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Planned Obsolescence

In recent years, people worldwide have been more frequently upgrading products, such as cell phones, computers, and TVs. One of the reasons is planned obsolescence, a technique aimed at reducing a product’s normal functioning life. To fight against planned obsolescence, Quebec has passed Bill 29.

What is Planned Obsolescence?

Circular Economy - Planned Obsolescence

Planned obsolescence is one of the primary issues with the existing linear economy’s production and consumption paradigm. In fact, it is in opposition to a sustainable circular economy system. Planned obsolescence occurs when a manufacturer deliberately reduces the useful life of a product to increase consumption. This technique results in a constantly growing amount of electronic waste. Therefore, planned obsolescence is a serious problem that negatively impacts the environment and human health.

What is the Quebec Law Against Planned Obsolescence?

Quebec environmental compliance

On June 1, 2023, the Quebec Minister of Justice introduced Bill 29 – An Act to protect consumers from planned obsolescence and to promote the durability, repairability, and maintenance of goods. The National Assembly of Quebec unanimously passed Bill 29 on October 3, 2023. Accordingly, the bill aims to make planned obsolescence illegal and safeguard customers against it.

How Bill 29 Fights Against Planned Obsolescence?

Bill 29 creates a more responsible consumption model with economic and environmental benefits. According to Bill 29, selling items subjected to planned obsolescence is illegal in Quebec. In addition, the legislation establishes a warranty of proper operation that applies to a wide range of products, including refrigerators, washing machines, stoves, dishwashers, tablets, and TVs. As a result, if a product malfunctions during the covered period, it may be eligible for a free repair.


Moreover, the following items must be available to consumers for a reasonable amount of time after purchase:

  • Spare parts
  • Right to repair services
  • Information required for the product’s maintenance or repair


Furthermore, customers can work with the repairer of their choice.

The law also permits the development of standards regarding universal chargers that are compatible with all electronic devices.

Bill 29 Amends the Consumer Protection Act:

The bill significantly changes the Quebec Consumer Protection Act (CPA). These amendments include the following:

  • Restricting manufacturers and distributors from selling goods with planned obsolescence and from employing methods that make it challenging for customers to maintain or repair products;
  • Imposing requirements on producers and retailers regarding the functionality, durability, and repairability of specific consumer products;
  • Enacting a “good working order” warranty for a predetermined period, covering the repair expenses for specific goods;
  • Forcing retailers to supply the components required to fix the products covered by the warranty, to replace the goods at no cost, or to reimburse the purchase price;
  • Implementing a system of financial administrative fines. The Consumer Protection Office (Office de la Protection du Consommateur OPC) handles this monetary regime; and


Holding accountable the company’s executives and directors who violate the CPA or its rules. As a result, any organization’s directors, officers, or representatives who commit an offense under the CPA or its regulations are assumed guilty unless they prove that they employed due diligence and took all necessary precautions to avoid the offense.

Bill 29 - Planned Obsolescence

The “Good Working Order” Warranty:

As mentioned above, according to Bill 29, the CPA establishes a legal “good working order” guarantee for certain widely used items. This warranty applies to the following products:

Computers Good Working Order
  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Dishwashers
  • Washing machines
  • Dryers
  • Air conditioners
  • Heat pumps
  • Televisions
  • Desktop computers
  • Laptop computers
  • Cellular telephones
  • Video game consoles
  • Electronic pads, etc.

Notably, the regulation specifies the duration of the good working order warranty for these items. The retailer must prominently state the warranty duration of the goods near their advertised price. The warranty becomes effective upon the delivery of the products.

Moreover, the warranty covers the costs of spare parts and labor. On the contrary, the guarantee does not cover:

  • Damages brought on by consumer misuse;
  • Routine maintenance and the replacement of parts that result from it; or
  • Any accessories other than those specified by the regulation.
“Good Working Order” Warranty of electronics

Violation Penalties:

A violation of most of the CPA regulations introduced by Bill 29 can result in a punishment of up to $175,000 for an organization. For violating a few other CPA provisions, the fine could go higher. The court considers various variables when deciding the fine. Examples of these factors are:

  • The scale of the offender’s enterprise, turnover, assets, revenues, or market share
  • The financial profit and any other benefits obtained from committing the offense
  • The consumers’ economic loss
  • The number of affected customers
  • The offender’s refusal to make reasonable efforts to avoid the conduct of the offense or reduce its effects.
POP enforcement violations

Do you have more questions about planned obsolescence and the laws to fight it? Contact Enviropass!