To promote the circular economy, the Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on a directive promoting the repair of damaged or defective goods, known as the Right to Repair Directive.
Thanks to this Directive, it will be now easier for consumers to ask for repair instead of buying a new product by making access to repair services easier, faster, more transparent and more appealing.
According to the Council’s website, the interim agreement applies to all products requiring repair under EU law, prescribes a repair obligation for manufacturers of products requiring repair, establishes a European information form that provides consumers with key information on repair services and consolidates national repair information platforms on the European online platform.
This agreement is important because it will extend product life and reduce waste and the use of new resources. Figures from the European Parliament indicate that the disposal of repairable devices generates 35 million tonnes of waste annually in the European Union. Additional information indicates that this type of waste produces about 260 million tonnes of equivalent carbon dioxide emissions.
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To achieve what the agreement states, the Directive proposes a new set of tools that will make repair more attractive to consumers. This includes consumers being able to ask manufacturers to repair products that are technically repairable under European Union law, such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners, mobile phones or refrigerators.
Secondly, it lists the European repair information form that repairers can offer consumers, which contains precise information on repair conditions, completion time, prices and more.
Also, a European online repair platform would be set up that would link consumers and repairers.
Finally, the agreement includes the extension of the seller’s liability period for 12 months after the product has been repaired. Member States may further extend this period if they wish.
The results of the European Commission’s research showed that over 70 percent of EU citizens would prefer to repair an existing device instead of buying a new one.
The interim agreement reached with the European Parliament now needs to be confirmed and formally adopted by both institutions. This proposal was presented by the Commission on March 22, 2023.