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Further development of strategies against obsolescence including legal instruments

  • Published on March 2, 2021
The project developed regulatory strategies against obsolescence to contribute towards prolonging the product lifetime. The study considers both civil and public legal instruments and focusses on the improvement of repair conditions, the introduction of a guarantee of durability, the extension of non-conformity rights and the legal standing of environmental associations. Proposals for legal and technical formulation as well as implementation were developed with a focus on the EU level.
The extension of product lifespan and usage times leads to an overall reduction of negative environmental impacts. The project developed regulatory strategies against obsolescence to contribute towards prolonging the product lifetime. The study considers both civil and public legal instruments and focusses on the improvement of repair conditions, the introduction of a guarantee of durability, the extension of non-conformity rights and the legal standing of environmental associations. Proposals for legal and technical formulation as well as implementation were developed with a focus on the EU level. Following legal recommendations for policy-makers were developed by the Oeko-Institute and the Centre for Consumer Research and Sustainable Consumption (vunk) at Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences: - Improving conditions for the independent repair sector in the EU under the Ecodesign Directive is also recommended. The necessary improvements relate to the availability and deliverability of spare parts and discrimination-free access to repair and maintenance information. With regard to repair requirements, the experts are of the view that a horizontal regulation covering all electronic and electrical products should be created under the Ecodesign Directive. - Make labelling of a product’s minimum service life a compulsory civil law requirement. - Warranty periods should be defined on the basis of a product’s expected service life as part of national implementation of the EU’s Sale of Goods Directive. - Extend the reversal of the burden of proof to two years when implementing the Sale of Goods Directive in Germany. - Require the manufacturer/importer to provide a guarantee of functionality, so that buyers have an additional liability partner. - Extend the rights of environmental associations to initiate class actions as an implementation instrument so that they can pursue legal action in the event of infringement of consumer protection standards (relating to sustainability) Full study (in German language) with an extended english summary is available on: https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/publikationen/weiterentwicklung-von-strategien-gegen-obsoleszenz
Project start date
02/03/2021
Project end date
02/03/2021

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