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Circular economy and right to repair: the Council of the European Union adopts position on a directive

On 22 November 2023, the Council of the European Union announced through a press release that it had adopted its position on a proposed directive establishing common rules to promote the repair of goods. The proposed text was introduced by the European Commission in March 2023 and aims “to remove obstacles that discourage consumers from seeking repair, such as inconvenience, lack of transparency or difficult access to repair services”.

The new legislation should create incentives for consumers to prolong the life of the product by having it repaired, which in turn will boost the repair sector, reduce waste and promote more sustainable business models.

The Council mandate supports the general objectives of the directive, but wishes to make a number of improvements regarding the obligation to repair (manufacturers required to perform repairs within a reasonable time and, unless the service is provided free of charge, at a reasonable price so as not to deter consumers from exercising their rights) as well as the transposition period (longer transposition period so businesses have a further six months to adapt to the new requirements).

Negotiations with the European Parliament should begin in the coming weeks.

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