and information requirements. Design requirements include specific targets in relation to energy consumption, default delay times, duplex pre-setting, N-up printing, recycling and cartridge reuse. Information requirements cover resource and energy efficiency and cartridge disposal.

    Further details on specific targets, design and information requirements can be found in the voluntary agreement, sections 4, 5 and 6.

  • Who are the current signatories to the voluntary agreement?

     As of January 2012 the signatories to the voluntary agreement are: Brother, Canon, Epson Europe, Hewlett Packard, Konica Minolta, Kyocera Document Solutions, Lexmark, Oki, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba and Xerox.

    These companies account for 96 per cent of market coverage based on units sold in the European Union. 

  • What are the advantages of the voluntary agreement for signatories?

    The voluntary agreement is a demonstration of the industry’s contribution to the EU’s eco-design objectives, the EU Action Plan on Energy Efficiency, the EU Resource Efficiency Roadmap, the EU 2020 emissions reduction targets and the EU Energy Related Products framework.

    The voluntary agreement also reinforces transparency in the interest of customers. Providing accurate, detailed and transparent information about the environmental performance of products enables customers to make more sustainable purchasing decisions. The voluntary agreement also acts as a guarantor of transparency and integrity because it is supervised independentl.

  • How are signatories involved in the management of the voluntary agreement?

    The voluntary agreement is supervised by a Steering Committee. Each signatory can nominate one representative for the Steering Committee. Additionally, membership of the Steering Committee is open to any potential signatory of the voluntary agreement. Representatives of the European Commission are invited to co-chair Steering Committee meetings. Finally, representatives from national governments and some relevant NGOs may also attend as observers.

  • How does the Steering Committee of the voluntary agreement operate?

    The Steering Committee elects a chair (currently a representative of the signatories), who convenes meetings at least once in every reporting period (normally a calendar year). The Steering Committee will always try to achieve a consensus but for cases in which a consensus is impossible there are provisions for voting. Each company has one vote.

  • How will the voluntary agreement be implemented and supervised?

    EuroVAprint has assigned the responsibility for verification of the voluntary agreement to an independent inspector. Following a competitive tender process, EuroVAprint awarded the independent inspector contract to Edif ERA (formerly ERA). a reputable consultancy based in the UK.

  • How is the voluntary agreement compliance information compiled?

    Shortly after the end of a reporting period, the independent inspector requests signatories to submit a compliance report. Signatories are responsible for submitting this information within three months. The information they are obliged to provide includes their sales data per model and their rate of compliance with the various criteria in the voluntary agreement relating to environmental performance.

    The independent inspector collates the various reports into a progress report. This represents an overall view of the signatories’ compliance with the commitments they have made under the voluntary agreement. Companies’ data are compiled individually but anonymously (e.g. “Company A, B” etc.) and then aggregated.

  • What happens in case of non-compliance?

    The voluntary agreement contains provisions for non-compliance. Where a signatory misses the voluntary agreement’s specified compliance target by five per cent or less the Steering Committee will allow the signatory a grace period of six months to meet that target. Where a signatory misses a specified target by more than five per cent the Steering Committee will open discussions with the signatory and change the signatory’s status from full signatory to defaulting signatory.

    If a signatory does not comply with the original or revised obligations as set out by the Steering Committee it shall no longer be allowed to participate in the voluntary agreement and shall be deleted from the list of signatories.

How to report compliance issues?

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  • Who can report non-compliance?

     Anyone can report non-compliance (individuals, companies, NGOs, institutions).

     

  • How do I report non-compliance?

    The third party making the non-compliance allegation should request an allegation form from the EuroVAprint secretariat (secretariat(at)eurovaprint.eu). The form, developed by the Independent Inspector, will require the third party to define:

    • The name of the alleged non-compliant Signatory,
    • The nature of the alleged non-compliance (specified against the auditable items set out in Appendix 1 of this proposal),
    • The period during which the alleged non-compliance occurred,
    • The model(s) alleged to be affected,
    • A summary of the supporting evidence.

    The allegation form will also set out the terms of the allegation process as per Annex E of the VA. All supporting evidence shall be provided to the Independent Inspector by the third party.

  • Will the company investigated know that an allegation of non-compliance has been made?

    Yes. Once contacted by the third-party making the allegation, the Independent Inspector will in turn inform the Steering Committee of the name of the third party, of the name of the company investigated and of the type of allegation.

  • Who investigates non-compliance?

    Any allegation of non-compliance is investigated by the Independent Inspector:

    Edif ERA
    UK Surrey Head Office
    Cleeve Road
    Leatherhead
    Surrey
    KT22 7SA
    United Kingdom 

    Tel: +44 (0) 1372 367345
    Fax: +44 (0) 1372 367359
    Email: info(at)edifera.com

  • How will the independent inspector investigate the non-compliance

    The following chart details the process of the non-compliance investigation:

  • Who pays the non-compliance investigation?

    The party making the allegation should constitute an escrow of EUR 4,000 with the following firm:

    DWK LLP
    Alain Costantini
    Allée de Clerlande 3
    1340 Ottignies Louvain-la-Neuve
    alain.costantini(at)dkw-law.com 
    dkw-law.com 

  • What happens if the allegation is upheld?

    In the event of the allegation being upheld by the Independent Inspector, the Independent Inspector will notify the Steering Committee who will confirm to EuroVAprint that the escrow shall be refunded to the Third Party and all investigation costs shall be paid by the Signatory that is found to be non-compliant.

  • What happens if the allegation is not upheld?

    In the event of the allegation not being upheld by the Independent Inspector’s investigation, the Independent Inspector will notify the Steering Committee who will confirm to EuroVAprint that the costs of the investigation shall be recovered from the Third Party by way of the escrow. The Third party shall also be responsible for additional costs incurred beyond the amount of the Escrow.

  • How long does it take?

    The Independent Inspector will submit their findings to the Steering Committee and the third-party within 4 weeks of receiving notification that the fee is held in escrow.

  • Who will confirm whether there is non-compliance?

    The Steering Committee will inform the third-party in writing, within 2 weeks of receiving the report from the Independent Inspector.

  • What happens if non-compliance is confirmed?

    The company being investigated will fall under the provisions of article 12 of the Voluntary Agreement for non-compliance.

    If a Signatory fails to meet its commitments under Sections 4, 5, or 6 of the present VA, the Signatory should be subject to an audit in the year following the default. 

    If this audit finds that the Signatory is still not in compliance, it will be considered to have withdrawn from the VA.

    In case of non-compliance with the deadlines in Section 8, the Signatory will have 1 month to propose a compliance plan that would correct the situation. Should this Signatory fail to comply with this deadline, or fails to meet its obligations for a second year in a row, it shall be considered to have withdrawn from the VA.

    The defaulting company may reapply for membership of the Voluntary Agreement.

    For information, the sections cover the following topics:

    Section 4 – Primary Design Requirements
    Section 5 – Other Resource Efficiency Requirements
    Section 6 – Information Requirements for End-Users
    Section 8 – Reporting