Last week certain BBC outlets and a number of online media did some really poor reporting on the EU Right to Repair measures which came into force in the UK. You may have seen us on BBC News trying to set the record straight, but honestly we needed a bot or something to counter the bad info.
If you are part of a Repair Cafe or grassroots repair group, you can help set the record straight, and promote our petition for a real Right to Repair.
The UK came up with these measures
The UK specifically excluded computers and mobiles due to pressure from Big Tech
End users have the right to access spare parts. In fact they have access to an extremely limited list of consumables, like cutlery baskets for dishwashers
All appliances are covered, like hoovers and kettles
These measures were designed by the EU in 2018, with the UK approving. The UK was obliged by the Brexit agreement to implement these.
The EU policy process behind these works in product groups, this one only covers appliances and TVs (and some other industrial products)
It’s unclear what happens to future measures, as the EU continues to move forward. The UK has made NO commitment to remain aligned, or to expand RIght to Repair in the UK.
The EU has committed to including IT products and mobiles - and here, yes Big Tech will push back.
Only professionals have meaningful access to spare parts and repair documentation.
Design for repair is the big precedent - products must be disassembled with commonly available tools. We need this for ALL products
Existing appliances ARE NOT covered by the regulation. Only those sold from 1 July 2021
Reaction online - concern over price
People online have asked some really important questions about whether cost will still prevent people from getting things repaired.
More action is indeed needed on cost of labour and spare parts.
Here’s what we propose
- Reduced VAT on labour (it’s in our petition)
- Income tax deductions for repair or voucher scheme. The UK did it for bike repair, why not expand
- Continue to push in Brussels and Whitehall on pricing of spare parts and “bundling”
- Engage the Competitions and Markets Authority on anti-competitive pricing of spare parts by manufacturers
- Create a repairability index, like France’s, that punishes manufacturers for gouging on spare parts price
Let us know your thoughts about how to counter the government spin that this is “job done”!
Thanks and stay safe