On 1 March 2019, the Member States’ ambassadors meeting in the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee agreed with the Council’s position on a draft directive which amends the unfair commercial practices directive 2005/29/EC, the consumer rights directive 2011/83/EU, the unfair contract terms directive 93/13/EEC and the price indication directive 98/6/EC.

The new draft directive results from the “New Deal for Consumers” launched in 2017. In particular, the new directive will:

  • increase the harmonisation of penalties for breach of the directives, including specifying the criteria to be taken into account when determining the penalty and providing for national authorities to have the power to fine by at least 4% of turnover for widespread cross border infringements;
  • increase transparency in online market places;
  • provide protections for consumers in respect of “free” digital services; and
  • remove disproportionate burdens on business by amending outdated provisions (for example, in relation to means of communication).

The Romanian Presidency of the Council will now explore with the European Parliament the possibility of agreeing to adopt the directive at first reading.

The draft directive can be read here: Draft EU Directive Modernising Consumer Rights