For the French, benefiting from a subsidy lowering the cost of repairing a product will become more and more common. To encourage repairing rather than throwing away, the anti-waste law has provided for no less than six “repair funds” financed by eco-contributions paid by manufacturers on their sales of new products.
Eco-organizations collect and redistribute them, usually to collect and recycle waste, but also increasingly to repair, or even reuse as is, the law also providing for “ re-employment fund”.
Six repair funds
A pioneer in Europe, the repair fund for electrical and electronic products was to have been created on 1er January 2022. It has been delayed but should be implemented on certain products later this year. It should be followed in the second half of the year by other repair funds for the new toy, DIY, garden and leisure sports sectors. Two existing sectors, clothing and furniture, will also be equipped with it.
It remains to invent their operation. This is the challenge of current discussions on electrical and electronic products between the State and the two eco-organizations in the sector, Ecosystem and Ecologic. In addition to the scale of repair aid, the thorny issue concerns repairers, who must be approved by eco-organizations.
Objective 10,000 repairers
“By entering the nature of the product on a dedicated internet portal, the individual will find the authorized repairer closest to him”, describes the general manager of Ecosystem, Nathalie Yserd. Out of approximately 30,000 repairers in France, ” we are aiming for a national network of 10,000 approved repairers between the second and third year of operation of the fund. The idea is to have the same mix as in the total population of repairers in France”, in size and nature of stakeholders, she says.
The ministry strives to prevent the exclusion of small independent repairers from large networks such as Fnac Darty and asks eco-organizations to complete their file by clearly giving the approval criteria. This approval will be done by independent certifiers and, after the first three years, will be the subject of a three-year audit re-invoiced 1,450 euros excluding tax to small repairers and 2,000 euros to “large” (at least three people or multi-site). An amount deemed excessive by the State for a small repairer. “They should only pay a co-payment”, adds Jacques Vernier, president of the sector commissions, which include all the stakeholders. Again, the copy will have to be reviewed.
Small repairers must adhere, without financial barriers and without bogging them down in a bureaucracy that would make them renounce approval, like the VSEs-SMEs in the construction industry who left en masse a few years ago RGE label. And if the repairers adhere, another pitfall will remain to be managed: “one of the main risks is fraud, overcharging or false repair invoices”, judges Jacques Vernier. He therefore applauds the progressiveness over six years of the size of the fund. This gives time to experiment until you find the right formula.