Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper), The European Parliament, the Commission, and the council have reached an agreement on the right to repair in the trialogue negotiations.
The Commission said it welcomes the provisional political deal on the Commission’s March 2023 proposal on common rules to promote the repair of goods for consumers.
Once adopted, the new rules will introduce a new ‘right to repair’ for consumers, both within and beyond the legal guarantee, which will make it easier and more cost-effective for them to repair products instead of simply replacing them with new ones.
This will result in savings for consumers, boost the circular economy, and support the objectives of sustainable consumption and the European Green Deal by reducing waste.
When a defect appears within the legal guarantee, consumers will now benefit from a prolonged legal guarantee of one year if they choose to have their products repaired.
When the legal guarantee has expired, the consumers will be able to request an easier and cheaper repair of defects in those products that must be technically repairable (such as tablets, smartphones but also washing machines, dishwashers, etc.).
The comment came from Green MEP Anna Cavazzini, Chair of the responsible Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and Green shadow rapporteur on the right to repair.
She said, “The European right to repair is a breakthrough in consumer protection. Manufacturers of products such as vacuum cleaners or refrigerators will be obliged to repair their products. This means that fewer products with minor defects will go straight into the garbage can and repairs will be quicker and easier. This saves resources and avoids electronic waste.
“The right to repair now enables consumers to make sustainable choices in many cases and helps in the transition to a circular economy.
“Repair becomes easier and more affordable by guaranteeing access to spare parts at a reasonable price and to repair instructions from manufacturers, even for small repair stores around the corner and tinkerers in their garages.
“As the European Parliament, we were able to successfully ensure that practices such as the serialization of spare parts by manufacturers, which effectively stand in the way of repairs, are prevented. By extending the warranty by one year after a repair, there is a new incentive for consumers willing to opt for repairs.
“Unfortunately, the Council vehemently rejected the proposal to always give repair priority over replacement under the statutory warranty. The right to repair covers all products under the current ecodesign rules and, gradually, all products under the new regulation. The right to repair can thus herald the end of the throwaway society.”
The ‘right to repair’ initiative complements several other proposals presented by the Commission to achieve sustainable consumption throughout the entire lifecycle of a product, setting the framework for a true ‘right to repair’ across the EU.