25 January 2024, by Emily Proctor
The business organisation representing the installation and technical retail sector, Techniek Nederland, has called on the Dutch government to abolish VAT on repairs. Currently, tax is levied at 21 percent on all goods being sent for repairs.
Policy shifting in favour of repair rather than replace
In recent years, in the Netherlands as in many other European countries, there has been a policy push to nudge consumers into repairing rather than replacing their damaged goods. This is underpinned further by the rapidly approaching implementation of the EU Right to Repair directive, which will enable more EU consumers to request their products be repaired, not replaced when they are faulty or defective.
According to Techniek Nederland, there should be a professional repair market. At the moment it is often cheaper to replace goods that are damaged, rather than replacing them, which is what many companies do when products are returned. The organisation also says that retail firms should also offer more second-hand products.
The number of electrical products in the Netherlands is still increasing
Despite the recent push for people to repair their broken products, there is still an ever-increasing number of electrical appliances purchased in the Netherlands each year.
According to NOS, in 2014, 314 million kilos of equipment was sold in the Netherlands, but in 2022 this rose to more than double at 836 million kilos. The largest increase was recorded in solar panels sales, which increased from 10.6 to 319 million kilos.