This study carries out an ex-ante impact assessment of substantial amendments put forward by the IMCO and JURI Committees of the European Parliament, which would introduce a commercial lifespan guarantee in the proposed online sales and digital content Directives. It analyses the impact of these proposed amendments through the development of specific policy options. Two non-legislative options, implying that none of the amendments are implemented, are first assessed: an Option zero and a soft law approach (Option 1). Three distinct legislative options are also defined, by integrating specific aspects of the amendments: Option 2 (subjective duration of lifespan), Option 3 (normal duration of lifespan) and Option 4 (binding technical standards for the determination of the lifespan) For each legislative option, two sub-options are developed by considering liability solely on the manufacturer (2a, 3a and 4a), or joint liability with the trader (2b, 3b and 4b). The key findings of the impact assessment reveal that the preferred options are Options 2 and 4. The former is certainly less ambitious than the latter and would result in less benefit overall, but it would also involve less cost and, contrary to Option 4, could be implemented within a relatively short period of time.
This project was awarded under the Framework service contract in lots for provision of external expertise in the fields of impact assessment and European added value: Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IP/G/ALL/FAC/2013-002/Lot 2) with the European Parliament. The full list of CEPS’ Framework Contracts is available here.