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EU legislation

EC Regulations are supranational legislation that is universally binding and applicable ‘as is’ in all Member States, without being incorporated into national legislation.

Directives, on the other hand, are instructions to legislators in the Member States who must implement the content of Directives in their respective national legislation within a specified period of time. A consumer cannot refer directly to a Directive in relations with a business enterprise, only to national legislation implementing the Directive in question. A minimum level of protection in various areas of consumer protection binding upon all Member States is guaranteed by Directive, but Member States have some leeway in national implementation. They may also enact legislation that is more stringent than the relevant Directive, as long as the Treaty Establishing the European Union is not violated. The Directives listed below specify the minimum level of consumer protection in Europe, but there may be some national differences between Member States.

 

Key EU consumer legislation

ADR / ODR

Directive on alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes 2013/11/EU (‘ADR Directive’)

Regulation (EU) No. 524/2013 on online dispute resolution for consumer disputes (‘ODR Regulation’)

Distance sales

Consumer Rights Directive (2011/83/EU)

E-Commerce Directive (2000/31/EC)

Directive concerning the distance marketing of consumer financial services (2002/65/EC)

Euro payments

Regulation on cross-border payments in euro (EC) 2560/2001

Price indications

Directive on consumer protection in the indication of the prices of products offered to consumers (98/6/EC)

Unfair terms of contract

Directive on unfair terms in consumer contracts (93/13/EEC)

Consumer credit

Directive 98/7/EC amending Directive 87/102/EEC

Consumer Credit Directive (87/102/EEC)

Applicable law

Regulation on the law applicable to contractual obligations (593/2008/EC) (Rome I)

Advertising

Directive 97/55/EC amending Directive 84/450/EEC concerning misleading advertising, so as to include comparative advertising

Payment services

Payment Services Directive (2007/64/EC)

Travel

Regulation on compensation to passengers in the event of denied boarding, cancellation or long delay of flights (261/2004/EY)

Regulation on rail passengers’ rights and obligations (1371/2007/EC)

Regulation concerning the rights of passengers when travelling by sea and inland waterway (1177/2010/EU)

Regulation concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport (181/2011/EU)

Directive on package travel, package holidays and package tours (90/314/EEC)

Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air (Montreal Convention)

Judicial proceedings

Regulation establishing a European small claims procedure (861/2007/EC)

Regulation creating a European order for payment procedure (1896/2006/EC)

Services

Directive on services in the internal market (2006/123/EC)

Cross-border payments

Regulation on cross-border payments in the Community (924/2009/EC)

Unfair commercial practices

Directive concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market (2005/29/EC)

Sale of goods and associated guarantees

Directive on certain aspects of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees (1999/44/EC)

Timeshares

Timeshare Directive (2008/122/EC)

Jurisdiction of courts

Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (recast)

Product liability

Directive 1999/34/EC amending Directive 85/374/EEC

Product Liability Directive (85/374/EEC)

 


Updated 23.1.2015 Print