Are you selling your innovative product to consumers in the EU market? Or do you hope to do so in the future?
If so, now is your chance to influence how the EU plans to amend its rules on the sale of goods, in order to encourage a more sustainable consumption of products and help to develop the circular economy.
Alongside measures to ensure that products are designed in a more durable way under its Sustainable Product Initiative, the European Commission is also exploring a number of ideas about how to encourage consumers to use items for longer. Options being considered under the “right to repair” initiative include providing incentives to encourage the repair of products, instead of replacing them when faulty, or to buy and use second hand or refurbished goods. It’s hoped that providing consumers with more information on the consumption of products will allow for more sustainable choices when purchasing goods, helping them play their part in achieving a more sustainable economy.
The Commission is also considering changes to the existing EU rules on the sale of goods, which could see the existing choice between having defective products repaired or replaced changed, so that repair becomes the primary remedy, and/or longer legal guarantee periods.
Other options being looked at include establishing a new consumer right to claim repair for situations that are not covered by the current legal guarantee framework, for example, when a defect becomes apparent after 2 years or did not exist at the time of delivery, but was caused by normal wear and tear or by mishandling of the product.
Any of these ideas, if adopted, could have implications for UK companies looking to sell their products to European consumers, but this move towards a more sustainable consumption of goods also opens new potential opportunities for innovative UK businesses who are designing and developing new products to consider their durability or for those who have ideas which could make repair or refurbishment of goods easier, greener and cleaner for the environment!
If you are interested to take part in this consultation and share your views, please go the following webpage where there is an option either to give direct feedback on the subject or to take part in an online survey, as well as taking a look at what feedback has already been provided by companies and consumers across Europe, lots have already responded!
Link to the survey: Sustainable consumption of goods – promoting repair and reuse
Closes 5th April 2022
If you would like to be informed of other opportunities to respond to surveys like this, or indeed if you have additional questions around doing business in the EU or need help with understanding changes since the UK left the EU, then please get in touch with us via: https://www.innovateukedge.ukri.org/contact-us