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The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive

17 Aug 2011

New rules enhancing consumer rights must be applicable across EU by 12 December 2007, 2½ years after their formal adoption in May 2005. This should boost consumer confidence and make it easier for business (especially small and medium sized) to carry out cross border trading.

The new legislation outlines "sharp practices" which will be prohibited throughout the EU, such as misleading and aggressive marketing. A general ban on unfair commercial practices will ensure that the Directive will stand the test of time even in fast evolving markets.

Specific provisions prevent exploitation of vulnerable consumers, such as children. Enforcement of the rules is the task of national consumer protection authorities and courts.

Guidance on the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive

Since the adoption of the Directive, the Commission and the national enforcers have cooperated regularly to ensure a common understanding of its provisions.
This guidance aims at developing a convergence of practices when implementing the Directive.

The deadline for transposition was 12 June 2007. Several Member States are late in transposing the Directive into their national laws.

The Commission is working with the Member States and stakeholders to make sure that Member States comply with their obligations to transpose the directive into national law. The Commission will take all necessary steps to address late or inadequate transposition.

More information here:

Database on the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive

The Commission has developped a new tool to support national enforcers in achieving a common understanding and a uniform application of the Directive.

The legal database is a comprehensive and user friendly instrument which gathers and gives public access to national laws transposing the Directive, jurisprudence, administrative decisions, references to related legal literature and other relevant materials.

It makes it possible to compare decisions and national case-law of the Member States. In addition, the database contains advanced search functions which cover the totality of the content.



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