The European Parliament has been pushing towards further improving consumer right to repair so much so it adopted two resolution containing a number of proposals to make repairs which are systematic, cost efficient, and attractive.
The right to repair is a milestone in achieving the Circular Economy plans in the framework of the European Green deal. The Commission announced it would propose an amendment regarding the Sale of Goods Directive, by also considering the adoption of a separate legislative proposal on the right to repair, by the third quarter of 2022.
Manufacturers worldwide expressed their concern about the EU’s decision to move towards restricting ‘planned obsolescence in products sold within the Union. This, in connection with the ‘right to repair’ within the EU, could force manufacturers to make their products repairable rather than disposable.
At a recent conference, the EU Parliament took a stance on the upcoming Commission proposal on the right to repair planned for later in 2022, with 509 votes in favour, 3 against and 13 abstentions. It was agreed that an effective right to repair should address the life expectancy of a product, by also considering its product design, standardisation, ethical production, and consumer information including labelling on reparability and public procurement.
Further to that, it shall bolster a more efficient use of resources, reduce waste, and encourage the extended use of products. Indubitably, a vast majority of the products are manufactured in such ways that impede consumers from easily repairing devices once they purchase them.
A salient feature of the proposal is the entrenchment of a new “right to repair” which forces manufacturers to create long-lasting products that can be fixed, as well as more information labelling and extending guarantee rights.
The whole idea is to invite the consumer to buy a new product which would generate more profit for the manufacturer. Apple is a prominent example of a company that has been often accused of this practice.
According to a Eurobarometer survey, 79% of EU citizens believe that manufacturers should be required to make it easier to repair digital devices or replace their parts individually. The survey also showed that 77% of EU citizens prefer to fix their device, instead of buying a new one.