EPA Considers Gadget Repairability Scores

By Chen Chia-yi and Jonathan Chin / Personal Reporter, with a personal editor

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) will encourage the listing of repairability scores for electronic products, starting with smartphones and laptops, in an effort to promote consumers’ right to repair, a- she said Thursday.

Tech companies engage in planned obsolescence as a business strategy, prompting consumers to buy new products to replace devices that could be repaired, resulting in waste, said Wang Yueh-bin (王嶽斌), executive director of the EPA Recycling Fund Management Board.

The right to repair movement — which is gaining traction in the EU — has prompted changes to labeling rules that would require manufacturers to list the repairability score of their electronics, Wang said.

Photo: Chen Chia-yi, Taipei Times

France unveiled a mandate in 2021 requiring manufacturers or importers of electronics to list the repairability of their products, he said, adding that such rules help consumers make sustainable choices.

The EPA believes Taiwan should adopt similar rules and measures should be introduced to facilitate manufacturers in the new regulatory environment ahead of time, he said.

The repairability score should be based on the ease of disassembly, the availability and price of spare parts, as well as the availability of product life information and repair instructions, Wang said.

Manufacturers, importers and retailers would be urged to clearly label the repairability score of devices so consumers can make informed decisions about their purchases, he added.

A conference with 30 smartphone and laptop makers was due to take place yesterday, where instructions for makers were to be unveiled, Wang said.

The EPA would not immediately mandate the list of repairability scores for electronic devices, but regulations to that effect will likely be introduced eventually, he said.

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