EU Law

Proposal of the Directive on Common rules promoting the repair of goods (Right to Repair Directive).

  • Beatriz Gomes
  • Madalena Carranca


In response to the pressing need for sustainable consumption practices and enhanced consumer rights within the European Union (EU), a new Directive Proposal seeks to build upon the existing framework to strengthen the internal market’s functionality while promoting a high level of environmental protection and consumer welfare.

Directive (EU) 2019/771 initially laid the groundwork for improving consumer protection and fostering circularity within the economy. However, recognizing the evolving changes posted by climate change and resource depletion, the proposed Directive aims to bolster these effects by placing greater emphasis on repairability and extending consumer rights. At its core, the proposed legislation seeks to reduce the premature disposal of viable goods and encourage consumers to utilize their purchases for a longer period, so, by enhancing provisions related to the repair of goods, consumers will have the possibility to seek affordable repair services from a wide range of providers, therefore contributing to a more green and competitive market.

This new Directive aligns with the EU’s overarching goal of transitioning to a greener economy. By promoting sustainable consumption practices, such as repair and refurbishment, the Directive aims to minimize waste generation, conserve resources, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) associated with the manufacturing, transportation and disposal of products.

This Proposal also seems to recognize the importance of harmonizing Regulation across Member States in order to prevent market fragmentation and ensure the coherence of the internal market. By establishing harmonized rules governing defects within the liability of the seller, it promoted market integration and facilitates cross-border trade.

Besides, the Directive upholds fundamental principles enshrined in the EU Charter, particularly Article  38, considering the enhancement of consumer rights, specially concerning the possibilities it opens for consumers to make more environmentally and economically conscious choices.

This initiative aligns with the Commission’s focus on the green transition, notably the European Green Deal, which aims to transition the EU into a circular economy. The plan targets sustainable consumption by prioritizing repair, ultimately reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions. This commitment is reiterated in the New Circular Economy Action Plan and the New Consumer Agenda, highlighting the Commission’s intent to promote sustainable consumption through a forthcoming ‘right to repair’ (R2R) initiative.


R2R Directive would amend these existing texts:

  • Regulation (EU) 2017/2394 of December 12, 2017 on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws;
  • Directive (EU) 2019/771 of May 20, 2019 on certain aspects concerning contracts for the sale of goods;
  • Directive (EU) 2020/1828 of the European Parliament and of the Council of November 25, 2020 on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers.

Right to Repair (R2R)

The Proposed Directive sets the normative need for a strong regime concerning the repair of goods, stating in Article 1(1) this precise intent of “strengthening the provisions relating to the repair of goods”, with the objective to contribute to consumer and environmental protection. The provisional agreement maintains the Directive’s focus on products subject to EU reparability requirements, including washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, and vacuum cleaners. In the future, the European Commission may extend reparability requirements to new products, which would subsequently be included in Annex 2 of the R2R Directive.

The novelty this Directive brings is highly based on the European Repair Information Forum (established by Article 4), which is a crucial mechanism for fostering transparent communication between repairers and consumers within the European Union. As per the Directive, repairers are obliged to furnish consumers with the European Repair Information Form upon request and prior to the consumer’s commitment to a repair service contract. This form includes detailed information outlined in Article 4(4), covering the repairer’s details, goods description, the nature of the defect, pricing, and more. Once provided, the conditions in the form remain unchanged for at least 30 days, with the option for extension. Besides, adherence to the directive’s requirements regarding the European Repair Information Form ensures compliance with various EU directives, like Directive 2011/83/EU and Directive 2006/123/EC.

Annex I of the Directive provides the proposed European Repair Information Form to be adopted by the repairers in accordance with article 4(1). Part I mainly provides means of communication to ease a path of communication between the repairer and the consumer. Part II of the annex provides a form on the information on the repair service with the minimum information required.

Essentially, the European Repair Information Form empowers consumers with clear repair service details, enabling informed decisions and safeguarding consumer rights across the EU.

As for the obligation to repair, Article 5 mandates the repair obligation, requiring Member States to ensure manufacturers adhere to repairability standards outlined in Union legal acts listed in Annex II. Manufacturers must repair goods upon consumer request unless deemed impossible, offering replacements or refurbished items when necessary. Additionally, manufacturers located outside the EU must fulfill repair obligations through authorized representatives, importers, or distributors within the Union. Spare parts for goods covered by Annex II must be reasonably priced to facilitate repair. Manufacturers must provide consumers with access to indicative repair prices via a free-access website and are prohibited from using clauses or techniques hindering repair without legitimate justification. Consumers retain the right to choose any repairer for their goods, and the Commission is tasked with updating Annex II to reflect regulatory changes regarding repairability requirements. In short, Annex II provides a list of Union legal acts containing repairability requirements for relevant categories of goods. According to Article 20 of the Proposed Directive, and in order to ensure coherence with future regulatory developments the Commission has the power to adopt acts in respect of adding Union legal acts to Annex II to this Directive, when new repairability requirements are adopted. The list provided in Annex II is relevant in a way that according to Article 1(3) of the Proposed Directive, Articles 5 and 6 (obligation to repair and information on obligation to repair) only apply to goods for which and to the extent that repairability requirements are provided for by Union legal acts listed in Annex II.

In an riveting way, the Proposed  Directive establishes in Article 7 an European Online Platform for repair, providing consumers access to repairers, refurbished goods sellers, and community-led repair initiatives. This platform consists of national sections with a common online interface, ensuring uniformity and accessibility. Member States are required to use the common interface for their national sections, linking to national online platforms if already established. The platform’s functions include search capabilities, access to the European Repair Information Form, and updates on repairer information and services. Additionally, it aims for accessibility, data collection for platform improvement, and free usage for consumers. Member States and the Commission must disseminate information about the platform to relevant stakeholders.

In conclusion, we find relevant to highlight some provisions, mainly the following:

  • In relation to national law, it comes with no surprise when Article 14 asserts its mandatory effect meaning that national provisions cannot contradict this Directive. In this sense, this Directive doesn’t prevent the Repairer to offer a contractual agreement that goes beyond the protection provided in it.
  • Following this obligation and since this is a Directive Proposal, once approved Member States shall bring into force laws, regulations, and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive within a time limit yet to be determined.  This Directive will enter into forth on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
  • Article 19 also introduces an obligation that falls to the Commission and recognizes the already mentioned  importance of harmonizing Regulation across Member States in order to prevent market fragmentation and ensure the coherence of the internal market. The Commission shall submit a report assessing the contribution of this Directive, in particular Article 5 and 16, to promoting repair in the internal market. In particular, this report shall assess the effectiveness of incentives to choose repair over the purchase of a substitute.

Key Takeaways

The Proposed Directive represents a significant step towards advancing sustainable consumption practices and enhancing consumer rights within the EU. By embracing repairability as a cornerstone of the circular economy, this new piece of legislation will pave the way for a more resilient and environmentally conscious economy, while not leaving SMEs out of the conversation (Article 10).

The R2R Directive, a pivotal component of the new consumer agenda and circular economy action plan, heralds a transformative shift in consumer rights and sustainability efforts within the EU. By imposing a mandatory repair obligation on manufacturers for goods falling under EU repair requirements, it ensures accountability and fosters a culture of responsible production and consumption. Central to its implementation is the establishment of a comprehensive European Repair Information Form, providing consumers with essential data on repair services. This empowers consumers to make informed decisions while promoting transparency and accessibility in the repair market. Additionally, the Directive harmonizes national repair information platforms into a unified European online platform, streamlining access to crucial repair-related information across member states.

The R2R Directive aligns seamlessly with other recent legislative initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable consumption, such as the ecodesign Regulation, which encourages the production of repairable products, and the Directive on empowering consumers for the green transition, enabling consumers to make environmentally conscious purchasing decisions.

  • Beatriz Gomes
  • Madalena Carranca