Europe will force manufacturers to give home appliance repair option

Europe will force manufacturers to give home appliance repair option

The European Parliament approved in plenary session in Strasbourg (France) new rules to promote the repair of products, in order to extend their useful life, reduce waste and move towards a more circular economy in the European Union (EU). The rules, which were already approved by Parliament and the Council in February this year, were approved by MEPs by a majority of 583 votes to 3, with 14 abstentions.

The legislative draft on the so-called “right to repair” clarifies for consumers the obligations of manufacturers and encourages consumers to extend the life cycle of products.

Therefore, once a product's statutory warranty has expired, consumers will be able to demand repair of repairable goods, such as mobile phones, washing machines or vacuum cleaners, or request an extension of the statutory warranty for up to an additional 12 months.

The rules also include a requirement to inform consumers of a manufacturer's repair obligations, free online access to indicative repair prices, as well as options for buyers to borrow another device while their own device is being repaired.

The rules stipulate that manufacturers must offer spare parts and tools at a reasonable price and prohibit the use of contractual clauses or IT practices to impede repairs, for example preventing the use of used or 3D supplied spare parts by independent repairers.

In order to encourage the repair market, the text provides for the establishment of an online platform with national sections for consumers to find local repair shops, find spare parts, sellers of refurbished products, or buyers of defective items.

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In addition, each Member State will have to take action to strengthen the right to compensation, such as information campaigns, compensation courses, or, depending on the fiscal rules, a reduction in VAT on repair services.

The “right to repair” is being added to other new community rules in line with the commitments the EU has made towards the green transition, such as eco-design rules, aiming for products to last longer and be repairable and recyclable, or the directive banning sustainability labels without evidence.

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