EU Advances Right to Repair: New Directive to Mandate Repairable Appliances

World » EU | February 3, 2024, Saturday // 11:40
Bulgaria: EU Advances Right to Repair: New Directive to Mandate Repairable Appliances

In a landmark move toward sustainable consumption, the European Parliament and member states have paved the way for the adoption of a groundbreaking directive, ensuring consumers have the option to purchase appliances designed for repair. On Thursday, the institutions reached a crucial political agreement on the final text of the Right to Repair Directive, aligning with the EU's eco-policy aimed at reducing resource consumption.

This directive, a major step in fostering a circular economy, aims to empower consumers by making access to repair services easier, faster, transparent, and more appealing. The Belgian Presidency, representing member states, emphasized that the obligation to provide repair options lies with manufacturers of electrical appliances, ensuring consumers can choose between repair and replacement within the warranty period.

The directive encompasses a wide range of appliances, including washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, and even mobile phones. A pivotal feature of the directive is the introduction of a standardized European repair form, offering uniform information on repair durations, costs, and replacement parts across all member countries.

To further facilitate the repair process, a common European portal will list workshops, refurbishment sellers, buyers of defective items, and alternative services such as repair cafes. Customers opting for repair will benefit from an extended warranty of 12 months beyond the original warranty period.

Manufacturers are mandated to conduct repairs within a reasonable timeframe and at a reasonable cost, incentivizing consumers to choose repair over replacement. Governments are also tasked with promoting repair through measures like repair vouchers, information campaigns, courses, or support for community-led repair spaces, with the option to reduce VAT on repair services.

In an effort to ensure accessibility, manufacturers must provide information about spare parts on their websites and maintain a stock for use by independent workshops. Notably, the directive prohibits manufacturers from hindering repair through contract clauses, software, or hardware techniques.

While the political agreement allows for potential adoption before the June European elections, the directive's entry into force will be delayed by at least 18 months to allow national parliaments to incorporate the standards into local legislation.


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Tags: EU, repair, consumption, economy

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