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Washing machines, phones: What is new French label of 'repairability'?

An indice de réparabilité is required on certain household products to reflect how easily they can be fixed if faulty or broken

The indice de réparabilité is a rating out of ten which appears as a coloured label on the appliance or its packaging Pic: Drazbedel / Shutterstock

An indice de réparabilité – ‘repairability’ score – has been a compulsory feature of these appliances in France since January 1, 2021.

It consists of a score out of 10 which tells consumers how easily a product can be repaired at the time that they buy it. 

Lower numbers and a bright red label indicate an appliance that is not repairable, while higher numbers and green labels suggest that a machine can be fixed easily. 

In this way, the government hopes to extend the life of household appliances and reduce waste. 

The products affected by this requirement are: 

  • Washing machines 
  • Smartphones 
  • Laptops
  • Televisions 
  • Electric lawnmowers. 

This list - covered by a decree in the government’s Journal officiel legal publication last year - will eventually be extended to other machines used around the house. 

Consumers should be able to find their appliances’ repairability scores on the packaging, the product itself or on its description online. 

The French Environment Agency has worked with the regional artisan collectives, Chambres de métiers et de l’artisanat, to compile a countrywide directory of firms which can repair faulty or broken appliances. 

How is a repairability score calculated? 

When determining a product’s indice de réparabilité, several criteria are taken into account, including: 

  • The number of years it can be expected to work 
  • The ease with which it can be dismantled and the tools needed to achieve this
  • The amount of time that its components can be expected to work 
  • The price of its component parts in relation to the price of the product when new. 

Each of these factors is allotted a scoring scale which the manufacturer must use to calculate the indice.  

You can find out more about the rating system on the French government website. 

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