• Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

The European Parliament has approved regulations which aim to encourage consumers to repair products such as mobile phones rather than replacing them, mandating manufacturers to ensure the repair process is straightforward and economical.

In a vote conducted on April 23, lawmakers endorsed the initiative commonly referred to as the ‘Right to Repair.’ The final step involves formal approval from the European Council before it is officially published. Once published, European Union member states will have two years to integrate the policy into their respective legislations.

The overarching goal of these regulations is to reduce the considerable amounts of eWaste generated throughout the region. These rules have been under development for several years, culminating in the publication of a legislative proposal in March 2023.

According to a statement from the European Parliament, the directive aims to "clarify obligations" for manufacturers regarding repairs. Additionally, it introduces measures intended to incentivize consumers to prolong the lifespan of their mobile devices and other electronic gadgets.

Regulatory Requirements

As per the stipulations, manufacturers must offer repair services that are both prompt and affordable and must notify customers of this alternative. Moreover, any item that undergoes repairs will receive an extra year of warranty.

Smartphones are among the products listed for which companies are mandated to extend repair services beyond the expiration of the original warranty period.

Under the forthcoming regulations, manufacturers will be obligated to supply tools and spare parts at a fair price, and contractual clauses, hardware, or "software techniques" that hinder repairs will be prohibited.

“In particular, they [OEMs] cannot impede the use of second-hand or 3D-printed spare parts by independent repairers, nor can they refuse to repair a product solely for economic reasons or because it was previously repaired by someone else,” the statement noted.

In addition to the requirements imposed on manufacturers, each EU member state will be tasked with implementing at least one measure to encourage the repair of electronic goods. Examples of such measures include issuing vouchers, conducting information campaigns, offering courses, or supporting community-led initiatives.

Furthermore, there are proposals to establish an EU-wide online platform that will provide information on where consumers can locate repair facilities.