Tech

Right to repair: the EU unveils the first requirements of the law, here is what will change

While the European Commission’s bill on the right to repair will be voted on at the end of 2022, the EU has just adopted its first requirements on the subject. The opportunity to learn about the measures that will be contained in this pillar of the EU action plan for a circular economy.

EU repair law
Credits: Unsplash

For ten years now, the European Parliament has supported the need to improve consumers’ right to redress. Although the processing of this file has been delayed, the European Commission has already adopted two resolutions which include a series of concrete proposals for reparations to become “systematic, profitable and attractive”.

Pending the examination of the Commission’s bill on the right to compensation at the end of 2022, MEPs have justadopt their first requirements on the subject, with 590 votes for, 3 against and 13 abstentions. Thus, the deputies agreed on the fact that an effective right to reparation “should take into account the life cycle of a product, its design, ethical principles of production, standardization, informative labeling on repairability and public procurement”.

EU outlines its demands for an effective right to redress

Another point, the European representatives want the parts that make up the products are easy to removeand consider at the same time that a right to effective reparation should guarantee free access to repair and maintenance information. With regard to digital devices and in particular smartphones, MEPs consider that software updates should not cause performance degradation.

Additionally, users should have the ability to roll back to a previous version of the software. Furthermore, practices that unjustifiably limit the right to repair or lead to planned obsolescence should be considered as “unfair commercial practices” prohibited and sanctioned under European law.

EU repair law
Credits: Unsplash

Clearer information and longer warranty periods

Here are the other measures demanded by the deputies to achieve an effective right to redress:

  • measures to encourage consumers to choose repair over replacement such as the extension of warranty periods and the loan of a spare device during repairs
  • Clearer point-of-sale information, such as repairability rates or indices, estimated life, spare parts, repair services, and availability of software updates
  • Smart labeling like QR Codes to be scanned on products and “digital passports”

According to the latest Eurobarometer survey, 79% of EU citizens believe that manufacturers should be required to facilitate repair digital devices or the replacement of their individual parts. As a reminder, some manufacturers have already taken measures to promote the repair of their smartphones. This is the case of Samsung, which intends to sell spare parts for the Galaxy S20 and S21. As for Apple, it will soon be possible to repair your iPhone in a Fnac Darty store following the signing of a partnership between the two groups.

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