Right to repair: Commission introduces new consumer rights for easy and attractive repairs
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.
Over the last decades, replacement has often been prioritised over repair whenever products become defective and insufficient incentives have been given to consumers to repair their goods when the legal guarantee expires. The proposal will make it easier and more cost-effective for consumers to repair as opposed to replace goods. Additionally, more demand will translate into a boost to the repair sector while incentivising producers and sellers to develop more sustainable business models.
Today’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.
New measures to promote and facilitate repair and reuse
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. This will ensure that consumers always have someone to turn to when they opt to repair their products, as well as encourage producers to develop more sustainable business models.
- 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. The platform will enable searches by location and quality standards, helping consumers find attractive offers, and boosting visibility for repairers.
- 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. This ‘easy repair’ standard will be open to all repairers across the EU willing to commit to minimum quality standards, for example based on duration, or availability of products.