How to make reconditioning really circular: a good practice from France

Buying and selling reconditioned items is a great way to keep items in the economy as long as possible, but it's easy to be stung if any old thing can be labelled "reconditioned". France has tackled the problem and come up with a framework enforcing quality standards. 

To be recognised as reconditioned in France, an item has to comply with a series of rules:

  1. sellers must be fully transparent about the source(s) of the reconditioned product they are selling
  2. reconditioning must take place on the premises where the product is sold or very close by
  3. the product warranty must be extended to two years to cover any hidden defects which might arise after purchase
  4. reconditioners should preferably use green transport
  5. reconditioners must be aware of their Extended Producer Responsibility and make recycling bins for batteries, electrical appliances, etc. available to customers
  6. applying the VAT margin scheme to reconditioned goods does not allow customers to claim back VAT
  7. the original packaging should preferably be used for packing the reconditioned goods
  8. for repairs, reconditioners should use functioning original parts obtained through approved spare parts companies
  9. the reconditioners' work should be certified by a label (ISO, QualiRépar, etc.)
  10. prices of reconditioned goods should be reasonable - noticeably lower than those of brand new goods.

For more information on the French system, read the original article (in French) in the newsletter.