As part of the Ecodesign policies (EDD) and starting from April 2021, manufacturers will be obliged for the first time to make appliances more easily repairable and longer-lasting as a result following a decision by European environment ministries. Previous Ecodesign policies have mostly focused on improving energy efficiency, but this is now being taken further to ensure that products are designed to last longer, and are easier to repair and recycle. The rules will apply to everyday products including lighting, displays, washing machines, dishwashers and fridges.
However, repair professionals are set to retain control of most repair operations. The new laws will require producers to make most spare parts and repair manuals available to professional repairers only. This may restrict the access of independent repairers, repair cafés and consumers to some key replacement parts and information, limiting the availability and affordability of repair services. In September 2018, the Commission put forward proposals as part of its Ecodesign Directive, which aims to reduce the environmental impact of products, going beyond improving the energy efficiency of products to ensuring that they last longer and are easier to repair and recycle.