Good news for consumers (and the planet): manufacturers will be required to set up repair services for up to ten years after the purchase of electronic devices. This repair will be free for the first two years, according to a new directive proposal.
Repairing rather than throwing away or repurchasing: we will soon be able to take advantage of a real ” right to repair for our electronic products in the European Union. Because if it is often difficult to have our smartphones repaired because of the cost, the difficulty of finding a repairer, or parts that are not removable or repairable, things will soon change. The European Commission has indeed announced, in a press release this Wednesday, March 22, a new proposal for a directive aimed at promoting the repair of goods. It’s about ” last element of a series of measures aimed at making the right to reparation a reality”explained European Commissioner Didier Reynders, quoted in the press release.
Ultimately, it will require manufacturers of products considered as technically repairable » according to European legislation, repair obligations, including after the two-year warranty period. Among the products concerned are televisions, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Smartphones and tablets should soon join this list.
???? Today we are proposing a set of measures to establish a real “right to repair” for all consumers in the EU ????????
These measures will also stimulate the repair sector & reduce our waste ♻️ ↓#EUGreenDeal????
— European Commission ???????? (@UEFrance) March 22, 2023
Free repair for two years
So far, ” consumers have not been sufficiently incentivized to repair their goods when the legal warranty expires “, notes the European executive. With this text, consumers will be able to more easily repaired, and more cost-effective compared to replacing goods “. Understand: the repair will in theory be less expensive than buying back the product.
To do this, the Commission describes two periods. During the first, two years from the date of purchase, sellers will be obligated to repair for free your products within a reasonable time – unless it costs more than a replacement. After these two years, manufacturers will still have to provide repair service for a second period that lasts three to eight years, but this time it will be paying – unless repair is impossible.
Easy access to repairers, display of repair costs, etc.
Concretely, the consumer will be able to contact the manufacturers of the products to claim this repair. The latter must inform consumers that they are bound by an obligation to repair. The Commission is also planning a series of measures aimed at consumers, which will facilitate their access to repairers: a matchmaking platform will list companies offering repair services in each region. Each company will be required to display its prices transparently. The European executive hopes to eventually create a whole ” repair ecosystem.
Every year, tons of products are thrown away, even though they can be repaired. These prematurely discarded goods represent every year “ 35 million tons of waste, 30 million tons of resources and 261 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions “, specifies the Commission. The proposed directive is part of a body of other texts aimed at making the EU a climate-neutral continent by 2050, including the regulation “on the eco-design of sustainable products” which encourages manufacturers to offer more and more repairable products. However, we will have to wait several months before being able to ask manufacturers to repair our products, because it is still only a proposal, which will have to be adopted by the European Parliament and Council before being applied.
European Commission press release of Wednesday 22 March