India is on the verge of introducing “Right To Repair” for consumer durable goods and others such as Mobile Phones/ Tablets, Automobiles/Automobile Equipment, and Farming Equipment. This law is said to help consumers to repair their damaged products themselves, even without going to the repair centers or contacting the original manufacturers. As per the law, manufacturing companies will have to provide manuals for the users to make repairs easy.
Let’s dig deeper into the law that will soon be implemented in the country!
Aim of the “Right To Repair” law:
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said that the aim of developing a framework for RTR in India is to empower consumers and product buyers in the local market. It is to harmonize trade between the original equipment manufacturers and third-party buyers and sellers, emphasize developing sustainable consumption of products, and e-waste reduction. Once the law is rolled out in India, it will be a huge step towards the sustainability of the products. It will also serve in employment generation by allowing third-party repairs.
Which country has implemented the right-to-repair law?
The US has Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act, 2012. As per this act, manufacturers must provide manuals and necessary documents for consumers to repair their vehicles. The UK introduced the “Right To Repair” law in 2021, in which manufacturing companies are legally bound to make spare parts available to their consumers. European Union also passed legislation in 2019 that after 2021, the manufacturers will have to supply the spare parts of the appliances to professional repairmen for 10 years. EU introduced a new draft, “Circular Economy Action Plan,” again in 2020, including the electronic right to repair for its citizens. Australia doesn’t have a specific right-to-repair law, but it has free meeting places named repair cafes with volunteer repairmen who share their repairing skills.
Why should people have the ‘right to repair’?
The main logic behind the law’s introduction is that we must own a product completely when we buy it. It implies that we must know how to repair or modify the product easily without paying high repair costs. And, all of these without even depending on the manufacturers. This law would change how these manufacturing companies provide repair information and parts to the unofficial repair centers, reducing these unnecessary costs on repairs.
Above all, the right-to-repair law is a sustainable approach to our environment, as repair induces the reduction of electronic, electrical, or mechanical wastes. Also, we will be able to use and reuse a product for a more extended period, which is again a stride towards a sustainable environment.
Although, implementing the law will take time as the Department of Consumer Affairs has only set up a committee responsible for developing a framework for the “Right To Repair” in the country.