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Proposed EU Directive to Promote Repair and Reuse of Energy-Related Products

May 18, 2023 Proposed EU Directive to Promote Repair and Reuse of Energy-Related Products

The European Commission has published a legislative proposal aimed at enhancing the promotion of repair and reuse for nine energy-related products.

This initiative is intended to complement the existing Eco-design Regulations, which already include repairability obligations.

The targeted products covered by the proposal are:

  1. Household washing machines and household washer-dryers according to Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/20231.
  2. Household dishwashers according to Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/20222.
  3. Refrigerating appliances with a direct sales function according to Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/20243.
  4. Refrigerating appliances according to Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/20194.
  5. Electronic displays according to Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/20215.
  6. Welding equipment according to Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/17846.
  7. Vacuum cleaners according to Commission Regulation (EU) 666/20137.
  8. Servers and data storage products according to Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/4248.
  9. Mobile phones, cordless phones, and tablets (this Eco-design regulation is yet to be adopted).

Key Provisions of the Proposed Directive

The Nature and Scope of the Directive

The proposed legislation takes the form of a Directive and applies to defects occurring after the mandatory liability period has expired.

It is applicable as long as repair remains feasible within the repair period defined by the relevant Eco-design Regulation.

Repair Information Form and Obligations

Repairers will have an obligation to provide consumers with a “Repair Information Form,” which is detailed in Annex I of the proposed Directive.

This form will include information such as the repair price, recommended repair actions, estimated repair duration, and other specified details.

Responsibilities of Producers

If a product malfunctions and falls within the categories specified in Annex II of the proposed Directive, the “producer” (defined as the manufacturer according to the Eco-design for Sustainable Products Regulation) must repair the product unless it is impossible to do so.

This obligation applies within the timeframe specified by the relevant Eco-design Regulation.

In cases where the producer is located outside the EU, their authorized representative within the EU must handle the repairs.

Independent repairers are also permitted to carry out repairs, provided that producers ensure the availability of necessary spare parts, repair-related information, and tools as required by the applicable Eco-design Regulations.

Furthermore, producers cannot impose contractual arrangements on consumers that exceed the obligations outlined in this legislation.

Consumer Awareness and Access to Repair Services

Producers are required to inform consumers about their obligation to repair and make repair services easily accessible.

Member States must establish online platforms to facilitate consumer access to suitable repairers, repair service locations, repair conditions, temporary replacement goods availability, and drop-off points for repairs.

These platforms will also allow consumers to request the European Repair Information Form and other specified information.

Producers and repairers will need to register for these platforms, and consumer access will be free.

Implementation and Timeline

The proposed obligations are expected to take effect two years after the entry into force of a new EU “Right to Repair Directive.”

Consequently, these measures are likely to be implemented in the latter half of the 2020s.

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