The EPA tests devices for repairability ratings

By Chen Chia-yi and Jonathan Chin / Staff Reporter, with staff writer

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) plans to encourage the listing of repairability ratings for electronic products, starting with smartphones and laptops, to strengthen consumers’ right to repair, it said Thursday.

Technology companies are pursuing planned obsolescence as a business strategy that encourages consumers to buy new products to replace equipment 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 — gaining momentum in the EU — has led to changes in labeling regulations that would require manufacturers to indicate the repairability rating of their electronic products, Wang said.

Photo: Chen Chia-yi, Taipei Times

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

The EPA believes Taiwan should adopt similar rules and measures to help manufacturers get into the new regulatory environment early, he said.

The repairability rating should be based on the ease of disassembly, the availability and price of replacement parts, and the availability of product life information and repair instructions, Wang said.

Manufacturers, importers and retailers are encouraged to clearly label the repairability value of devices so consumers can make informed purchasing decisions, he added.

A conference involving 30 smartphone and laptop makers was scheduled to be held yesterday, at which instructions for manufacturers would be announced, Wang said.

The EPA would not mandate the listing of repairability ratings for electronic equipment immediately, but it’s likely that regulations will eventually be introduced, he said.

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