Proposed rights to repair labeling system approved by Australian Consumer Watchdog

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has proposed the Productivity Commission’s idea to introduce a labeling system that will help consumers make more informed decisions about what future electronics to buy. I supported him.

“Rather than the detailed, suggestive and non-binding sustainability guidelines issued by regulators, consumers, suppliers and manufacturers come from extensive labeling by manufacturers with minimum trouble-free shelf life. You will find a much greater benefit there, ”said ACCC in its brief. [PDF]..

“Manufacturers have detailed knowledge of the materials used and how they are made, so they are much better suited to provide this information to consumers. ”

The ACCC said labels should not limit consumer warranty if such an approach is taken. On the contrary, it is applied as an additional guarantee with the rights of consumer law and contains information that clearly indicates the period of time expected from the purchase for the product to work without failure.

“When properly implemented, manufacturers’ product labeling systems allow consumers to make more informed purchasing decisions and promote competition between brands, which is generally not competing for the better. product sustainability. It’s likely, ”ACCC said.

The labeling system was previously used by consumers after the Productivity Commission could not find clear evidence that the manufacturer intentionally designed the product to fail prematurely in an investigation on reparation rights. It is suggested that this could help better understand the shelf life of potential products.

“There can be benefits to labeling systems that help consumers understand how easy and durable it is to repair a product,” said Paul Lyndewall of the Productivity Commission last month. ..

Lindwall pointed out that such a labeling system exists in France and can work in Australia as well. In particular, the costs of replacing products are often less expensive than repairs.

“The nature of labor-intensive repairs is such that repair costs increase with labor costs, while the relative price of new electronic devices (mass-produced in factories with high labor costs) capital intensity) drops dramatically rapidly. “He said.

On the contrary, the Consumer Watchdog objected to the idea of ​​introducing a “super-complaint” mechanism in consumer groups, saying it would have a “serious impact” on the existing resources and priorities of the organization. ACCC. Rather, he argued that an “ongoing process” to address the issues of Australia’s “new” consumer law was appropriate.

“The handling of super-complaints… will force ACCC to downgrade existing projects and priorities to meet the deadlines set by the super-complaint process,” he said.

“Accur’s current process enables government agencies to identify and resolve potential ACL and market issues identified by consumer groups, effectively demonstrating both these organizations and broader market information. In this regard, we will review the proposed super-complaint process. The services claimed will be duplicated because they are already entered by the existing mechanisms. ”

A dedicated product labeling system for smart devices is being considered by the Home Office as part of its efforts under Cyber ​​Security Strategy 2020. He said product labeling to ensure a minimum period security updates give consumers more information. Purchasing decisions related to product cybersecurity.

“Cyber ​​security labels can help consumers make more informed purchasing decisions at the point of sale. The government has an “expiration tag” that indicates how long smart devices are used. Energy Efficiency We are seeking industry feedback on labels rated similar to ratings. Guaranteed security updates or current status. ” [PDF]..

At the same time, the Home Office said introducing cybersecurity standards on smart devices could be another potential option.

“In addition to or as an alternative to cybersecurity labeling, the government is considering mandatory standards for consumer smart devices. The government is seeking feedback on the application of all or part of ESTI EN 303 645. This allows manufacturers to perform timely security updates. ”

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Environment has also expressed support for the product labeling systems that will be introduced, but if they do, the costs of the regulator and the costs of the industry. in the design of new systems must be taken into account. Suggested that there is.

“Further discussions with industry may indicate that expanding existing validated labeling programs already established in the Australian market may offer the best approach,” the government sector said. Said in submission [PDF]..

“For example, you can consider using ARL (Australia Recycling Label), the only evidence-based national recycling labeling program in the Australian market. APCO (Australian Packaging Code Organization) manages and manages the ARL program. Exclusive ARL license in Australia and New Zealand. ”

In addition, the Productivity Commission added that options other than labeling could be considered to improve consumers’ awareness of premature product obsolescence. These include the use of digitization of labels, such as low cost electronic labeling, and the development and publication of public databases or consumer awareness campaigns that can be used to inform consumers when of making purchasing decisions. There is a possibility, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Environment said.

Details of the right to repair movement

Proposed rights to repair labeling system approved by Australian Consumer Watchdog

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