The Internal Market Committee adopted its position on new measures to strengthen the right to repair and promote sustainable consumption. The Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee adopted its position on a new “right to repair” for consumers, with 38 votes in favour, 2 against, and no abstentions. The proposal aims to boost repairs during and beyond a product’s legal guarantee period and promote a new repair culture.

Repair over other remedies

Sellers would be required to offer free repair within the legal guarantee period, except when it is more expensive than replacement, it is factually impossible or it is inconvenient for the consumer, according to the adopted text. MEPs supported incentives for consumers to choose repair over replacement within the liability period, such as extending the legal guarantee by one year for repaired products. MEPs also want member states to promote repair through financial incentives like vouchers and national repair funds.

Beyond the legal guarantee

Producers would be obliged to repair a certain number of products (e.g. household washing machines, vacuum cleaners, smartphones, bicycles) even if they fall outside of the scope of a legal guarantee. To encourage this, MEPs want repairs to be carried out in a reasonable timeframe and producers to be able to offer replacement devices for loan to consumers. If a product cannot be fixed, producers could offer a refurbished one instead, MEPs say.

More transparent and competitive repair market

Independent repairers, refurbishers and end-users would get access to all spare parts, information, and tools at a reasonable cost throughout the lifespan of a product. According to MEPs, this will boost competition, decrease repair costs and give consumers more choice.

Information on repair services and conditions

National online platforms would allow consumers to find local repairers (e.g. repair cafés) and sellers of refurbished goods. Consumers may also get an overview of the repair conditions of each device, including information on the repairer, the maximum price and time needed, and would then be able to compare different offers.

Next steps

The draft mandate will be voted on by MEPs at the 20-23 November plenary session. Once Council adopts its position, negotiations on the final text can begin.