The directive aims to reduce waste and bolster the repair sector.

By Paul A. Davies, Michael D. Green, and James Bee

On 2 February 2024, the European Parliament (Parliament) and European Council (Council) reached a provisional deal on a directive promoting the repair of broken or defective goods, known as the Right to Repair Directive.

The directive was proposed in March 2023 by the European Commission[1] (Commission), seeking to deliver on environmental targets outlined in the European Green Deal, specifically regarding sustainable consumption and the circular economy.

The provisional agreement clarifies obligations for manufacturers and encourages consumers to extend a product’s life cycle through repair.

Key Provisions and Scope

The agreement covers products for which the EU legislation lays down repairability requirements,[2] including washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and mobile phones.[3] In the future, the Commission can introduce further repairability requirements for new products through the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation.

The agreement aims to make repairs more appealing and straightforward for consumers through a number of measures, including the following:

  • Product sellers would be obliged to extend the warranty period of a product by an additional 12 months, after a product is repaired under warranty
  • Following the period of legal guarantee, consumers would still be able to request repair of defects for in-scope products
  • The legislation would oblige manufacturers to provide details regarding spare parts on their website, whilst also making these parts available to repair-sector parties at a “reasonable” price. The EU would also bar manufacturers preventing the use of second-hand or 3D-printed spare parts by independent repairers.

Further provisions include the creation of a European online repair platform to facilitate the connection between consumers and repairers. In addition, a European repair information form can (optionally) be offered to consumers, providing information on repair conditions, timing, and costs. These measures intend to promote transparency and visibility for repair options and prices.

Next Steps

Once the directive is adopted by the Council and Parliament and published in the EU Official Journal, Member States will have 24 months to transpose it into national law.

Latham & Watkins will continue to monitor developments in this area.

Endnotes


[1] For more detail on the Commission’s proposal, refer to our blog post titled European Commission Adopts Proposal to Promote Repair of Goods.

[2] Provisional agreement on the text of the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation was reached by the EU Parliament and Council in December 2023. The regulation will introduce a new framework (to replace the existing Ecodesign Directive) which will give the Commission a broad mandate to introduce product-specific sustainability requirements.

[3] While the full text of the provisional agreement has not yet been released, it is expected to be largely in line with the Commission’s proposal. The products listed are included in the Council’s press release.