After referring to France's “Repairability Index” system, the EPA provided guidance to mobile phone and laptop computer enterprises to pilot the implementation of a "Repairability Index." This initiative aims to enable consumers to identify the repairability of products when making purchases, allowing them to exercise their right to repair, thus reducing electronic waste.
The current Repairability Index in France has a maximum score of 10, indicating the greatest ease of repair. It comprises five scoring criteria: availability of information; disassembly steps; tools and fastening features; availability of spare parts, and; prices and specific standards of spare parts. Manufacturers must determine the index for their products before they are launched. Both physical and online stores are required to display the Repairability Index near the item price in a textual and graphical format easily visible to consumers to assist their purchasing decisions. The European Union has also introduced a draft of the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR), which will also incorporate repairability scores that are to be disclosed in conjunction with the Digital Product Passport system.
The EPA explained that in the digital technology era, electronic products are constantly evolving, leading to an ever-increasing production volume, and the problem of difficulty in repair after damage often results in waste generation. Since sustainable consumption patterns are becoming an international trend, and in order to enable domestic manufacturers to adapt to the international market, the EPA has formulated the Guidelines for Promoting the Repairability Index of Electronic Products (電子產品維修度指數推動指引). These guidelines provide guidance on criteria score calculation and information disclosure methods. Manufacturers are invited to discuss and pilot the guidelines and propose localized scoring standards. The goal is to guide manufacturers in designing and providing products and services that are more repair-friendly, thus extending the lifespan of products.
During the guidelines briefing held on 26 May, manufacturers were recommended to not only incorporate repairability into product design but also consider offering warranty repair services. Nearly 20 laptop and mobile phone brands such as ASUS and ACER, as well as the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association, participated in the briefing. Currently, most manufacturers are happy to see the promotion of the repairability index and are cooperating with the policy. They are also considering the warranty service design. It is hoped that the establishment and promotion of a repairability index system will contribute to the advocacy of the Right to Repair, allowing consumers to reclaim their repair rights, promoting the development of the local repair industry, and maximizing the value of resources.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, May 2023
- Ministry of Environment