The “New Deal for Consumers” initiative aimed at strengthening enforcement of EU consumer law in light of a growing risk of EU-wide infringements and at modernizing EU consumer protection rules in view of market developments.
In this endeavor the European Commission has now updated and publicized new guidelines for the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, the Consumer Rights Directive, the Price Indication Directive (Article 6a) and the Unfair Contract Terms Directive.
These guidelines are not legally binding but they should be used by the member states for the interpretation and application of the directives. Consumers, businesses, courts and authorities should receive a clearer understanding of these regulations.
The new guidelines for EU consumer law can be found with the following links:
In over 100 pages, the Commission explains among other things in detail what constitutes misleading and aggressive commercial practices and provides examples of blacklisted unfair commercial practices, such as pyramid schemes and false claims of healing effects of goods. In addition, the guideline addresses the content of the directive against the backdrop of digitalization, sustainability, transportation and financial services.
These guidelines are intended to facilitate an effective application of the Consumer Rights Directive. They comprehensively address areas such as consumer information, distance contracts and the right of withdrawal.
Art 6a of the Price Indication Directive states that the trader must always relate price reductions and discount promotions to the lowest price of the goods within the last 30 days. As an example, the guideline explains what has to be observed in cases of price reductions through loyalty programs and how exceptions such as for perishable goods should be treated by member states.
The main purpose here is to explain the key terms of the Directive and their interpretation by the ECJ. The annex to the guideline also contains an overview of member states’ legislation that goes beyond the minimum standard.