ESLint – Error: Must use import to load ES Module


I am currently setting up a boilerplate with React, TypeScript, styled components, Webpack, etc., and I am getting an error when trying to run ESLint:

Error: Must use import to load ES Module

Here is a more verbose version of the error:

/Users/ben/Desktop/development projects/react-boilerplate-styled-context/src/api/api.ts
  0:0  error  Parsing error: Must use import to load ES Module: /Users/ben/Desktop/development projects/react-boilerplate-styled-context/node_modules/eslint/node_modules/eslint-scope/lib/definition.js
require() of ES modules is not supported.
require() of /Users/ben/Desktop/development projects/react-boilerplate-styled-context/node_modules/eslint/node_modules/eslint-scope/lib/definition.js from /Users/ben/Desktop/development projects/react-boilerplate-styled-context/node_modules/babel-eslint/lib/require-from-eslint.js is an ES module file as it is a .js file whose nearest parent package.json contains "type": "module" which defines all .js files in that package scope as ES modules.
Instead rename definition.js to end in .cjs, change the requiring code to use import(), or remove "type": "module" from /Users/ben/Desktop/development projects/react-boilerplate-styled-context/node_modules/eslint/node_modules/eslint-scope/package.json

The error occurs in every single one of my .js and .ts/ .tsx files where I only use import or the file doesn’t even have an import at all. I understand what the error is saying, but I don’t have any idea why it is being thrown when in fact I only use imports or even no imports at all in some files.

Here is my package.json file where I trigger the linter from using npm run lint:eslint:quiet:

  "name": "my-react-boilerplate",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "",
  "main": "index.tsx",
  "directories": {
    "test": "test"
  "engines": {
    "node": ">=14.0.0"
  "type": "module",
  "scripts": {
    "build": "webpack --config",
    "dev": "webpack serve --config",
    "lint": "npm run typecheck && npm run lint:css && npm run lint:eslint:quiet",
    "lint:css": "stylelint './src/**/*.{js,ts,tsx}'",
    "lint:eslint:quiet": "eslint --ext .ts,.tsx,.js,.jsx  ./src --no-error-on-unmatched-pattern --quiet",
    "lint:eslint": "eslint --ext .ts,.tsx,.js,.jsx  ./src --no-error-on-unmatched-pattern",
    "lint:eslint:fix": "eslint --ext .ts,.tsx,.js,.jsx  ./src --no-error-on-unmatched-pattern --quiet --fix",
    "test": "cross-env NODE_ENV=test jest --coverage",
    "test:watch": "cross-env NODE_ENV=test jest --watchAll",
    "typecheck": "tsc --noEmit",
    "precommit": "npm run lint"
  "lint-staged": {
    "*.{ts,tsx,js,jsx}": [
      "npm run lint:eslint:fix",
      "git add --force"
    "*.{md,json}": [
      "prettier --write",
      "git add --force"
  "husky": {
    "hooks": {
      "pre-commit": "npx lint-staged && npm run typecheck"
  "resolutions": {
    "styled-components": "^5"
  "author": "",
  "license": "ISC",
  "devDependencies": {
    "@babel/core": "^7.5.4",
    "@babel/plugin-proposal-class-properties": "^7.5.0",
    "@babel/preset-env": "^7.5.4",
    "@babel/preset-react": "^7.0.0",
    "@types/history": "^4.7.6",
    "@types/react": "^17.0.29",
    "@types/react-dom": "^17.0.9",
    "@types/react-router": "^5.1.17",
    "@types/react-router-dom": "^5.1.5",
    "@types/styled-components": "^5.1.15",
    "@typescript-eslint/eslint-plugin": "^5.0.0",
    "babel-cli": "^6.26.0",
    "babel-eslint": "^10.0.2",
    "babel-loader": "^8.0.0-beta.6",
    "babel-polyfill": "^6.26.0",
    "babel-preset-env": "^1.7.0",
    "babel-preset-react": "^6.24.1",
    "babel-preset-stage-2": "^6.24.1",
    "clean-webpack-plugin": "^4.0.0",
    "dotenv-webpack": "^7.0.3",
    "error-overlay-webpack-plugin": "^1.0.0",
    "eslint": "^8.0.0",
    "eslint-config-airbnb": "^18.2.0",
    "eslint-config-prettier": "^8.3.0",
    "eslint-config-with-prettier": "^6.0.0",
    "eslint-plugin-compat": "^3.3.0",
    "eslint-plugin-import": "^2.25.2",
    "eslint-plugin-jsx-a11y": "^6.2.3",
    "eslint-plugin-prettier": "^4.0.0",
    "eslint-plugin-react": "^7.14.2",
    "eslint-plugin-react-hooks": "^4.2.0",
    "extract-text-webpack-plugin": "^3.0.2",
    "file-loader": "^6.2.0",
    "html-webpack-plugin": "^5.3.2",
    "husky": "^7.0.2",
    "prettier": "^2.4.1",
    "raw-loader": "^4.0.2",
    "style-loader": "^3.3.0",
    "stylelint": "^13.13.1",
    "stylelint-config-recommended": "^5.0.0",
    "stylelint-config-styled-components": "^0.1.1",
    "stylelint-processor-styled-components": "^1.10.0",
    "ts-loader": "^9.2.6",
    "tslint": "^6.1.3",
    "typescript": "^4.4.4",
    "url-loader": "^4.1.1",
    "webpack": "^5.58.2",
    "webpack-cli": "^4.2.0",
    "webpack-dev-server": "^4.3.1",
    "webpack-merge": "^5.3.0"
  "dependencies": {
    "history": "^4.10.0",
    "process": "^0.11.10",
    "react": "^17.0.1",
    "react-dom": "^17.0.1",
    "react-router-dom": "^5.2.0",
    "styled-components": "^5.2.1"

Here is my .eslintrc file:

  "extends": ["airbnb", "prettier"],
  "parser": "babel-eslint",
  "plugins": ["prettier", "@typescript-eslint"],
  "parserOptions": {
    "ecmaVersion": 8,
    "ecmaFeatures": {
      "experimentalObjectRestSpread": true,
      "impliedStrict": true,
      "classes": true
  "env": {
    "browser": true,
    "node": true,
    "jest": true
  "rules": {
    "arrow-body-style": ["error", "as-needed"],
    "class-methods-use-this": 0,
    "react/jsx-filename-extension": 0,
    "global-require": 0,
    "react/destructuring-assignment": 0,
    "import/named": 2,
    "linebreak-style": 0,
    "import/no-dynamic-require": 0,
    "import/no-named-as-default": 0,
    "import/no-unresolved": 2,
    "import/prefer-default-export": 0,
    "semi": [2, "always"],
    "max-len": [
        "code": 80,
        "ignoreUrls": true,
        "ignoreComments": true,
        "ignoreStrings": true,
        "ignoreTemplateLiterals": true
    "new-cap": [
        "capIsNew": false,
        "newIsCap": true
    "no-param-reassign": 0,
    "no-shadow": 0,
    "no-tabs": 2,
    "no-underscore-dangle": 0,
    "react/forbid-prop-types": [
        "forbid": ["any"]
    "import/no-extraneous-dependencies": ["error", { "devDependencies": true }],
    "react/jsx-no-bind": [
        "ignoreRefs": true,
        "allowArrowFunctions": true,
        "allowBind": false
    "react/no-unknown-property": [
        "ignore": ["itemscope", "itemtype", "itemprop"]

And I’m not sure if it is relevant, but here is also my tsconfig.eslint.json file:

  "extends": "./tsconfig.json",
  "include": ["./src/**/*.ts", "./src/**/*.tsx", "./src/**/*.js"],
  "exclude": ["node_modules/**", "build/**", "coverage/**"]

How can I fix this?

Googling the error does not present any useful forums or raised bugs. Most of them just state not to use require in your files which I am not.


I think the problem is that you are trying to use the deprecated babel-eslint parser, last updated a year ago, which looks like it doesn’t support ES6 modules. Updating to the latest parser seems to work, at least for simple linting.

So, do this:

  • In package.json, update the line "babel-eslint": "^10.0.2", to "@babel/eslint-parser": "^7.5.4",. This works with the code above but it may be better to use the latest version, which at the time of writing is 7.16.3.
  • Run npm i from a terminal/command prompt in the folder
  • In .eslintrc, update the parser line "parser": "babel-eslint", to "parser": "@babel/eslint-parser",
  • In .eslintrc, add "requireConfigFile": false, to the parserOptions section (underneath "ecmaVersion": 8,) (I needed this or babel was looking for config files I don’t have)
  • Run the command to lint a file

Then, for me with just your two configuration files, the error goes away and I get appropriate linting errors.


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