20 May 2024

MEPs Approve New Law on “Right to Repair” for Products

The European Parliament has approved the new EU law on the "right to repair," which clarifies manufacturers' obligations to repair goods and encourages consumers to extend a product's lifespan through repair.

The new rules, which Member States will have two years to transpose into national legislation, introduce a new right to repair, aiming to limit waste and strengthen the repair sector by making the repair of goods more accessible in multiple ways.

It is already stated in our Law No. 24/96 of July 31, which establishes the legal regime applicable to consumer protection, that consumers have the right to the protection of their economic interests, which seems to be further reinforced by the new EU directive.

According to the new directive, manufacturers will be required to provide spare parts and tools at a reasonable price and will be prohibited from using contractual clauses or techniques that prevent repair. They cannot prevent the use of second-hand or 3D-printed spare parts by independent workshops, nor refuse to repair a product solely for economic reasons or because it has been previously repaired by someone else. This ensures easier, cheaper, and faster repairs.

It is imperative that repairing be cheaper than buying new—otherwise, extending warranties by another 12 months is worthless.

What the consumer seeks are more wallet-friendly solutions, even if these have less environmentally friendly consequences.

If we want to change the climate paradigm in the European Union, we must prove to consumers that being environmentally friendly pays off in more ways than one.

Many countries use administrative sanctions as a way to punish the poor ecological behavior of their citizens. This, undoubtedly, works.

However, this shift, as a form of positive psychology, might work even better. In this case, being more eco-friendly pays off.

How many times does buying new not pay for repair?

Repairing an item purchased three years ago shouldn't cost nearly as much as its market value at the time of repair!

It's these kinds of inconsistencies that have perpetuated the culture of "buying new instead of repairing old," even when one didn't necessarily want the new item, but it made financial sense...

And this culture can be easily reversed with measures that are more friendly to consumers' finances, as well as to our planet - which desperately needs friends.

These measures are about much more than consumer protection - they have a very positive impact on environmental conservation.