Right to repair
the European Commission adopted a new proposal on common rules promoting the repair of goods, which will result in savings for consumers and support the objectives of the European Green Deal by reducing waste, among others.
Yesterday’s proposal will ensure that more products are repaired within the legal guarantee, and that consumers have easier and cheaper options to repair products that are technically repairable (such as vacuum cleaners, or soon, tablets and smartphones) when the legal guarantee has expired or when the good is not functional anymore as a result of wear and tear.
The proposal introduces a new ‘right to repair’ for consumers, both within and beyond the legal guarantee.
Within the legal guarantee, sellers will be required to offer repair except when it is more expensive than replacement.
Beyond the legal guarantee, a new set of rights and tools will be available to consumers to make ‘repair’ an easy and accessible option:
- A right for consumers to claim repair to producers, for products that are technically repairable under EU law, like a washing machine or a TV.
- A producers’ obligation to inform consumers about the products that they are obliged to repair themselves.
- An online matchmaking repair platform to connect consumers with repairers and sellers of refurbished goods in their area. A European Repair Information Form which consumers will be able to request from any repairer, bringing transparency to repair conditions and price, and make it easier for consumers to compare repair offers.
- A European quality standard for repair services will be developed to help consumers identify repairers who commit to a higher quality.
The EC is proposing common criteria against greenwashing and misleading environmental claims. Under today’s proposal, consumers will have more clarity, stronger reassurance that when something is sold as green, it actually is green, and better quality information to choose environment-friendly products and services. Businesses will also benefit, as those that make a genuine effort to improve the environmental sustainability of their products will be more easily recognised and rewarded by consumers and able to boost their sales – rather than face unfair competition. This way, the proposal will help establish a level playing field when it comes to information about environmental performance of products.