Proposal for a Directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the online and other distance sales of goods

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2015) 635
Publication Date 09/12/2015
Content Type


Legislative proposal published by the European Commission in December 2015 concerning a Directive on online sales of goods, in the framework of the Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy.

Further information:

The original proposed Directive was essentially a recast of the existing Consumer Sales Directive (CSD), but limited to online (and other distance) contracts only, while switching from minimum to total harmonisation of rules. An amended proposal was published by the Commission on 31 October 2017, to repeal the Consumer Sales Directive and create a set of rules common to all forms of consumer sales (online and offline, including face-to-face sales). Otherwise, the content of the proposal remained identical to the one presented in 2015.

The objective of the original proposal was therefore to eliminate the key contract law-related barriers hindering cross-border trade in order to remove the problems faced by businesses and consumers due to the complexity of the legal framework and the costs incurred by businesses resulting from differences in contract law. The amended proposal aimed at avoiding negative impacts on traders selling nationally both at a distance as well as face-to-face which would result from different national contract law regimes applying to the different distribution channels.

This proposal was part of the Commission's 2015 Work Programme and was presented in the context of a legislative package relating to digital contracts and e-commerce. It builds on the experience acquired during the negotiations for a Regulation on a Common European Sales Law. Following the adoption of the amended proposal in October 2017 by the Commissio, the European Parliament's plenary session confirmed the decision to launch interinstitutional negotiations on 2 March 2018. The Council of the European Union adopted its general approach on 6 December 2018. An informal agreement on this draft law between the institutions was reached on 29 January 2019.

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Commentary and Analysis
EPRS: Briefing, March 2018: Consumer sale of goods

European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for proposal on contracts for the online and other distance sales of goods
EP: Legislative Train: Contracts for the sale of goods to consumers
European Commission: Cross-border e-commerce: Commission welcomes agreement on proposal to facilitate sales of goods and supply of digital content and services in the EU
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 29.01.19: Council and Parliament agree on new rules for contracts for the sales of goods and digital content
European Parliament: Press Release, 29.01.19: Consumer protection: Deal on EU-wide rules for those sold faulty products

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