- The EU has voted to enforce right to repair measures.
- These measures include repairability labels on devices.
- France will implement these labels from January 2021.
We first heard about European Commission proposals for gadget repairs back in February, calling for manufacturers to make devices easier to repair and for easier battery replacements. Now, the European Parliament has voted in favor of right to repair measures.
According to an excerpt of the motion spotted by iFixit, the parliamentary vote calls for “mandatory labelling on the durability and repairability of a product.” France is ahead of the rest of the EU in this regard though, as it’s already announced that it will be issuing repairability labels from January 2021.
These labels will be added to smartphones, laptops, washing machines, TVs, and lawnmowers. The scores will be rated out of 10, much like we see with iFixit scores. Furthermore, these scores will be based on factors like ease of disassembly, access to repair information, and spare part pricing/availability.
The goal behind the repairability score and label is three-fold, according to France and its Stop Planned Obsolescence program. The first objective is to simply provide users with useful information, while the second goal is to motivate manufacturers to get the best score and therefore make their devices easier to repair. A final goal is that it extends the lifespan of products, therefore being easier on the environment and users’ wallets.
France isn’t the only EU nation taking proactive repairability measures in this regard though, as Austria is reducing taxes on repairs for bikes, clothing, and shoes. It’s also offering subsidies for repairs of small and large electrical appliances, footing up to 50% of the repair cost (up to €100) in some states.
There’s no word on a timeline for the rest of the EU to offer repairability scores and labels, but the motion also calls for security updates “throughout the estimated lifespan” of a device. So hopefully we see more manufacturers offering prompt security updates for a longer period of time.
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