The coffee maker broke; we bought a new one. The dishwasher causes problems; we get it. It is often easier to replace these types of products than to repair them. And the EU is conspiring to end this practice with the aim of reducing the millions of tons of waste generated every year on the continent. The European Parliament and the EU Council reached an agreement based on a proposal from the European Commission to strengthen the right to reparation.
The purpose of the directive is to provide consumers with a legal umbrella so that they can demand that manufacturers repair products that are technically repairable. They are obliged to do this as well as provide information about it and provide online access to repair prices for household appliances such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and even mobile phones.
The new rule, which member states must adapt to their national legislation within a period of two years after its implementation, will prohibit contractual or technical barriers that are often used by manufacturers through hardware or software systems to avoid repairs. Likewise, it is not allowed to prevent the use of second-hand or 3D-generated parts by independent repairers.
“The negotiators agreed that each Member State must introduce at least one measure to promote repair, such as repair vouchers and funds, information campaigns, repair courses, support for community-led repair spaces, or, according to current tax rules, a reduction in the VAT rate on repair services,” the European Parliament said in a statement.
During the warranty period, the consumer can choose whether to replace the device with a new one or repair it. If you choose to repair, the warranty coverage will be extended by one year.
The agreement also includes the establishment of a European information form that repairers can offer to consumers free of charge, with clear information on repair conditions, time to complete their work, prices, or substitute products. An online platform will also be promoted to connect consumers and repairers.
“Europe is clearly opting for repair rather than elimination. By making it easier to repair defective items, we are not only giving new life to our products, but we will also get good-quality jobs, reduce our waste, limit our dependence on foreign raw materials, and protect our environment,” said the Secretary of the Belgian State of Budget. and Consumer Protection, Alexia Bertrand, who is responsible for leading the negotiations as the rotating presidency of the Council. “In the future, it will be easier and cheaper to repair products instead of buying new and expensive products,” says the person in charge of the file in the European Parliament, the socialist René Repasi.