France introduces a repair index to assess technological objects

According to the Waste Protection Act passed by French parliamentarians in February 2020, manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment have had to set up a repair index for certain technological objects since January 1, 2021. A score out of 10, which is similar to energy labels and should allow consumers to determine the level of repairability of the product they are planning to buy.

A measure to combat planned obsolescence

Today, only 40% of breakdowns in France result in repairs. Numbers that the Ministry for Ecological Change wants to change. Indeed, using this new index, Minister Barbara Pompili aims to achieve a repair rate of around 60% within five years. It is ambitious but necessary to avoid inappropriate consumption. You will understand that the goal is to tackle planned obsolescence, an issue the French government has been working on for several years.

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Regardless of whether it is a purchase in a shop or on the Internet, the consumer must be made aware of this repairability index “by labeling, labeling, posters or other methods” before making a purchase. appropriate ”, according to the law. In the event of non-compliance, the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Protection and Anti-Fraud (DGCCRF) has the right to intervene. At the moment only a few technological objects are affected. We find in particular: laptops, smartphones, televisions, window washers and lawnmowers.

What are the criteria for the repairability index?

Take the smartphone, for example. To better understand how this repairability index was designed it is interesting to focus on the 5 main criteria that make up it (sub-criteria are established for each criterion):

Technical Documentation. the removable nature of the equipment. the availability times on the spare parts market. Delivery times and sales price of spare parts. Information on the type of updates, free remote support and the possibility of a soft reset.

In November 2020, the European Union also voted for a right to compensation for its citizens. The rules are not final and allow France to stay one step ahead of the Union. Under the Green Deal for Europe, this right to repair aims to encourage recycling, reuse and repair through various measures to reduce the rate of electronic waste in Europe.

After all, these are sensible measures. According to a study conducted by the European Commission, 77% of European citizens prefer to have their devices repaired rather than replaced. 79% of those surveyed also believe that manufacturers should be legally obliged to facilitate the repair of technological objects or the replacement of parts.

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