New Ecode­sign Imple­men­ta­ti­on Regulation

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.


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