The European Parliament has pushed for new EU rules that would encourage consumers to repair devices instead of replacing them. The aim is to enable easier repair, reduce waste and support the repair sector and encourage more sustainable consumption. 590 deputies voted for this negotiating position, 15 were against, and 15 abstained.
The Right to Repair proposal complements the Ecodesign and Consumer Empowerment initiatives for the Green Transition and was created in response to a number of recommendations from citizens on promoting the right to repair, ensuring long-term and sustainable use of products, information on repairs, measures to eliminate premature and planned obsolescence, providing longer warranties, providing access to spare parts, incentives for longer product use and efforts for a more sustainable and circular economy, the European Parliament announced today.
With the position voted today, MEPs encourage consumers to repair devices instead of replacing them. Under the proposed new rules, sellers would have to give priority to repair during the warranty period if it will be cheaper or cost the same as a new product, unless the repair is not feasible or convenient for the consumer. The European Parliament also proposes to extend the product warranty by one year after repair.
Why extend the life of broken appliances?
Consumers would have the right to request repair of products such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners, smartphones and bicycles after the warranty has expired. To make repairs a more attractive option for consumers, manufacturers should allow them to borrow a replacement device during the repair. If the product could not be repaired, we could offer them a refurbished product.
“High costs, difficulties in accessing repair, or product design features that prevent repair often turn consumers away from it. Parliament’s position is that independent repairers, refurbishers and end consumers should have access to all spare parts and repair information and tools at a reasonable cost.” they wrote in the European Parliament.
Is a new purchase really cheaper than a repair?
They added that online platforms in member states would help consumers find local repairers, repair shops and remanufactured sellers in their area. To make repairs more affordable and attractive, MEPs propose offering vouchers and other financial incentives to consumers through national repair funds.
The EU Council is expected to adopt its negotiating position on Wednesday, after which talks with Parliament will begin. The first meeting is expected to take place on December 7.
In the EU, 261 million tons of CO2 emissions and 35 million tons of waste are produced every year due to discarded products that could be repaired, and 30 million tons of resources are consumed. Consumers who decide to exchange goods instead of repairing them lose about 12 billion euros every year. The results of a study by the European Commission show that 77 percent of European citizens would rather repair the product than buy a new one, they said today in the European Parliament.