Proposal to amend Directive 93/13/EEC, Directive 98/6/EC, Directive 2005/29/EC and Directive 2011/83/EU as regards better enforcement and modernisation of EU consumer protection rules

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2018) 185
Publication Date 11/04/2018
Content Type


Legislative proposal published by the European Commission in April 2018 for a Directive aimed at ensuring better enforcement and modernising consumer protection rules across the European Union, particularly in light of digital developments.

Further information:

This proposal aims at amending four EU Directives that protect the economic interests of consumers. Most of the amendments concern the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive 2005/29/EC and the Consumer Rights Directive 2011/83/EU. Each of the other two Directives – the Unfair Contract Terms Directive 93/13/EEC and the Price Indication Directive 98/6/EC – are only amended concerning penalties.

It intends to put together more effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties for widespread cross-border infringements; to include the right to individual remedies for consumers; to increase transparency for consumers in online marketplaces; to extend protection of consumers in respect of digital services; to remove burdens for businesses; to clarify Member States' freedom to adopt rules on certain forms and aspects of off-premises sales; to clarify rules on misleading marketing of 'dual quality' products.

The draft law is a follow-up to the REFIT Fitness Check of EU Consumer and Marketing law and the evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive 2011/83/EU, which was conducted in parallel to the Fitness Check and published in parallel (the 'CRD Evaluation'). The Fitness Check and the CRD evaluation concluded that the substantive EU consumer rules included in the four Directives were overall fit for purpose. However, the results also stressed the importance of better applying and enforcing the rules and modernising them in line with developments in the digital sphere. It also stressed the importance of reducing regulatory burden in some areas.

This proposal was adopted by the Commission on 11 April 2018 as part of a legislative package on consumer protection. The European Parliament's relevant committee approved a negotiating position on 22 January 2019. An informal agreement between the co-legislators on a compromise text was reached on 22 March. The Parliament formally endorsed it on 17 April, followed by the Council on 8 November.

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Commentary and Analysis
EPRS: Briefing, July 2018: Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment
EPRS: Briefing, April 2019: Modernisation of EU consumer protection rules: A new deal for consumers

EurActiv, 11/04/2018: EU bans dual quality food after pressure from eastern members
EUObserver, 11/04/2018: Dual food quality: a recipe for east-west EU friction
Radio Prague, 11/04/2018: New European directive aims to end practice of dual quality of foods and other products
The Guardian, 11/04/2018: EU moves to ban sale of lower-quality branded food in eastern Europe
BBC News, 12/04/2018: New EU tests to tackle 'rip-off' food complaints

EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)96 - Staff Working Document accompanyng the Document
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)98 - Executive Summary of the Staff Working Document
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File of Proposal on EU consumer protection rules: enforcement and modernisation
EP: Legislative Train: Directive on better enforcement and modernisation of EU consumer protection rules - a New deal for consumers
European Commission [Q&A]: New Deal for Consumers
European Commission: Press Release, 11/04/2018: A New Deal for Consumers: Commission strengthens EU consumer rights and enforcement
EEA | EFTA: News, 19/11/2018: Comment regarding better enforcement and modernisation of EU consumer protection rules
European Parliament: Press Release, 22/01/2019: Consumers to be better protected against misleading and unfair practices
European Parliament: Press Release, 22/03/2019: Deal agreed to protect consumers against misleading and unfair practices
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 29/03/2019: EU to modernise law on consumer protection
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 08/11/2019: EU consumers' protection to be reinforced

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