Reparatur- und Service-Zentrum

A right to repair requires durable and repairable products, useful information for consumers and affordable repair services!

The Austrian repair bonus hits like a bomb wherever it encounters the appropriate infrastructure. In the Lützowgasse, the R.U.S.Z editorial team has already had to temporarily vacate its office to create storage space for televisions, ironing machines and lawn mowers whose owners have decided against throwing them away and in favor of repairing them in a way that conserves resources, the climate and the wallet. 

In Germany, too, the calls for a right to repair and corresponding political measures are growing louder. WDR's look at Vienna, "Europe's leading metropolis of repair," and in particular at the Repair and Service Center R.U.S.Z makes one thing certain: state-supported repair is not only a vital contribution to resource conservation and climate protection, but also promotes regional jobs and protects the business location in times of fragile supply chains.


German "Verbraucherzentrale" (Consumer Center) makes demands 

The German Consumer Association recently published a position paper on the right to repair, which focuses on three demands:

A government repair bonus based on the Austrian model - 50% of repair costs up to EUR 200 - should make repairs more affordable for everyone. This could be implemented quickly, have a direct impact and make people more aware of the possibility of having products repaired.

To enable consumers to make sustainable decisions in the long term, it must be clear at the time of purchase how well an appliance can be repaired. In France, a repair index helps in this regard: Here, key figures from 0 to 10 provide information about reparability.


Pferdefuß des französischen Modells ist allerdings, dass es sich um ein Selbstregulierungsmodell handelt und keine unabhängige Prüfung der Angaben vorgesehen ist. An einem EU-weiten Reparaturindex wird bereits gearbeitet; die unabhängigen Testmethoden dazu entwickelt das Projekt PROMPT, an dem das R.U.S.Z beteiligt ist.  

The third demand is for a reduction in VAT on repairs to further reduce costs and boost the repair industry.


VAT reduction for Repair and ReUse 

Not only repairs per se, but especially repairs as preparation for reuse/resale (Prepare for ReUse) and the corresponding second-life equipment market have a very large resource conservation and climate protection potential. However, ReUse-appliances have a competitive disadvantage compared to cheap new products, because the latter speak neither the ecological nor the social truth in terms of price, i.e. they are based on externalized exploitation and overexploitation of people and nature. Economists also speak of market failure in this respect.

Here, a VAT reduction from 20% to 5% would ensure that ReUse products are priced at a level that all households (especially those at risk of poverty) can afford, but that also covers costs for (social) enterprises. 

Die aktualisierte EU-Mehrwertsteuerrichtlinie schafft hierfür ein Gelegenheitsfenster, allerdings muss es schnell gehen: eine begrenzte Anzahl von 24 Produkt- und Dienstleistungsgruppen kann ein EU-Land mit einer Mehrwertsteuersenkung belegen. Hierzu hat das R.U.S.Z in personam Sepp Eisenriegler bereits lobbyiert und mit unserem Penzinger Vertrauensmann im EU-Parlament Andreas Schieder Kontakt aufgenommen. Wir hoffen, dass er dabei helfen kann, unsere Anregung ebenso so gut umzusetzen wie Ende 2020, als es um die drohende Aufweichung der Richtlinien gegen vorzeitige Obsoleszenz ging.

Further information: