On the EU digital product passport

The fact that products should carry a passport is not new, and definitely not new in GS1. The real change is that this is happening through legislation and by leveraging both green and digital transformations.

The regulation states that “the product passport means a set of data specific to a product that includes the information (specified in the delegated act) and that is accessible via electronic means through a data carrier”. 

Under the new regulation, the product passport shall: 

  • ensure that actors along the value chain, including consumers, economic operators, and competent national authorities, can access product information relevant to them
  • improve traceability of products along the value chain
  • facilitate the verification of product compliance by competent national authorities
  • include the necessary data attributes to enable the tracking of all substances of concern throughout the lifecycle of the products covered

For GS1, it is important to note that product passports shall be fully interoperable with other product passports across all product groups, including in relation to the technical, semantic and organisational aspects of inter-operability, end-to-end communication, and data transfer. So, the product passport becomes an enabler of interoperability but also a necessary element to place products on the EU market under the conformity assessment procedure.

In addition, the regulation clarifies that consumers, economic operators and other relevant actors shall have free access to the product passport based on their respective access rights.

To better evaluate the business implications linked to the implementation of the digital product passport, Deloitte developed a study showing three different scenarios based on cost-benefit analysis.

For GS1, it’s important to note that implementation costs to enable the digital product passport in Europe could reach up to 0.1% of the EU GDP (like the economy of Malta) if open, international standards were not included in the data architecture.

The study is available here.