Reparation, Europe wants to extend the right up to 10 years

Reparation, Europe wants to extend the right up to 10 years


Reduce, reuse, recycle and repair. With its new directive to reduce waste, the European Union wants to introduce the right to reparation for consumers, adding a fourth R to the aura rule of sustainability. The proposal aims to reduce material waste and pollution, committing manufacturers to guarantee the repair of products purchased by consumers, in a period of between 5 and 10 years.

Between planned obsolescence and costs exorbitant repair costs, companies have been discouraging consumers from fixing purchased products when they break down for years, prompting them to buy new ones and create an immense mass of waste. A system defined as "unsustainable and which leaves no free choice for people" by the President of the European Commission Vera Jourova.

This is why the Union has decided to "encourage producers to make repairs possible, rather than forcing us consumers in an endless rush to buy new products we don't need” . Changing this consumption model will save everyone 176.5 billion euros, 18.5 million tons of greenhouse gases, 3 million tons of waste and 1.8 million tons of resources over the next 15 years.

In this way, throwing away fewer products and reducing consumerism does not only mean protecting the environment and consumer rights, but also creating less dependence on raw material producing countries, thus becoming a strategic choice also as regards posture international of the European Union.

What changes for consumers

If approved, the regulation on the right to repair will allow consumers to be able to have their goods repaired beyond the 2-year legal guarantee provided by law, directly from manufacturers, in a period between 5 and 10 years from the purchase. The new rules would apply to refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, televisions, washing machines and other products considered to be repairable under European legislation, and negotiations are underway to extend them to smartphones and tablets as well.

Consumers will also need to receive clear information and accessible on their products and repair services, which manufacturers will have to provide free of charge or at low cost, unless the replacement of the product is actually less expensive.

Furthermore, an online platform will be created for connect consumers and repair services in different member states. At the same time, a “European repair information module” will also be set up, to allow consumers to easily get the information they need, such as conditions and prices of maintenance services, and a European quality standard for repairers.

What changes for companies

The new rules will apply only to manufacturing companies, which will be obliged to guarantee the right to repair within the established times. It is therefore a question of making large companies like Apple responsible, forcing them to limit waste and, in fact, to pollute less.

At the same time, the measure will protect and strengthen independent workers. In fact, the platform for putting repair services and customers in touch is set up as a voluntary tool, in which repair shops will be able to freely offer their specialist services. In this way, maintainers will be more easily traceable and will be able to expand their clientele, leading, according to the Commission, to a net increase in jobs in the sector.