Requirement of labels and certification
1. Where contracting authorities intend to purchase works, supplies or services with specific environmental, social or other characteristics or intend to take those characteristics into account in the evaluation, they may, in the technical specifications, the contract performance conditions or the award criteria, require a specific label, provided that all of the following conditions are fulfilled:
- the label requirements only concern criteria which are linked to the subject-matter of the contract and are appropriate to define characteristics of the subject-matter of the contract;
- the label requirements are based on objectively verifiable and non-discriminatory criteria;
- the labels are established in an open and transparent procedure in which all relevant stakeholders, including government bodies, consumers, social partners, manufacturers, distributors and non-governmental organisations may participate;
- the labels are accessible to all interested parties;
- the label requirements are set by a third party over which the economic operator applying for the label cannot exercise a decisive influence.
2. Where contracting authorities do not require the works, supplies or services to meet all of the label requirements, they shall indicate those label requirements which shall be met or are taken into account in the evaluation.
3. Contracting authorities shall accept as proof of compliance all labels that confirm that the works, supplies or services meet equivalent label requirements. Where an economic operator demonstrates that he had no possibility of obtaining the specific label indicated by the contracting authority or an equivalent label within the time limit for the submission of tenders, for reasons that are not attributable to that economic operator, the contracting authority shall accept other appropriate means of proof, in particular a technical dossier from the manufacturer, provided that the economic operator concerned proves that the works, supplies or services to be provided by it fulfil the requirements of the specific label or, in the case set out in paragraph 2, the specific requirements indicated by the contracting authority.
4. Where a label fulfils the conditions provided in points (b), (c), (d) and (e) of paragraph 1 but also sets out requirements not linked to the subject-matter of the contract, contracting authorities shall not require the label as such but may define the technical specification by reference to those of the detailed specifications of that label or, where necessary, parts thereof, that are linked to the subject-matter of the contract and are appropriate to define characteristics of this subject-matter.