EU passes resolution severely limiting planned obsolescence

The resolution will mean the restriction of products with built-in obsolescence, while making repairing of devices easier and more accessible


The EU has passed a resolution calling on the European Commission to comprehensively and severely limit planned obsolescence, which is notorious among technology giants like Apple and Samsung, Boing Boing has reported.

The move was first accepted by the European Parliament in July 2017 under the grounds that it would lengthen consumer goods and software longevity.

An EU commission report found that 77% of EU consumers would prefer to repair goods over buying new ones. However, individuals have found that they have to replace or discard devices because they are discouraged by the cost of repairs and the level of service provided.

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The resolution will also mean that devices should be easier to repair, meaning that batteries and other components should be freely accessible for replacement unless safety dictates otherwise, according to Retail Detail. Additionally, the move will mean that manufacturers need to give other companies access to their components so that consumers can more easily access a repairs service.

Pascal Durand, vice-chair of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, said: "We must reinstate the reparability of all products put on the market. We have to make sure that batteries are no longer glued into a product but are screwed in so that we do not have to throw away a phone when the battery breaks down."

Durand added: "We need to make sure that consumers are aware of how long the products last and how they can be repaired."

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The resolution has followed consumer disasters such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco in 2016 in which the battery proved to be an explosion hazard and, as it could not be replaced, Samsung was forced to recall every single device.

The resolution is also intended to stimulate job creation because it should result in more independent repair services, according to Retail Detail. Additionally, the European second-hand market stands to benefit from the changes.

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