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Right to repair: MEPs set out their demands ahead of Commission’s proposal

Right to repair: MEPs set out their demands ahead of Commission’s proposal

March 17, 2022

MEPs say the “right to repair” must encompass designing products that last longer and can be fixed, as well as labelling to better inform consumers and extending guarantee rights.

The European Parliaments Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee approved a resolution that stresses that an effective right to repair should address aspects of a product’s lifecycle. The right to repair should also take into account product design and the key ethical principles of production, standardisation, information labelling on reparability and the expected lifespan of a product, consumer guarantees, and public procurement.

Tabling the resolution on behalf of the committee, Chair Anna Cavazzini said: “Repairing broken or damaged products means saving money, saving energy and resources, which is more essential than ever for the creation of a resilient single market. To repair their own products enables consumers to quit the throwaway society and to take an active role in shifting to a circular economy. The EU must deliver on the right to repair. Today, the Internal Market Committee clearly defines its expectations for the Commission’s upcoming initiative”.

The MEPs say a proper “right to repair” should give the repair industry, including independent repairers and consumers, access to repair and maintenance information free of charge.

Concerning digital devices, MEPs argue that “software updates have to be made available for a minimum period of time”, and demand consumers are fully informed at the time of purchase on the availability of updates. These should not lead to a diminished performance of, for example, smartphones.

Practices that unduly constrain the right to repair or lead to obsolescence could be considered as “unfair commercial practices” and blacklisted in EU law.

According to MEPs, measures to motivate consumers to choose repair over replacement are also needed. These may include the obligation to provide for a replacement product for the duration of a repair for certain products, extending guarantees and granting bonuses for consumers who choose to repair.

Other proposals include introducing durability and repair requirements in a future Ecodesign Directive.

MEPs will vote on the draft resolution in April’s plenary session. Parliament has stressed the importance of the right to repair for consumers as a key pillar of the Circular Economy agenda in the framework of the EU Green Deal. The Commission announced that it would table a proposal amending the Sale of Goods Directive and is considering presenting a separate legislative proposal on the right to repair during the third quarter of 2022.

According to a Eurobarometer survey, 79% of EU citizens think that manufacturers should be required to make it easier to repair digital devices or replace their individual parts, and 77% would rather repair their devices than replace them.

Categories : World Focus

Tags : Business EU Parliament MEPs Right to Repair

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