Belgium follows France in introducing reparability index

Belgium is in the headlines in today's exciting recycling news.

France was the first European country to introduce a reparability index. Essentially, this is a score that indicates how viable it is to repair an object, like, say, a washing machine.

The index assesses 5 criteria:

  1. Documentation
  2. Disassembly
  3. Availability of spare parts
  4. Price of spare parts
  5. Product-specific aspects

The first 4 criteria are the same for all products groups, the 5th criterion looks into product-specific properties. For smartphones, laptops and TVs this includes software aspects. 

Each criterion is scored on 20 points and each number is then compiled into an aggregate score out of 100, which is then divided by 10 and rounded to 1 decimal digit to make the final grade. 


The French model and Belgium's follow up are a good start. An excellent outcome of this legislation would have the index serve as a minimum standard for products that are allowed onto the market. It'd be great if a washing machine with a planned obsolescence date weren't allowed to be sold at all. But for now, France and its half brother Belgium can gloat over their continued economic, social and environmental advantages over us.

Thomas Opsomer, repair policy engineer at iFixit, said: "we are happy to see a second European country implement a repair score, especially one that includes the crucial criterion of spare parts prices. We hope that this will help to drive the point home that integrating the price in EU repair scores is not only possible, but necessary. It is one of the key factors that determine the chances of a product actually being repaired, and with parts prices varying wildly across brands and products, consumers need to know what to expect in order to make informed choices. Surveys have shown that the vast majority of consumers indeed expect this aspect to be reflected in a repair score."

Rosalie Heens, Thomas Opsomer and Flavie Vonderscher,

Now, whether the EU will enforce general right to repair laws is another question.

Previously: The EU could give every European the #RightToRepair, but lobbyists will kill it unless we take action!