Digital product passports promises to be the biggest change we've seen for decades to how products get sold in the European Union. We expect it to require producers, importers, and retailers to become much more professional, to collect and offer much more detailed information about their products than ever before.
Hopefully, a side effect will be making life much more difficult for counterfeiters and fakers of other kinds. It won't be enough to fake just the physical product, but they will have to fake all the data behind it too – and manage to infiltrate that data into the system too (which we at Blue Cromos are hard at work preventing, by the way).
But will that professionalisation create a threat to small-scale or artisanal production too? Will local, small-scale entrepreneurs be required to provide the same data and traceability as the big enterprises? If so, will their enthusiasm and entrepreneurship suffice to deal with such requirements. Or will they give up, go extinct?
We don't know the answer but speculate that there will be exceptions for them. Could the deforestation directive serve as an indication, maybe. There, demands are much lesser for "small and medium-sized businesses".
Or, could an exemption be made for selling your own wares, maybe, but having to comply when selling via distributors?
As repairability and repairs are a substantial aspect of the digital product passports, maybe there will be some kind of opening there, as reparation is typically a more small-scale operation than production?
So far, we haven't seen this topic being covered in any of the official communications about digital product passports, but we would be surprised if the Commission or the European Parliament haven't thought about it.
Maybe you know?
It is sure of great interest for many small-scale entrepreneurs.
Image: sdigital on iStock.