On 31 May 2021 the EU Commission opened up the public consultation period for its dual proposal for regulations on mobile phones and tablets.

As we discussed in our earlier blog post “EU EHS and Product Compliance laws: what to look out for in 2021”, at the end of 2020 the Commission announced its intention to develop two new EU-wide regulations aimed at reducing the environmental impact of mobile phones and tablets. These new legislative instruments will be established under the already existing Ecodesign Directive and the Energy Labelling Regulation, adding another category of products to those currently caught by these “framework” regimes.

The Commission has indicated these regulations will be developed in accordance with the commitments made through the EU Green Deal, in particular under the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP). One of the CEAP’s main aims is to ensure that products are designed and produced in a way that contributes to the circular economy, with the goal to keep resources in the EU economy for as long as possible.

In respect of both proposed regulations, the Commission has identified some priority areas for regulatory intervention, which are likely to be incorporated into any draft legislation down the line. These include steps to ensure greater “repairability” of devices, such as: battery accessibility and longevity, the ability of products to be disassembled, and the availability of spare parts, among other things.

The public consultation for the proposed Ecodesign regulation is available here, and public consultation for the equivalent Energy Labelling initiative is available here.

The timeframe for both consultation periods is 31 May – 23 August 2021, with Commission adoption of draft legislation planned for Q2 2022.