EEA EFTA States support EU proposal promoting consumers’ right to repair products instead of replacing them

Published 08-12-2023

In a joint EEA EFTA Comment, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway welcome the European Commission’s proposal on common rules promoting the repair of goods. The EEA EFTA States believe that the proposal will increase consumer confidence and legal certainty, benefitting both consumers and traders. It will also strengthen the European economy by stimulating local repair, rental, and leasing businesses. 

In March, the Commission presented its proposal on a stronger “right to repair” for consumers. The new legislation will require sellers to prioritise repair over replacing a product if the former is a cheaper option, thus reducing the environmental impact of mass consumption. It will also ensure that consumers have easier and cheaper options to repair products that are technically repairable (such as vacuum cleaners or, soon, tablets and smartphones) when the legal guarantee has expired or when the good is no longer functional as a result of wear and tear.

In their Comment submitted to the Commission, Council and Parliament on 8 December, the EEA EFTA States support the main features of the proposal, deeming that it will contribute to longer-lasting products and, hence, a more circular economy. However, the EEA EFTA States make several specific remarks, emphasising the importance of preserving national contract law. If any legal guarantee for the repair contract is introduced, it should be based on minimum harmonisation. This also applies to the proposed European Repair Information Form, where the EEA EFTA States support the initiative but encourage careful consideration of its relation to national contract law.  

The EEA EFTA States support placing an obligation on the producer, or someone appointed by the producer, to repair products without prejudice to any qualification requirements for repair services. 

Moreover, the EEA EFTA States support the idea of online platforms for repairers. However, Member States should be allowed to require repairers who register with the platform to hold the necessary professional qualifications. Lastly, the EEA EFTA States recognise that extending the scope of “duty to repair” to products other than those covered by eco-design rules could be difficult. However, it should be considered whether some measures (e.g. the repair form and the online platform) could also be used for other products on a more voluntary basis.

EEA EFTA Comments are one of the tools used by the EEA EFTA States to participate in shaping EU policies, programmes and legislation.  

Read the full EEA EFTA Comment here

All EEA EFTA Comments are available here.

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