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Green Business

EMAS Regulation

The EMAS Regulation 1836/93 was first introduced in July 1993 as an environmental policy tool devised by the European Commission in a step towards fulfilling the Community’s goal of sustainable development. EMAS has been open for voluntary participation by organisations since April 1995. Its scope initially restricted participation to companies in the industrial sector.

In 2001 the revised Regulation (EC) No 761/2001 (“EMAS II”) was adopted. Its main elements were the extension of the scope of EMAS to all sectors of economic activity including local authorities, and the integration of the international environmental management system standard EN ISO 14001.

In 2009 the EMAS Regulation was revised and modified for the second time. Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009 (“EMAS III”) came into effect on 11 January 2010.

EMAS III includes the following new elements:

  • Revised audit cycles to further improve applicability for SMEs (click here for further information)
  • Corporate registrations to ease administrative and financial burdens on organisations with several EMAS registered sites
  • Environmental core indicators to adequately document environmental performance
  • Introduction of EMAS Global to make EMAS accessible to organisations and sites worldwide


In 2017 Annexes I, II and III of the EMAS Regulation were amended to include the changes associated with the revision of the ISO 14001:2015 standard. The Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/1505 amending these annexes entered into force on 18/09/2017. EMAS organisations can benefit from transitional measures until 14 September 2018. To provide easier access to the up-to-date EMAS requirements, the Commission has also produced an informal consolidated version of the EMAS Regulation that includes the amended annexes. You can find this informal version here.

Since January 9th 2019, also an amended Annex IV of the EMAS regulation (EU Commission Regulation EU 2018/2026) is in place. This amendment includes an update of EMAS’ core indicators and the language of the environmental statement. It also allows EMAS organisations new opportunities to report on their environmental performance and to use the organisation's EMAS environmental statement also for other reporting obligations. The full-text EMAS Annex IV Amendment can be accessed here.

Please note that consolidated texts are intended for use as documentation tools and have no legal value. The institutions do not assume any liability for their content. For legal purposes please refer to the texts published in the OJ.

The French version of the Annexes has been corrected. The corrigendum can be found here.

The Commission has worked in parallel on evaluating the performance of the regulation.

The Fitness Check assessed the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and EU added value of the EMAS Regulation. Click here to see the results.

The RAVE study followed up on the results of the Fitness Check and investigated EMAS’s potential to bring added value to authorities and organisations. Click here to learn more about key findings for stakeholders.