The right to repair – what manu­fac­tu­r­ers can expect 

Repa­ra­ble pro­ducts as the mar­ket standard

The Green Deal is an exten­si­ve packa­ge of mea­su­res desi­gned to crea­te a sus­tainable climate-neutral eco­no­my and which focu­ses e.g. on exten­ding the peri­od over which pro­ducts can be reu­sed or recy­cled. One spe­ci­fic mani­fes­ta­ti­on of this goal is the cur­rent Pro­po­sal for an Eco-Design Regu­la­ti­on, which pro­vi­des for the cen­tra­li­zed and digi­ti­zed sup­p­ly of pro­duct infor­ma­ti­on and, abo­ve all, con­ta­ins requi­re­ments and regu­la­ti­ons with respect to the design and manu­fac­tu­re of sus­tainable pro­ducts. This legis­la­ti­on is accom­pa­nied by other regu­la­ti­ons, such as e.g.

Objec­ti­ves of the Proposal

The main objec­ti­ve of the Pro­po­sal is to streng­then the level of con­su­mer pro­tec­tion in the Euro­pean Inter­nal Mar­ket while at the same time pro­mo­ting the “green tran­si­ti­on.” Pro­ducts should not be dis­card­ed if they can still be reu­sed. The Com­mis­si­on sta­tes that har­mo­niza­ti­on is neces­sa­ry in this area becau­se rights of this kind curr­ent­ly exist in only rudi­men­ta­ry fashion in the natio­nal laws of the mem­ber sta­tes, via sta­tu­to­ry war­ran­ties; moreo­ver, the for­mu­la­ti­on of the­se rights varies from case to case.

Scope of application

The Pro­po­sal appli­es to con­su­mer pro­ducts which are not cover­ed by the sta­tu­to­ry war­ran­ty sys­tem, e.g. becau­se the defect in ques­ti­on did not yet exist at the time the pro­duct was deli­ver­ed to the con­su­mer, or becau­se the sta­tu­to­ry or con­trac­tu­al war­ran­ty peri­od has expi­red. The obli­ga­ti­on to repair curr­ent­ly extends to the 9 pro­duct groups lis­ted in Annex II, inclu­ding house­hold appli­ances such as washing machi­nes, dish­wa­shers and ref­ri­ge­ra­tors, as well as elec­tro­nic dis­plays, cell pho­nes and wel­ding equipment.

Obli­ga­ti­on to repair

The obli­ga­ti­on to repair appli­es pri­ma­ri­ly to (EU-based) manu­fac­tu­r­ers, which are requi­red to repair the pro­ducts cover­ed by the Pro­po­sal at the consumer’s request, eit­her free of char­ge, for a fee or for some other form of con­side­ra­ti­on. The manu­fac­tu­rer need not per­form the repair its­elf: it may ins­tead dele­ga­te repair orders to repai­rers. Only in cases whe­re repair is impos­si­ble for both the manu­fac­tu­rer or a third par­ty does the obli­ga­ti­on to repair cea­se to app­ly. Manu­fac­tu­r­ers are requi­red to noti­fy con­su­mers in a sui­ta­ble man­ner of their right to repair. Manu­fac­tu­r­ers must enable the repai­rers to access neces­sa­ry spa­re parts and other tools and infor­ma­ti­on rela­ting to the repair.

Other eco­no­mic ope­ra­tors affec­ted by the Proposal

Other eco­no­mic ope­ra­tors are also cover­ed by the obli­ga­ti­on to repair, in addi­ti­on to EU-based manu­fac­tu­r­ers. If the manu­fac­tu­rer is not based in the EU, the Pro­po­sal sta­tes that the obli­ga­ti­on to repair would then app­ly to its EU-based aut­ho­ri­sed repre­sen­ta­ti­ve. If the manu­fac­tu­rer has not appoin­ted an aut­ho­ri­sed repre­sen­ta­ti­ve, the obli­ga­ti­on would app­ly to the product’s importer or, final­ly, to the product’s distributor.

For­mu­la­ti­on in practice

Under the Pro­po­sal, mem­ber sta­tes will be requi­red to set up at least one cen­tra­li­zed online plat­form which allows con­su­mers to con­duct a filter-based search for sui­ta­ble repai­rers in their area for each pro­duct and pro­duct group. Regis­tra­ti­on on the online plat­form will be vol­un­t­a­ry for repairers.

In addi­ti­on, a Euro­pean Repair Infor­ma­ti­on Form will be intro­du­ced, which must be pro­vi­ded to the con­su­mer befo­re the repair con­tract is con­cluded in each case. As sta­ted in the Pro­po­sal, this will be a form con­tai­ning boi­ler­p­la­te pro­vi­si­ons and infor­ma­ti­on about the iden­ti­ty of the repai­rer and its address, as well as information

  • about the type of defect and the pro­po­sed repair;
  • the pri­ce or, if it can­not be pro­vi­ded, about cal­cu­la­ti­on of the pri­ce and the maxi­mum price;
  • the expec­ted dura­ti­on of the repair; and
  • the avai­la­bi­li­ty of repla­ce­ment pro­ducts during this period.

The repai­rer will be bound by the­se terms for 30 days after pro­vi­ded them to the consumer.

Man­da­to­ry law, enforce­ment and penalties

Devia­ti­on from the abo­ve rules will not be pos­si­ble, whe­ther by con­tract or natio­nal legis­la­ti­on, alt­hough com­pa­nies are free at any time to offer arran­ge­ments which go bey­ond the pro­tec­tion pro­vi­ded in the Direc­ti­ve. Vio­la­ti­ons of the right to repair, fail­ure to inform con­su­mers of the right to repair and vio­la­ti­ons of the Euro­pean Repair Infor­ma­ti­on Form will be pena­li­zed by the mem­ber sta­tes based on natio­nal trans­po­si­ti­on statutes.


Stay up-to-date

We use your email address exclusively for sending our newsletter. You have the right to revoke your consent at any time with effect for the future. For further information, please refer to our privacy policy.