EP proposes measures to strengthen consumer protection & product safety

"EU consumers should enjoy a right to repair"

The Internal Market Committee within the European Parliament proposed a series of measures to strengthen consumer protection and enhance product safety and sustainability.

In a resolution on sustainable Single Market approved by 20, MEPs have called on the Commission to grant consumers a “right to repair” by making repairs more appealing, systematic, and cost-efficient.

They are also asking the Commission to consider labelling products and services according to their durability, for example; a usage meter and clear information on the estimated lifespan of a product.

This would support second-hand goods markets and promote more sustainable production practices and to reduce electronic waste, MEPs insist again on a common charger system.

To tackle planned obsolescence, restricting practices that intentionally shorten the lifetime of a product should be considered, said the MEPs who also think that the corrective updates for certain digital devices must continue throughout their estimated lifespan and not diminish their performance.

According to Eurobarometer, 77% of EU citizens would rather repair their devices than replace them and 79% think that manufacturers should be required to make it easier to repair digital devices or replace their individual parts.

MEPs are also pushing for more sustainable public procurement as well as responsible marketing and advertising that encourages sustainable business and consumer choices. This should include clear guidelines for products that claim to be environmentally friendly, assisted by further ecolabel certification. For example, when green claims are made in advertisements, common criteria should be followed to support the claim.

In addition, the report proposes new rules for waste management, including the removal of legal obstacles that prevent repair, resale and reuse.

Fight against unsafe products sold online

In another resolution on product safety in the Single Market, approved by 45, MEPs addressed the issue of unsafe products, particularly those sold on online marketplaces. This includes products that contain dangerous chemicals, have unsafe software, or pose other safety hazards.

MEPs want online platforms and marketplaces to take proactive measures to tackle misleading practices and demand that EU rules on product safety should be enforced robustly.

The resolution calls for a revision of the current product safety legislation, such as the General Product Safety Directive and the Machinery Directive, to adapt it to the digitalisation of products.