THE European Union approved new rules on Tuesday (1st) to make appliances more durable and easier to repair. From 2021, manufacturers will have to obey the so-called “right to repair”, offering spare parts for 10 years after the sale and that can be replaced without causing damage to the products.
The measure applies to all refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, televisions, power supplies, electric motors, transformers and welding equipment sold in the European Union. Spare parts must be available to independent professionals and cannot require proprietary tools to be installed.
In addition to increasing the durability of products, companies will have to commit to the new sustainability rules of the bloc. “For the first time, the measures include repairability and recycling requirements, contributing to the objectives of the circular economy by improving the service life, maintenance, reuse, updating, recycling and waste treatment of the appliances”, says the European Commission.
Energy efficiency requirements will become more stringent. THE BBC notes that the current rules are out of date, with over 55% of washing machines sold in the European Union classified as A ++++. With the new requirements, the expectation is to save 5% of the energy spent in the bloc from 2030, the equivalent of 20 billion euros per year or the annual consumption of all Denmark.
The right to repair becomes effective in the European Union in April 2021. Other countries are also studying similar legislation: in the United States, about 20 states, including California, want to ensure that manufacturers offer replacement parts to independent professionals. The results began to show: Apple, which has already taken action against unauthorized repairs, will provide iPhone parts for technical assistance.