Consequences for manufacturers and importers of cell phones and tablets
The reasons for this welcome European initiative are manifold:
For example, smart products are often not used by their users until the end of their life cycle because the products have reduced performance relative to newer products or simply because a new product has appeared on the market with additional performance features that the respective user would like to have. As a rule, discarded smart products are also not reused (for example on the second-hand market) or properly recycled, but end up in a drawer or improperly in household waste. In addition, the repair of smart devices also often turns out to be an obstacle to their continued use, as the cost of repair exceeds the cost of purchase, or repair is not possible because the technical know-how is lacking or the necessary spare parts can no longer be ordered.
In this light, cell phones and tablets are not only to be made more energy-efficient and sustainable in the future to promote environmentally friendly use and recycling. Most importantly, the continued use and reuse of these devices are to be promoted by improving repair conditions and obtaining software-driven system upgrades.
In this spirit, manufacturers of smartphones will have to ensure in the future during design and construction that the phones are robust enough to survive 100 drops from a height of one meter as well as splashes of water. Batteries must still reach a minimum residual capacity of 80% after 500 charge cycles. In addition, manufacturers must make certain replacement parts, such as batteries and displays, available for repair for up to five years, or even up to six years for tablets, after the product is no longer sold. Delivery of ordered spare parts must be made within five working days after receipt of the order.
In addition, repair shops must be able to access the manufacturer’s repair instructions for up to seven years after the respective product has been placed on the market. In addition, the pricing of spare parts and repair instructions is to be made transparent in a consumer-friendly fashion.
In line with existing energy labeling requirements under Regulation (EU)2017/1369, mandatory energy labeling is to be introduced to indicate power consumption on a scale from A (very low energy consumption) to G (very high energy consumption). In the future, manufacturers must also provide information about the typical battery runtime in hours and the number of charging cycles up to 80 percent capacity.
Adoption of the draft by the Commission is slated for the end of this year. The regulation could therefore enter into force as early as the start of 2023.back