AGEC Act: reparability index and incentives

The anti-waste law for a circular economy (AGEC) represents a significant attempt to combat programmed obsolescence and extend the lifespan of products, particularly electrical and electronic equipment. Programmed obsolescence refers to the deliberate practice of designing, manufacturing or marketing electronic or mechanical products in such a way that they become obsolete, often prematurely, thus encouraging consumers to replace their goods on a regular basis.

In force for several years now, the AGEC lawor the law on the fight against waste and the circular economy, adopted in France in 2020, aims to promote a transition to a more sustainable economy by strengthening measures to combat waste, promote recycling, and encourage the eco-design of products to reduce their environmental impact. This legislation introduced various measures, including a reparability index, access to spare parts, and financial incentives for repair. This article looks at the evolution of these provisions and assesses their actual impact.

1. Objective of extending product life

1.1Repairability and durability index

Therepairability and durability index, a key element of AGEC, aims to inform consumers about how easy it is to repair a product. However, its application is currently limited to eight product categories. In spite of this, the law provided for the evolution of an index of “reparability“to an index ofdurability“This is a more comprehensive approach, including criteria such as equipment reliability and software enhancements. Unfortunately, delays due to complications with European regulations have hampered its full implementation.

1.2 Obligations regarding spare parts

The law introduced obligations for manufacturers and importers of goods, requiring them to inform professional sellers of the availability of the necessary spare parts, and to guarantee this availability for a significant period after the end of marketing. Although regulatory texts have been adopted, their implementation has been delayed, especially when it comes to extending them to other products.