Ecodesign to support repair of appliances

The Commission recently proposed ambitious draft resource efficiency requirements for several household appliances. For washing machines and dishwashers, manufacturers would have to provide spare parts necessary for the repair of the appliance for at least seven years. They would also have to give unrestricted access to repair and maintenance documentation and proprietary tools to independent repairers, two of the major obstacles to repair activities currently. Measures to facilitate the recycling, notably by identifying hazardous substances present in these products, are also foreseen. In the case of domestic fridges, the proposed regulation sets a ten-year availability of door gaskets, an important element for the energy efficiency of old fridges. These new requirements should be part of the package of Ecodesign & Energy Labelling measures to be adopted by the end of 2018.

The work in this direction is also being mirrored at Member State level. France has just announced a new policy for products to be labelled to give consumers access to information on materials traceability and ecodesign, with the intention to encourage manufacturers to extend the life of their products. Another proposal intends to set up a network of repairers.

At the same time, the Commission is launching several studies to reinforce the feasibility and applicability of such requirements, notably a study to develop a repair scoring that could be put on the label.

Measures to work towards a Circular Economy are a high priority on the EU policy agenda, and ECOS will continue to support and strengthen every action to address material efficiency considerations as part of a robust regulation.