The EU is one step closer to approve its new “Right to Repair” Directive for the protection of consumers, after the overwhelming support in the plenary vote of the European Parliament on the 23th of April, which resulted in its adoption.

The practically final version of the Directive on common rules promoting the repair of goods and amending Regulation (EU) 2017/2394, Directives (EU) 2019/771 and (EU) 2020/1828, has been sent to the European Council, where it is expected that it will also be approved, due to the institutional political agreement reached on this text on the 1st February.

This Directive had been proposed by the European Commission on 22nd March 2023, having been previously announced on the New Consumer Agenda, part of the New Circular Economy Action Plan for a cleaner and more competitive Europe, which were presented on March 2020, as one of the policy pillars of the European Green Deal.

The main goal of this Directive is to amend the body of European Consumer Law with measures to promote the exercise of the right of repair to extend product’s lifecycle, reduce waste and strengthen the secondary repair market.

The Directive will directly affect sellers and producers (and when applicable, to authorized representatives, importers, and distributors) of consumers goods, with a focus on household appliances, data storage equipment, mobile phones, and tablets. The Commission will be allowed to further expand the list of products to which the obligation to repair will be applicable, even before the transposition window expires.

To promote repair and deprioritize the replacement of goods, the Directive prescribes that the seller/professional's liability period may be extended by 1 year following the repair of a defective good. Member States will be allowed to adopt longer extensions to the liability period. Additionally, producers and manufacturers will be required to repair certain goods beyond the legal guarantee under Directive (EU) 2019/771, and manufacturers will be obliged to provide information about spare parts online, as well as making them available to all participants in the repair sector at a reasonable price.

To remove possible barriers to repairers and consumers, the Directive also prohibits the use of contractual clauses, hardware and software that prevent the repair of goods, as well as the use of second-hand spare parts and those manufactured with 3D printing.

To further promote the rise of secondary repair market, the Directive includes the implementation of a European Online Platform for Repair, which should allow consumers to find repairers for their goods (and in some cases, also sellers of refurbished goods and purchasers of defective goods for refurbishment).

After the Council’s approval and publication in the Official Journal, the Member States will have up to two years to transpose this directive to their national legislation (most probably to the same law that transposed Directive 2019/771 on consumer goods).