MEP: EU to ban programmed defects in a year or two

NEWS 29.03.202317:07

The European Union could ban programmed defects and planned obsolescence of devices in a year or two, Member of the European Parliament Biljana Borzan of the Croatian Social Democratic Party said in Brussels on Wednesday, a day after the relevant EP committee supported a review of consumer rights.

The Committee on Consumer Protection and Internal Market on Tuesday voted in a document on empowering consumers for the green transition, revising the existing directives on consumer rights.

The EP is set to vote on the matter in April.

“Talks between the EP, the Council and the European Commission on the matter will last a few months and will decide when the directive will go into force. This usually takes a year or two, depending on how much it changes things in practice,” said Borzan, vice-president of the European Socialists, who was the rapporteur for the said document.

The changes to the existing directives envisage a ban on components that limit the life span of devices and a ban on all practices that can reduce the life span of devices.

Manufacturers often maintain that they have to produce devices that way because consumers seek new, modern designs, Borzan said, noting that she can understand that argument when mobile phones are concerned because changes in their design and specifications are constant.

“But I don’t believe that someone changes their dishwasher because a new, modern one is on the market,” she said.

The document also envisages a ban on false claims saying that a device has a certain life span if that is not true or cannot be proven.

“Producers can now claim that a washing machine has a life span of I don’t now how many thousand cycles, which is not based on any research but manufacturers cunningly make such claims in product declarations anyway, aware that consumers like to have that kind of information when buying a device,” she said.

Slightly more than 94% of respondents in Croatia believe that devices should last longer and 93.8% that household appliances today have a shorter life span than 20 years ago, a survey commissioned by Borzan shows.