The EU reinforces the right to repair

The European Parliament gives the green light to a strengthened right-to-repair law to reduce waste, make repairs easier, and save consumers money. The new rules will oblige manufacturers to fix a product, even if the legal guarantee has expired.


Finally, the European Parliament approved on 23 April, by an absolute majority with 584 votes in favour, 3 against and 14 abstentions, the directive on the right to repair that it had launched in November 2020. Even so, there are 24 months to apply it, which means that it will only become effective after some time in our country, and it is expected to be incorporated into the future Sustainable Consumption Law.

The new regulation aims to reduce waste, extend the useful life of products and facilitate their repairs to move towards a circular economy and save consumers money. In this sense, it will oblige manufacturers to fix a product, even if it has exhausted its legal guarantee.

In addition, manufacturers will have to offer spare parts and tools at a reasonable price. The use of contractual clauses or IT practices to hinder repairs is prohibited. Specifically, they may not prevent the use of second-hand or 3D-printed parts by independent repairers, nor refuse to repair a product solely on cost grounds or because a third party previously repaired it.

Facilitating repairs at an affordable price

One of the main new features is that the manufacturer will be obliged to repair at a reasonable price and within a reasonable time, even after the end of the warranty period, to encourage consumers to opt for repairing the product rather than buying a new one.

In this respect, the concept of a “quality guarantee” is introduced, whereby the legal guarantee is extended by 12 months if the consumer chooses to have the product repaired. This means that after the expiry of the legal guarantee, the manufacturer will still be obliged to repair common and technically repairable household products, such as washing machines, hoovers and smartphones.

The directive also stipulates that the repair must be carried out free of charge or “at a reasonable price” and within a certain period of time. It even stipulates that the manufacturer may lend a replacement appliance for the duration of the repair. In addition, manufacturers will be obliged to provide spare parts for a minimum of seven to ten years, depending on the product.

These measures are intended to prevent the repair of a product not being feasible, either because of the impossibility of obtaining spare parts or because of the high cost of spare parts. In addition, they are designed to boost the market for reconditioned products as an alternative to new products.


When will it start to be applied in Catalonia?

Once the Council formally adopts the directive, and it has been published in the Official Journal of the EU, member states will have 24 months to transpose it into national law. In Spain, it is expected to be incorporated into the future Sustainable Consumption Law, on which the Ministry of Social Rights, Consumption and Agenda 2030 is already working.

In the case of Catalonia, the general consumer protection law has already included measures to protect consumers’ right to redress for two years. For example, the guarantee covering any manufacturing defect was extended from two to three years.

On the other hand, digital services (e.g. subscriptions to online audiovisual content playback services, cloud storage services, etc.) and digital content (e.g. digitally downloaded music files, video games, etc.) are legally guaranteed for 2 years from the date of delivery.


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  1. Joan Santacruz CarlúsJoan Santacruz Carlús says:

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