Making repair cheaper and easier through EU policy

4th September 2015 | Position Papers, Publications

In response to the European Commission’s recent consultation on a new Circular Economy package, RREUSE has published an analysis of how EU policy could be better implemented to ensure products entering the EU market are easily and cheaply repairable.

Michal Len, Director of RREUSE said:

“Jobs in repair are rapidly declining – EU citizens want their stuff repaired but it’s too expensive for them to do so and consequently they have less choice. To make repair cheaper we need products that are easily and rapidly repairable, together with reduced costs for labour in the repair sector such as no VAT on repair activities.

“Inspiration should be drawn from legislation in the automotive sector where steps have already been taken at the EU level to tackle escalating costs in car repair by requiring that independent garages have access to information, fault diagnostic software and spare parts. This provides an excellent basis to widen the scope onto other products such as electrical appliances. We hope our analysis can further the debate as to how to concretely address the issue”

The European Commission is expected to publish a revised Circular Economy Package by the end of 2015. In the meantime preparatory studies to revise eco-design regulation for three key products namely domestic washing machines, dishwashers and fridges are currently underway. Criteria ensuring ease of repair within these regulations could set a precedent for other product categories, much like the recent durability criteria for EU regulations on vacuum cleaner hoses and motors.

RREUSE’s analysis is supported by the European Environmental Bureau, IFIXIT, ECOS and the Repair Café Foundation.

Download the report here