Durability. Circular economy. Recycling. Terms that have steadily grown in importance in recent years. We are moving towards a greener world, and organisations can’t afford to be left behind. This also applies to the upcoming introduction of the Digital Product Passport (DDP). In this blog post, we explain what the DPP entails, why the European Union is going to introduce it, and what the consequences will be for you and your organisation.

Look in the mirror at the clothes you put on this morning. Do you know where the materials in your shirt or shoes come from? You may have noticed on the label the country where it was manufactured. But that tells you nothing at all about the origin of all the materials. Or about how and under what conditions the product was made. What’s more, there’s nothing to tell you where you can best recycle the product.

This doesn’t apply just to clothing. It also covers batteries, building materials, toys, electrical devices: and much more besides. All the products we use every day. Products that lack the full transparency which should be there. Not just because consumers are demanding it, or because suppliers are expected to take on this responsibility on behalf of society, but clearly also because laws and regulations are moving in that direction. Policies are being pursued to create a circular economy. In other words, an economy where there is no waste and materials are re-used over and over again. Where waste and residues serve as raw materials for a new product.

From a bordeaux red booklet to a QR code

To achieve this circular economy, all the characteristics of a product must be known and accessible. Where manufacturers used to get away with labelling only the country of origin (for example, “Made in China”), a detailed record now needs to be kept. Just as each person has a passport with all the necessary basic information about themselves, the same will soon be true of products.

A product passport does not come in the form of a smart burgundy red or navy blue booklet, the kind we all keep in a drawer or safe. The DPP is attached to a product in the form of a QR code, NFC chip or RFID tag. These must be scannable by everyone. Not just consumers but also other links in the supply chain, governments and official agencies.

According to the European Union, it is impossible to achieve a circular economy without the transparency this will create. Detailed product information will help improve recycling or repair. It will also make it easy to check whether companies are complying with laws and regulations.

Global impact

Although the DPP is a European scheme, its implementation will have a global impact. It applies to all products that are sold in Europe, including those imported from places such as the United States or the Far East, for example. The digital product passport is expected to spread quickly and become a global standard.

Although the European Union is still working on the details of the DPP, it is clear that the passport needs to contain a large amount of data. In addition to general product data such as batch number, date of manufacture and warranties, the EU also wants it to provide full information about materials, product ownership, repairs and durability. Things like the full carbon footprint, from production to distribution.


And so manufacturers have to get to work. The introduction of the DPP will affect everyone who adds anything to the product. All the information about a product, its supply chain and its carbon footprint must be provided for anyone to see. This makes management of complete and correct product data increasingly crucial. A ETIM Extension inriver PIM can play an important role here. Many organisations in the manufacturing industry already use these software solutions to manage and organise product information in one centralised place. Or to distribute information about products across different external channels, such as marketplaces and e-commerce platforms.

The product information in your PIM system can provide the basis for the Digital Product Passport. The source information for your DPP can be drawn from a linked PIM system, meaning that a large part of your digital passport will be filled in and updated automatically. This saves work and prevents errors.

Roll-out from 2024

The DPP is not something way out in the future: suppliers need to be working on it now. From 2024, the Digital Product Passport will be part of European legislation, and the roll-out will start. It will be implemented initially for batteries, textiles and electronics. The DPP is expected to be mandatory everywhere for these products from 2026. This will be followed by a roll-out to dozens of other product categories.

Anyone who does not comply with the DPP regulations can expect a fine, but the real damage will be much greater. After all, there is a good chance that stores and consumers will not accept a product without a DPP. After all, the passport is a fundamental factor in the new, circular economy.

Is your organisation ready for the Digital Product Passport?

The introduction of the DPP is one more reason to take a closer look at product data. Be prepared and investigate whether your organisation has all your product data catalogued and available centrally.

Contact our expert Yentl