France's WEEE Sustainability Index

In a significant step towards sustainable consumerism, France's Decree No. 2024-316 introduces the sustainability index for electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), set to gradually replace the repairability index. Ellie Bisseker, Valpak International Account Manager, outlines what these changes mean for obligated producers.

Producers of electrical and electronic equipment in France have been required to mark certain products with a repairability index.  By displaying a score out of 10, this index informs consumers about the repairable nature of the products concerned.

The repairability index was rolled out on 1 January 2021 for smartphones, laptops, televisions, lawnmowers, and window washing machines, and since 4 November 2022 for top washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, and pressure washers.

What is changing?

On 5 April 2024, Decree No. 2024-316 was adopted and entered into force on 8 April 2024. It defines the terms and conditions for the application of the sustainability index for EEE to gradually replace the repairability index.

The application date of the sustainability index will be defined for each category of product in separate Ministerial Orders. So far, two Orders have been published for two product categories.

The sustainability index applies from 7 January 2025 for televisions and from 7 April 2025 for washing machines.

Both the repairability index and sustainability index are tools for combating obsolescence – planned or not – to prevent products from being disposed of too early and to preserve the natural resources necessary for their production.

What will this mean?

The producer/importer must calculate the index using the table provided in the decree and display this and the graphic of the sustainability index electronically and free of charge to the seller or distributor at the time of delivery.

In addition, the index may be affixed directly to each piece of equipment or its packaging in the form of a label. The seller, in turn, must display, in a visible, legible, and easily accessible manner, the sustainability index on each piece of equipment offered for sale.

The producer/importer is obligated to communicate the sustainability index (electronically and free of charge) to any person of the public who requests it within 5 working days and for a period of at least 2 years after the last unit of a model of equipment was placed on the market.

What has changed?

The new sustainability index depicts more information than the repairability index.

The general calculation perimeters include a score out of ten for repairability, a score out of ten for reliability, and where appropriate, a score out of ten regarding software and hardware updates.

The exact method establishing the index per product category will be set in each Order and can be found here for televisions and here for washing machines.

How Valpak can help

If you think your business may be affected by electrical and electronic equipment labelling in France or you have any questions regarding your business’s obligations to display the new sustainability index, please get in contact via our online enquiry form or by calling 03450 682 572.