The European Parliament (EP) has adopted a resolution to promote the sustainability of the consumer electronics market. At present, most manufacturers are mainly focused on the sale of all new equipment. The possibilities of repairs after the expiration of the legal warranty are usually limited and cost-effective for the customer.
The European Parliament’s resolution is intended to strengthen support for repair and re-use of products. On the contrary, it prohibits practices that lead to a deliberate shortening of life.
The so-called “consumer’s right to repair” is to be implemented by the European Commission, while at the same time ensuring that repairs of the devices are more systematic and cost-effective. This can be achieved, for example, by extending warranties, providing warranties on replaced parts, or facilitating access to repair and maintenance information.
Warranty length does not equal Best Before Date
Parliament also calls for increased support for the second-hand market and calls for measures to be put in place against practices that artificially shorten the life of products.
MEPs reiterated their call for the introduction of universal chargers for small electronics, especially mobile phones, in order to reduce the amount of electrical waste. They also require products to be labelled according to durability with clear information on the expected life of the product.
According to a Eurobarometer survey, 77% of Union citizens would appreciate it if they could have their products repaired and not have to buy a whole new product because of one or two defective components. 79% of citizens then believe that the law should require digital device manufacturers to make their products easy to repair, for example by replacing certain parts. For mobile phones, “self-repair” could consist, for example, replacing of the battery by the user, which is not commonly available on most current models.