Part of the much discussed "New Deal for Consumers", the Directive is aimed at modernising and strengthening enforcement of EU consumer law. The Directive contains a significant focus on protecting consumer's rights in relation to online marketplaces and digital services.
Focusing on those targeting consumers online, these new consumer rights include:
- rules around what information is to be supplied to consumers about the trader/seller, the role of the trader/seller and indicating when the EU consume protection laws will not apply. This is intended to increase transparency around transactions made online.
- broadening the scope of EU consumer rights to include 'free' digital services (to date, EU consumer rights only apply to 'paid' services). This means that providers of free cloud services/social media services will need to supply certain information to its customers, including contract duration and termination conditions.
The Directive will amend a number of EU directives, including the Directives relating to Unfair Commercial Practices, Unfair Contract Terms and Consumer Rights. Member states will have 24 months from the adoption of the new Directive to put in place the necessary implementation measures.
Subject to Brexit, implementation of the new Directive is likely to mean that many service providers will need to review their terms and conditions and the information displayed when a customer navigates the sales process online.
The draft Directive on better enforcement and modernisation of EU consumer protection rules was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in November 2019. The next step is the formal signature of the Directive by the European Parliament and the Council followed by its publication in the Official Journal