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Software 26.11.2020    Pdf    Appunta    Letti    Post successivo  

In futuro altri obblighi per lo sviluppo software pur contro l'obsolescenza programmata

Il parlamento europeo raccomanda alla Commissione di stabilire nuove regole.

L'idea e' di una internet piu' lenta, piu' riutilizzabile, con scadenze certe e meno marketing. In linea di principio, niente di male, in pratica, altre regole per far saltare un contratto.

Il tutto invece di dare piu' risorse alle autorità antitrust per condotte commerciali scorrette.

Un testo fortemente ideologizzato, che poco si addice alla legislazione.

E' solo una proposta, per ora.

Valentino Spataro



Consumer rights and clamping down on planned obsolescence

6. Calls on the Commission to devise, in consultation with the relevant stakeholders, a broad strategy with measures differentiating between categories of products and taking into account market and technological developments to support businesses and consumers and to engage with sustainable production and consumption patterns; notes that this strategy should include measures to:

a. specify the pre-contractual information to be provided on the estimated lifespan (to be expressed in years and/or use cycles and to be determined before the placement on the market of the product through an objective and standardised methodology based on real-use conditions, differences in terms of intensity of use and natural factors, among other metrics) and reparability of a product, keeping in mind that this information should be provided in a clear and comprehensible manner so as to avoid confusing consumers and overloading them with information, and make this one of the main characteristics of a product pursuant to Directives 2011/83/EU and 2005/29/EC,

b. encourage the development and harmonisation of voluntary labelling, involving all relevant stakeholders, based on research-based and transparent standards further to impact assessments demonstrating relevance, proportionality and effectiveness in reducing negative environmental impacts and protecting consumers; believes that this labelling could notably include information on durability and reparability, such as a repair score, and could take the form of an environmental performance index, taking into account multiple criteria throughout the life cycle of products according to product category; considers that it should provide immediately visible, clear and easy-to-understand information to consumers at the time of purchase,

c. reinforce the role of the EU ecolabel to increase industry uptake and raise awareness among consumers,

d. assess which categories of goods are most suited to being equipped with a usage meter, on the basis of a cost/environmental-efficiency analysis, with the aim of improving consumer information and product maintenance, encouraging long-term use of products through facilitated reuse, and boosting reuse and second-hand business models,

e. in the preparation of the review of Directive (EU) 2019/771, assess how to bring the duration of legal guarantees more into line with the estimated lifetime of a product category, as well as how an extension of the reversed burden of proof period for non-conformity would enhance the possibility for consumers and businesses to make sustainable choices; calls for this impact assessment to consider the possible effects of such potential extensions on prices, the expected lifetime of products, commercial guarantee systems and independent repair services,

f. in the preparation of the review of Directive (EU) 2019/771, study the feasibility of strengthening the position of sellers in relation to manufacturers by introducing a joint manufacturer-seller liability mechanism under the legal guarantee regime,

g. tackle planned obsolescence by considering adding to the list set out in Annex I to Directive 2005/29/EC practices which have the sole intent of effectively shortening the lifetime of a product to increase its replacement rate and unduly constrain the reparability of products, including software; stresses that these practices should be clearly defined based on an objective and common definition, taking into account the assessment of all stakeholders involved, such as research establishments and consumer, business and environmental organisations;

7. Stresses that goods with digital elements require particular attention and that the following elements should be taken into account within the review of Directive (EU) 2019/771 to be carried out by 2024:

a. corrective updates – i.e. security and conformity updates – must continue throughout the estimated lifespan of the device, according to product category,

b. corrective updates should be kept separate from evolutive updates, which must be reversible, and no update must ever diminish the performance or responsiveness of the goods,

c. consumers must be informed by the seller at the moment of purchase of the period during which updates to the software supplied on purchase of the goods can be expected to be provided, in a way that is compatible with innovation and possible future market developments, as well as of their specificities and impacts on device performance, to ensure that the goods maintain their conformity and security;

8. Stresses the need for simple, effective and enforceable means of redress for consumers and businesses; points out that consumers across the EU should be informed about their rights and means of redress; calls for funding within the framework of the multiannual financial framework (MFF) Single Market Programme for measures to address the information gap and to provide consumer, business and environmental associations with support for their initiatives; considers that Member States should carry out information campaigns to increase consumer protection and confidence, especially among vulnerable groups, and calls on the Commission to give consumers adequate information on their rights through the Single Digital Gateway; highlights that SMEs, micro-enterprises and the self-employed require specific support, including financial support, in order to understand and meet their legal obligations in the field of consumer protection;

9. Notes that many products placed on the single market, especially products sold by online marketplaces and imported from outside the EU, fail to comply with EU legislation relating to product safety and sustainability requirements; calls on the Commission and the Member States to urgently take action to ensure a level playing field for EU companies with international competitors, as well as to ensure safe and sustainable products for consumers through improved market surveillance and equivalent customs control standards throughout the EU for both traditional and online businesses; points out that in order to carry out this task, market surveillance authorities must be provided with appropriate financial, technical, information and human resources in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2019/1020, and calls on Member States to meet their needs and on the Commission to ensure proper implementation of the regulation; underlines that interaction between the RAPEX system and online marketplaces and platforms should be significantly enhanced;

Facilitating repairs

10. Calls for the following information on the availability of spare parts, software updates and the reparability of a product to be made available in a clear and easily legible manner at the time of purchase: estimated period of availability from date of purchase, average price of spare parts at the time of purchase, recommended approximate delivery and repair times, and information on repair and maintenance services, where relevant; asks, furthermore, for this information to be provided in the product documentation together with a summary of the most frequently encountered failures and how to repair them;

11. Calls on the Commission to establish a consumers’ ‘right to repair’ with a view to making repairs systematic, cost efficient and attractive, taking into account the specificities of different product categories along the lines of the measures already taken for several household appliances under the Ecodesign Directive:

a. by giving actors of the repair industry, including independent repairers, and consumers access free of charge to the necessary repair and maintenance information, including information on diagnostic tools, spare parts, software and updates, needed to perform repairs and maintenance, while keeping in mind the imperatives of consumer safety, without prejudice to Directive (EU) 2016/943,

b. by encouraging standardisation of spare parts for the sake of interoperability and innovation, while upholding product safety requirements,

c. by setting a mandatory minimum period for the provision of spare parts reflecting the product’s estimated lifespan after the final unit has been placed on the market, as well as reasonable maximum delivery times according to product category in line with the ecodesign implementing regulations adopted on 1 October 2019, which should be extended to a wider range of products,

d. by ensuring that the price of a spare part is reasonable, and therefore cost efficient, in relation to the price of the whole product and that independent and authorised repairers, as well as consumers, have access to the necessary spare parts without unfair hindrances,

e. by encouraging repair over replacement by extending guarantees or zeroing guarantee periods for consumers who choose this option in the preparation of the review of Directive (EU) 2019/771 and in the light of a cost-efficiency analysis for both consumers and businesses, and by ensuring that sellers always inform consumers of the option of repair and related guarantee rights,

f. by assessing how repairs could be facilitated by establishing, at EU level, a legal guarantee for the parts replaced by a professional repairer when goods are no longer under legal or commercial guarantee in the preparation of the review of Directive (EU) 2019/771,

g. by encouraging Member States to create incentives, such as a ‘craftsman’s bonus’, which promote repairs, particularly after the end of the legal guarantee for consumers undertaking certain repair works via authorised/independent repairers;

Global strategy to promote a culture of reuse

12. Welcomes the Commission’s consideration of binding measures to prevent the destruction of unsold or non-perished goods in working order so that they can instead be reused, and of quantified targets for reuse, including through the introduction of deposit systems in line with the Waste Framework Directive and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive; emphasises that priority access to waste yards should be given to new sustainable business models and calls on the Commission and Member States to further incentivise sustainable waste management; stresses the need for a strategy assessing and addressing the legal obstacles to repair, resale, reuse and donation to ensure a more effective and sustainable use of resources, as well as for strengthening the internal market for secondary raw material, without prejudice to the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 on shipments of waste, including through increased standardisation;

13. Stresses the importance of boosting circular economy and sustainable business models to minimise the destruction of goods and promote repair and reuse; calls on the Commission to encourage the use of such models while keeping them cost efficient and attractive and guaranteeing a high level of consumer protection, and to encourage Member States to raise awareness of these models through educational campaigns and training for both consumers and businesses; stresses the importance of R&D investments in this area;

14. Points out the existence of practices adopted by companies to discourage repair, which constitute a restriction to the right of repair and affect consumers’ repair options; calls for an approach that both safeguards the enforcement of intellectual property rights and ensures effective support for independent repairers in order to promote consumer choice and achieve an overall sustainable single market;

15. Stresses the need to create incentives for consumers to buy second-hand goods; points out that transferring the guarantee in the event of the resale of a product which is still covered could boost consumer confidence in this market; calls on the Commission, in this regard, to examine to what extent the first-time buyer’s guarantee could be transferred to additional buyers in the event of subsequent sales, especially in the context of a digital product passport; calls, furthermore, for an assessment of the need to review the exception clause for second-hand products under the legal guarantee regime provided for by Directive (EU) 2019/771 when undertaking the review of the directive, further to an impact assessment on the possible effects for second-hand and reuse-based business-models;

16. Calls for clear definitions for reconditioned and refurbished goods and for the introduction on a broad scale of a voluntary system of extended commercial guarantees for such goods to be encouraged in order to supplement the initial legal guarantees and prevent consumers from being exposed to malpractice;

17. Highlights the role of the services sector in increasing the accessibility of repairs and other new business models; welcomes, in particular, the development of commercial models that separate consumption from material ownership, in which the function of the product is sold, and calls for a robust assessment of the impact of the functionality economy and its potential rebound effects, as well as the effects on consumers and their financial interests, but also the environmental impact of such models; emphasises that the development of internet-based services, new forms of marketing (rentals, leasing, product-as-service, etc.) and the availability of repair facilities can help to extend product lifetime and increase consumer awareness and trust in such products; calls on the Commission to promote the development of these new business models through targeted financial support under the Single Market Programme and any other relevant MFF programmes;

18. Calls for the development of national campaigns and relevant mechanisms to encourage consumers to extend the lifetime of products through repair and use of second-hand goods and to raise awareness of the added value of sustainable innovative technologies; asks the Commission and national authorities to assist and support competent authorities at national and local level, as well as companies and associations, both technically and financially under the MFF Single Market Programme in conducting such awareness campaigns;

19. Calls on all companies and organisations to register with the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) in order to improve their environmental performance; looks forward to the upcoming review of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive, which should significantly improve the availability of information on the environmental performance of companies;

A digital strategy for a sustainable market

20. Welcomes the announcement of a common European data space for smart circular applications and the ambition of the Commission to develop a digital ‘product passport’ to improve traceability and access to information on the conditions of production of a product, durability, composition, reuse, repair, dismantling possibilities and end-of-life handling, taking into account the proportionality principle and costs for businesses and paying special attention to the needs of SMEs, micro-enterprises and the self-employed; calls for these tools to be developed in close cooperation with the industry and relevant stakeholders;

21. Takes note of digital technologies’ contribution to innovation and in forging a more circular economy; calls on the Commission to develop standards and protocols for access to and the use of interoperable data in order to effectively share data between companies, investors and authorities and enable new data-driven circular business opportunities; calls on the Commission and Member States to increase funding for research and innovation in the area of sustainable technologies in the new MFF;

22. Notes that, whether we consider its manufacturing or services, the digital sector and online consumption have an environmental footprint, and calls for the Commission to assess how an EU digital sustainability index based on an analysis of product life cycles would mainstream the sustainable production and consumption of digital technologies; points out that practices to reduce such an environmental impact, such as reduction of packaging and development of more sustainable packaging, should be part of a strategy towards a sustainable single market;

23. Adds that awareness should be raised of the potential environmental footprint of unnecessary data, such as unused apps, files, videos, photos and spam emails; calls on the Commission to assess the impact of digital practices and infrastructure in terms of their carbon and environmental footprint, as well as their impact on consumer practices, and to consider appropriate measures to reduce it;

24. Insists that the Commission take account of Parliament’s decisions concerning the establishment of a common charger system, in order to reduce production volumes and electronic waste;

26.11.2020 Valentino Spataro

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