New ecodesign requirements for more durable products adopted
EU member states and the European Commission agreed today on new ecodesign requirements for smartphones, tablets, mobile phones and cordless phones. For the first time, manufacturers of these products are now required to provide certain spare parts, repair information and software updates. The German government, under the lead responsibility of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and supported by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), had repeatedly pushed for ambitious targets during the negotiations.
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck commented: "The negotiations have been a great success and another step towards a more circular economy in keeping with the coalition agreement. The new regulations will make it easier to repair and refurbish smartphones and tablets, thereby extending their service lives. At the same time, with the future product requirements we have struck a good balance between the interests of industry and of climate action."
Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke remarked: "Mass-produced products such as smartphones and tablets will have to be easier to repair in future, making them more durable. This is a big step towards the right to repair. No one should have to throw away a mobile phone anymore because a defective battery cannot be removed. The new regulations will help save resources and lay the foundation for the sustainable use of electrical appliances in the European Union. This is another step away from a disposable society."
The new ecodesign requirements, which cover smartphones, tablets, mobile phones and cordless phones, stipulate for the first time that it must be possible to repair these products and that spare parts must be available. For example, manufacturers must provide repair information and certain spare parts, such as displays and batteries, for 7 years. In addition, manufacturers must design products to ensure that components can be replaced more easily in future. This will facilitate the repair and reuse of used devices and increase recycling and resource efficiency. In addition, manufacturers will be expected to provide software updates for 5 years. However, these software updates may not reduce the performance. Furthermore, the new regulation will strengthen the rights of companies that professionally refurbish smartphones and tablets.
According to the European Commission, the new Ecodesign Regulation, together with the future Energy Label Regulation, will reduce the primary energy consumed by the products in question by 13.9 TWh across the EU in 2030. The new requirements will come into force next year after they are adopted by the European Commission and will apply to all devices sold in the EU after a transition period of 21 months.