Procedure : 2016/0148(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0077/2017

Texts tabled :

A8-0077/2017

Debates :

PV 14/11/2017 - 3
CRE 14/11/2017 - 3

Votes :

PV 14/11/2017 - 5.5
CRE 14/11/2017 - 5.5
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0426

REPORT     ***I
PDF 1171kWORD 207k
28.3.2017
PE 594.014v03-00 A8-0077/2017

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws

(COM(2016)0283 – C8‑0194/2016 – 2016/0148(COD))

Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

Rapporteur: Olga Sehnalová

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 ANNEX: LIST OF ENTITIES OR PERSONSFROM WHOM THE RAPPORTEUR HAS RECEIVED INPUT
 OPINION of the Committee on Legal Affairs
 PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws

(COM(2016)0283 – C8‑0194/2016 – 2016/0148(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2016)0283),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 114 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0194/2016),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the reasoned opinions submitted, within the framework of Protocol No 2 on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, by the Bulgarian Parliament, the Czech Chamber of Deputies, the Austrian Federal Council and the Swedish Parliament, asserting that the draft legislative act does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 19 October 2016(1),

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0077/2017),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it replaces, substantially amends or intends to substantially amend its proposal;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Amendment    1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital -1 (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(-1)  The Union’s consumer protection policy is governed by point (f) of Article 4(2), Article 12, Article 114(3) and Article 169 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Article 38 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Amendment    2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital -1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(-1a)  Article 169 TFEU states that the Union’s consumer protection policy is to promote the interests of consumers and to ensure a high level of consumer protection. In order to do so, the Union is to contribute to protecting the health, safety and economic interests of consumers, as well as to promoting their right to information, education and to organise themselves in order to safeguard their interests.

Amendment    3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital -1 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(-1b)  Article 197 TFEU on administrative cooperation recognises that effective implementation of Union law by the Member States is essential for the proper functioning of the Union and fixes the limits within which the Union and Member States are to act in this regard.

Amendment    4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1)  Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council58 provides for harmonised rules and procedures to facilitate cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of cross-border consumer protection laws. Article 21a provides for a review of the effectiveness and operational mechanisms of that Regulation and pursuant to that Article, the Commission concluded that Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 is not sufficient to effectively address the enforcement challenges of the Single Market, and in particular the Digital Single Market,

(1)  Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council58 provides for harmonised rules and procedures to facilitate cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of cross-border consumer protection laws. Article 21a of Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 provides for a review of the effectiveness and operational mechanisms of that Regulation and pursuant to that Article, the Commission concluded that Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 is not sufficient to effectively address the enforcement challenges of the Single Market, including the Digital Single Market.

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58 Regulation (EC) 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws (OJ L 364, 9.12.2004, p. 1).

58 Regulation (EC) 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws (OJ L 364, 9.12.2004, p. 1).

Amendment    5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2)  The Digital Single Market Strategy adopted by the Commission on 6 May 2015 identified as one of the priorities the need to enhance consumer trust through more rapid, agile and consistent enforcement of consumer rules. The Single Market Strategy adopted by the Commission on 28 October 2015 reiterated that enforcing Union consumer protection legislation should be further strengthened by the Regulation on Consumer Protection Cooperation,

(2)  The Digital Single Market Strategy adopted by the Commission on 6 May 2015 identified as one of the priorities the need to enhance consumer trust through more rapid and consistent enforcement of consumer laws. The Single Market Strategy adopted by the Commission on 28 October 2015 reiterated that enforcing Union laws that protect consumers' interests should be further strengthened by the reform of Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004.

Amendment    6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3)  The resulting ineffective enforcement of cross-border infringements, in particular in the digital environment, enables traders to evade enforcement by relocating within the Union, giving rise to a distortion of competition for law-abiding traders operating either domestically or cross-border, and thus directly harming consumers and undermining consumer confidence in cross-border transactions and the Single Market. An increased level of harmonisation setting effective and efficient enforcement cooperation among competent public enforcement authorities is therefore necessary to detect, investigate and order the cessation of intra-Union infringements and widespread infringements,

(3)  The ineffective enforcement of the laws to prevent cross-border infringements, including in the digital environment, enables traders to relocate within the Union, giving rise to a distortion of competition for law-abiding traders operating (whether online or offline) either domestically or cross-border, thereby directly and significantly harming the single market and consumers and undermining consumer confidence in cross-border transactions and the Single Market. An increased level of harmonisation that ensures effective and efficient cooperation among competent public enforcement authorities is therefore necessary in order to detect, investigate, order and enforce the cessation of infringements.

Amendment    7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4)  Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council established a network of competent public authorities throughout the Union. Effective coordination among different competent authorities participating in the network, as well as other public authorities at the level of Member States, is necessary. The coordination role of the single liaison office should be entrusted to a competent authority in each Member State that has sufficient powers and resources to undertake this key role in the network of competent authorities,

(4)  Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 established a network of competent public authorities throughout the Union. Effective coordination among different competent authorities participating in the network, as well as other public authorities at the level of Member States, is necessary. The coordination role of the single liaison office should be entrusted in each Member State to a public authority that has sufficient powers and necessary resources to undertake that key role.

Amendment    8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(5)  Consumers should also be protected from short-lived intra-Union infringements and widespread infringements that only last for a short period of time but whose harmful effects may continue long after the infringement has stopped. Competent authorities should have the necessary powers to investigate and order a cessation of such infringements in the future,

(5)  Consumers should also be protected against infringements that only last for a short period of time but the harmful effects of which may continue long after the infringement has stopped. Competent authorities should have the necessary powers to investigate and order a cessation of such infringements, so as to ensure consumer protection.

Amendment    9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 5 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(5a)  In order to ensure legal certainty and the efficiency of enforcement actions against ceased infringements in a cross-border context, and to prevent differential treatment both for consumers and traders in the Single Market, the introduction of a limitation period is needed. This will involve the setting of an unambiguous period of time within which competent authorities, when enforcing the rules governing cross-border infringements, may impose sanctions, order the compensation of consumers or order the restitution of profits obtained as a result of infringements.

Amendment    10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6)  Competent authorities should have a minimum set of powers of investigation and enforcement to apply this Regulation effectively, to cooperate with each other, and to deter traders from committing intra-Union infringements and widespread infringements. Those powers should be adequate to tackle the enforcement challenges of e-commerce and the digital environment where the possibilities of a trader easily concealing its identity or changing it are of particular concern. Those powers should ensure that evidence can be validly exchanged among competent authorities to achieve effective enforcement at an equal level in all Member States,

(6)  Competent authorities should have a consistent set of powers of investigation and enforcement, in order to apply this Regulation, cooperate with each other more quickly and more efficiently and deter traders from committing infringements. Those powers should be sufficient to effectively tackle the enforcement challenges of e-commerce and the digital environment and to prevent non-compliant traders from exploiting gaps in the enforcement system by relocating to Member States whose competent authorities are not equipped to tackle unlawful practices. Those powers should ensure that information and evidence can be validly exchanged among competent authorities to achieve effective enforcement at an equal level in all Member States.

Amendment    11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(7)  Member States may choose whether the competent authorities exercise those powers directly under their own authority or by application to the competent courts. Where the Member States choose that competent authorities exercise their powers by application to the competent courts, Member States should ensure that those powers can be exercised effectively and in a timely manner and that the cost of exercise of those powers be proportionate and does not hamper the application of this Regulation,

(7)  This Regulation should not affect the freedom of the Member States to choose the enforcement system they deem appropriate. Member States should be able to choose to determine the most adequate distribution of powers among national competent authorities, provided that every power can be used effectively to address any infringement. Member States should also be able to choose whether the competent authorities exercise those powers directly under their own authority or with the assistance of other public authorities or under the supervision of the judicial authorities or by application to the competent courts. Where the Member States choose that competent authorities exercise their powers by application to the competent courts, Member States should ensure that those powers can be exercised effectively and in a timely manner and that the cost of exercising those powers is proportionate and does not hamper the application of this Regulation. Member States may also decide, in accordance with this Regulation, to assign certain tasks under this Regulation to designated bodies.

Amendment    12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9)  Competent authorities should be in a position to open investigations on their own initiative if they become aware of intra-Union infringements or widespread infringements by means other than consumer complaints. This is particularly necessary to ensure effective cooperation among competent authorities when addressing widespread infringements,

(9)  Competent authorities should be in a position to open investigations on their own initiative if they become aware of intra-Union infringements or widespread infringements by means other than consumer complaints.

Amendment    13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10)  Competent authorities should have access to all necessary evidence, data and information to determine whether an intra-Union infringement or widespread infringement has occurred, and in particular to identify the trader responsible, irrespective of who possesses this evidence, information or data, of where it is located and of its format. Competent authorities should be able to directly request that third parties in the digital value chain provide all the evidence, data and information necessary,

(10)  Competent authorities should have access to all necessary evidence, data and information relating to the subject matter of an investigation in order to determine whether an infringement has occurred, and in particular to identify the trader responsible, irrespective of who possesses the evidence, information or data in question and regardless of where it is located and of its format. Competent authorities should be able to directly request that third parties in the digital value chain provide all the evidence, data and information necessary, on condition that they consistently respect the principles of personal data protection.

Amendment    14

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(10a)  Competent authorities should be able to carry out the necessary on-site inspections, and should have the power to enter any premises, land or means of transport, that the trader uses for purposes relating to his trade, business, craft or profession.

Amendment    15

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(10b)  Competent authorities should be able to request any representative or member of the staff of the trader concerned to give explanations or provide facts, information or documents relating to the subject matter of the inspection, and to record the answers given by that representative or staff member.

Amendment    16

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(11)  Competent authorities should be able to verify compliance with consumer protection legislation and to obtain evidence of intra-Union infringements or widespread infringements, especially those that take place during or after the purchase of goods and services. They should therefore have the power to make test purchases and to purchase goods or services under a cover identity,

(11)  Competent authorities should be able to verify compliance with Union laws that protect consumers' interests and to obtain evidence of infringements before, during or after the purchase of goods and services. They should therefore have the power to make test purchases and, where the evidence cannot be obtained by other means, to purchase goods or services under a cover identity.

Amendment    17

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(12)  In the digital environment in particular, the competent authorities should be able to stop infringements quickly and effectively, notably where the trader selling goods or services conceals its identity or relocates within the Union or to a third country to avoid enforcement. In cases where there is a risk of serious and irreparable harm to consumers, the competent authorities should to be able to adopt interim measures to prevent such harm or reduce it, including, where necessary, the suspension of a website, domain or a similar digital site, service or account. Furthermore, the competent authorities should have the power to take down or have a third party service provider take down a website, domain or a similar digital site, service or account,

(12)  In the digital environment in particular, the competent authorities should be able to stop infringements quickly and effectively, in particular where the trader selling goods or services conceals his identity or relocates within the Union or to a third country to avoid enforcement. In cases where there is a risk of serious and irreparable harm to consumers, the competent authorities should to be able to adopt interim measures, where there are no other means available, to prevent or mitigate such harm, in particular requiring hosting service providers to remove content or to suspend a website, service or account, or requiring domain registries and registrars to put a fully qualified domain name on hold for a specific period of time. Furthermore, if the interim measures have been unsuccessful, and only as a last resort, the competent authorities should also have the power to order a hosting service provider to remove content or close down a website, service or account or a part of it, or to order a registries or registrars to delete a fully qualified domain name and allow the competent authority concerned to register it. Taking into account their potential impact on fundamental rights, those powers should be exercised in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and after receiving judicial authorisation.

Amendment    18

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13)  In order to ensure that traders are sufficiently deterred from committing or repeating infringements and that they will not profit from those infringements, the rules on penalties which have been adopted by Member States in accordance with the requirements of Union laws that protect consumers’ interests should also be applied to intra-Union infringements and widespread infringements. For those same reasons, consumers should be entitled to redress for harm caused by such infringements,

(13)  In order to ensure that traders are sufficiently deterred from committing or repeating infringements and that they will not profit from such infringements, the rules on sanctions which have been adopted by Member States in accordance with the requirements of Union laws that protect consumers' interests should also be observed and applied to infringements, taking also into account the overall harm resulting from the infringement.

Amendment    19

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 14

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(14)  As regards consumer redress, the competent authorities should choose proportionate, just and reasonable measures that would prevent or reduce the risk of recurrence or repetition of infringements, taking into account in particular the anticipated benefits to consumers and the reasonable administrative costs likely to be associated with the implementation of those measures. Where the consumers concerned cannot be identified or where they cannot be identified without disproportionate cost to the trader responsible, the competent authority may order that the restitution of profits obtained through the infringement be paid to the public purse or to a beneficiary designated by the competent authority or under national legislation,

(14)  As regards consumer redress, the competent authorities should choose effective measures that will prevent or reduce the risk of recurrence or repetition of infringements. Consumers should be entitled to redress for harm caused by infringements. The power to order the compensation of consumers or to the restitution of profits is essential in order to remove the harm caused by a cross-border infringement, and to restore the level playing field in the single market that has been distorted through the collection of profits obtained as a result of infringements.

Amendment    20

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15)  The effectiveness and efficacy of the mutual assistance mechanism should be improved. Information requested should be provided in a timely manner and the necessary enforcement measures should be adopted in a timely manner. The Commission should therefore set binding time periods for competent authorities to reply to information and enforcement requests, and clarify procedural and other aspects of handling information and enforcement requests, by means of implementing measures,

(15)  The effectiveness and efficacy of the mutual assistance mechanism should be improved. Information requested should be provided within the time limits laid down by this Regulation and the necessary enforcement measures should be adopted in a timely manner.

Amendment    21

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16)  The Commission must be better able to coordinate and monitor the functioning of the mutual assistance mechanism, issue guidance, make recommendations and issue opinions to the Member States when problems arise. The Commission also must be better able to effectively and quickly assist competent authorities to resolve disputes over the interpretation of their obligations of the competent authorities stemming from the mutual assistance mechanism,

(16)  The Commission should be better able to coordinate and monitor the functioning of the mutual assistance mechanism, issue guidance, make recommendations and issue opinions to the Member States when problems arise. The Commission should also be better able to effectively and quickly assist competent authorities to resolve disputes over the interpretation of their obligations stemming from the mutual assistance mechanism.

Amendment    22

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17)  Harmonised rules setting out the procedure for the coordination of the surveillance, investigation and enforcement of widespread infringements should be provided. Coordinated actions against widespread infringements should ensure that competent authorities may choose the most appropriate and efficient tools to stop widespread infringements and to ensure consumer compensation,

(17)  This Regulation should lay down harmonised rules setting out the procedure for the coordination of the investigation of widespread infringements and widespread infringements with a Union dimension and enforcement of the rules governing such infringements. Coordinated actions against widespread infringements and widespread infringements with a Union dimension should ensure that competent authorities may choose the most appropriate and efficient tools to stop widespread infringements and widespread infringements with a Union dimension and to ensure consumer compensation.

Amendment    23

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 18

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(18)  Coordinated screening of online e-commerce websites (sweeps) are another form of enforcement coordination that has proven to be an effective tool against infringements that should be retained and strengthened in the future,

(18)  Coordinated screening of online e-commerce websites (sweeps) is another form of enforcement coordination that has proven to be an effective tool against infringements which should be retained and strengthened in the future, including by extending its application to offline sectors.

Amendment    24

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 19

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(19)  Widespread infringements with a Union dimension may cause large scale harm to a majority of consumers in the Union. They therefore require a specific Union-level coordination procedure with the Commission as the mandatory coordinator. To ensure that the procedure is launched in a timely, coherent and effective manner and that the conditions are verified in a uniform manner, the Commission should be in charge of verifying whether the conditions for the launch of the procedure are fulfilled. Evidence and information collected during the common action should be used seamlessly in national proceedings when required,

(19)  In the case of widespread infringements with a Union dimension that may cause harm to consumers' collective interests in a majority of Member States, the Commission should launch and coordinate a Union-level coordination procedure. To ensure procedural coherence, the Commission should be in charge of verifying whether the conditions for the launch of the procedure are fulfilled. Evidence and information collected during the coordinated action should be used in national proceedings when required.

Amendment    25

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 20

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(20)  In the context of widespread infringements and widespread infringement with a Union dimension, the rights of defence of the traders concerned should be respected. This requires, in particular, giving the trader the right to be heard and to use the language of its choice during the proceedings,

(20)  In the context of widespread infringements and widespread infringement with a Union dimension, the rights of defence of the traders concerned should be respected. This requires, in particular, giving the trader the right to be heard and to use the language of the Member State of his establishment or residence. It is also essential to ensure compliance with Union legislation on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information.

Amendment    26

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(21)  If a trader responsible for the widespread infringement or the widespread infringement with a Union dimension fails to cease the infringement voluntarily, the competent authorities of the Member States concerned should designate one competent authority in a Member State to take the enforcement action adapted to preserve the rights of consumers residing in the other Member States concerned by the infringement. That competent authority should be designated, taking into account its capacity to take effective action against the trader, for instance where the trader is established in the Member State of that authority. The designated competent authority should act as if the consumers of the other Member States were its own consumers. Where necessary, to avoid extraterritorial application of the law, several or all the Member States concerned by the infringement should be allowed to adopt enforcement measures at the same time to protect their own consumers or consumers residing in other Member States. This may be needed, for instance, to stop infringements of a similar nature by subsidiaries of a company, established in more than one Member State, which affect the consumers of those Member States only, without an apparent cross-border element (parallel infringements),

(21)  If a trader responsible for a widespread infringement or a widespread infringement with a Union dimension fails to cease that infringement voluntarily, the competent authorities of the Member States concerned should designate one competent authority in a Member State to take the enforcement action adapted to preserve the rights of consumers residing in the other Member States concerned by that infringement. The decision concerning the competent authority to be designated should take into account all relevant aspects for effective enforcement, such as its capacity to take effective action against the trader. The designated competent authority should act as if the consumers in the other Member States were its own consumers. Where necessary, several or all the Member States concerned by the infringement should adopt simultaneous enforcement measures to protect their own consumers or consumers residing in other Member States. This may be needed, for instance, to stop infringements of a similar nature by subsidiaries of a company established in more than one Member State which affect the consumers in those Member States only, without an apparent cross-border element (parallel infringements).

Amendment    27

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 22 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(22a)  In order to enhance the transparency of the cooperation network, and to raise awareness amongst consumers and the public in general, the Commission should submit biannual reports to the European Parliament and the Council containing an overview of the information, statistics and developments in the area of consumer law enforcement, collected within the framework of the cooperation provided for by this Regulation.

Amendment    28

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 23

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(23)  Consumer organisations play an essential role in informing consumers about their rights and educating them and protecting their interests, including the settlement of disputes. Consumers should be encouraged to cooperate with the competent authorities to strengthen the application of this Regulation. Consumer organisations, in particular consumer organisations that may be delegated enforcement tasks under this Regulation and European Consumer Centres, should be in a position to notify competent authorities of suspected infringements and share information needed to detect, investigate and stop intra-Union infringements and widespread infringements with them,

(23)  Consumer organisations play an essential role in informing consumers about their rights and educating them and protecting their interests, including the settlement of disputes. Consumer organisations and European Consumer Centres should be in a position to notify competent authorities of suspected infringements and share with them information needed to detect, investigate and stop infringements.

Amendment    29

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 23 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(23a)  Entities with appropriate expertise and a legitimate interest in consumer protection, in particular consumer organisations, should be allowed to participate in the alert mechanism provided for by this Regulation. Participation of trader associations in the alert mechanism should be also allowed to notify competent authorities of suspected infringements and share with them information needed to detect, investigate and stop infringements, to give their opinion about investigations or infringements and to notify competent authorities of abuse of Union laws that protect consumers' interests. Although competent authorities should not be bound to initiate a procedure or to take any other action in response to alerts and information provided by such entities, they should, in order to enhance transparency, notify the entity that made the external alert of any follow-up actions taken by the competent authority concerned in relation to the alerts, or, upon request, of the lack of any action.

Amendment    30

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 24

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(24)  Infringements which are widespread throughout the Union should be effectively and efficiently resolved. To this end, enforcement prioritisation and planning at the Member State level should be coordinated and the available resources of competent authorities should be pooled. A system of biennial rolling enforcement plans should be put in place to achieve this,

(24)  Infringements which are widespread throughout the Union should be effectively and efficiently resolved. To that end, enforcement prioritisation and planning at the Member State level should be coordinated and the available resources of competent authorities should be pooled. A system of biannual enforcement plans should be put in place to achieve this.

Amendment    31

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 25

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(25)  Data related to consumer complaints may help policymakers at a national and Union level to assess the functioning of consumer markets and detect infringements. With a view to facilitating the exchange of such data at a Union level, the Commission has adopted a Recommendation on the use of a harmonised methodology for classifying and reporting consumer complaints and enquiries59. That Recommendation should be implemented to fully support enforcement cooperation and facilitate the detection of intra-Union infringements and widespread infringements,

(25)  Data related to consumer complaints may help policymakers at national and Union level to assess the functioning of consumer markets and to detect infringements. The exchange of such data at Union level and coordination between the Member States and the Commission of activities contributing to surveillance and enforcement should be promoted.

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59 Commission Recommendation on the use of harmonised methodology for classifying consumer complaints and enquiries (2010/304/EU, OJ L 136, 2.6. 2010, p. 1-31).

 

Amendment    32

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 26

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(26)  Enforcement challenges that go beyond the frontiers of the Union, and the interests of Union consumers should be protected from rogue traders based in third countries. Hence, international agreements with third countries regarding mutual assistance in the enforcement of legislation that protects consumers' interests should be negotiated. Those international agreements should include the subject matter laid down in this Regulation and should be negotiated at Union level in order to ensure the optimum protection of Union consumers and smooth cooperation with third countries,

(26)  Enforcement challenges go beyond the frontiers of the Union. The interests of European consumers should be protected against rogue traders based in third countries. International agreements with third countries regarding mutual assistance in the enforcement of legislation that protects consumers' interests should be negotiated. Those international agreements should include the subject matter laid down in this Regulation and should be negotiated at Union level in order to ensure the optimum protection of Union consumers and smooth cooperation with third countries.

Amendment    33

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 27

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(27)  In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation and exercise of the minimum powers of competent authorities, set time limits and set out other details of procedures to address intra-Union infringements, widespread infringements and details of the surveillance mechanism and administrative cooperation among competent authorities, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council60,

(27)  In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission, to lay down the standard forms and steps of the procedure under the mutual assistance mechanism; lay down time limits and standard forms for notifications and other exchanges of information and enforcement requests for coordinated actions in relation to widespread infringements and widespread infringements with a Union dimension; set out the details of the procedure for sweeps; lay down standard forms for submitting an alert and an external alert via the database; and lay down standard electronic forms and templates available in the database for the discussion forum. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council60.

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60 Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers (OJ L 55, 28.2. 2011, p. 13-18).

60 Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers (OJ L 55, 28.2. 2011, p. 13).

Amendment    34

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 28

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(28)  The examination procedure should be used for the adoption of the acts pursuant to Articles 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 20, 27, 31, 32, 34, 35, 36, 37, 39, 43 and 46 of this Regulation given that those acts are of general scope,

(28)  The examination procedure should be used for the adoption of the implementing acts referred to in Articles 15a, 20, 32, 34, 35 and 43 of this Regulation, given that those acts are of general scope.

Amendment    35

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 34

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(34)  This Regulation is without prejudice to penalties laid down in sectoral Union legislation and Union consumer legislation and applied to national infringements. The competent authorities should, as appropriate, apply the provisions of national law implementing those provisions, taking into account the actual scale and scope of the infringement and the harm caused by the infringement to consumers in other Member States,

(34)  This Regulation is without prejudice to sanctions laid down in sectoral Union legislation and Union consumer legislation and applied to national infringements. The competent authorities should, as appropriate, apply the provisions of national law implementing those provisions, taking into account the actual scale and scope of the infringement concerned and the harm caused by the infringement to consumers in other Member States.

Amendment    36

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 34 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(34a)  This Regulation should be implemented and applied in full compliance with the Union rules on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and any applicable national law in accordance with Union law concerning data protection.

Amendment    37

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 35

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(35)  This Regulation respects fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union67. Accordingly this Regulation should be interpreted and applied with respect to those rights and principles. When exercising the minimum powers set out in this Regulation, the competent authorities should strike an appropriate balance between the interests protected by fundamental rights such as a high level of consumer protection, the freedom to conduct business and freedom of information,

(35)  This Regulation respects fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Accordingly, this Regulation should be interpreted and applied with respect to those rights and principles. When exercising the powers set out in this Regulation, the competent authorities should strike an appropriate balance between the interests protected by fundamental rights, such as a high level of consumer protection, the freedom to conduct business, freedom of expression and freedom of information.

__________________

 

67 OJ C 364, 18.12.2000, p. 1.

 

Amendment    38

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

This Regulation lays down the conditions under which the competent authorities in the Member States designated as responsible for the enforcement of the laws that protect consumers' interests cooperate with each other and with the Commission in order to ensure compliance with those laws and the smooth functioning of the internal market and in order to enhance the protection of consumers' economic interests.

This Regulation lays down the conditions under which the competent authorities in the Member States designated as responsible for the enforcement of Union laws that protect consumers' interests cooperate with each other and with the Commission in order to ensure compliance with those laws and the smooth functioning of the internal market and in order to enhance the protection of consumers' economic interests.

Amendment    39

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  This Regulation applies to intra-Union infringements and widespread infringements defined in points (b) and (c) of Article 3.

1.  This Regulation applies to intra-Union infringements, widespread infringements and widespread infringements with a Union dimension as respectively defined in points (b), (c) and (ca) of Article 3, even where those infringements have ceased before an enforcement procedure started or could be completed.

Amendment    40

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  This Regulation also applies to short-lived intra-Union infringements and widespread infringements, even if those infringements have ceased before enforcement started or could be completed.

deleted

Amendment     41

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4.  This Regulation shall be without prejudice to the application in the Member States of measures relating to judicial cooperation in criminal and civil matters, in particular the operation of the European Judicial Network.

4.  This Regulation shall be without prejudice to the application in the Member States of measures relating to judicial cooperation in criminal and civil matters, in particular the operation of the European Judicial Network, and to the application of legal instruments regarding judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

Amendment     42

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6.  This Regulation shall be without prejudice to the role and powers of competent authorities and European Banking Authority under Directive 2014/17/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 February 2014 on credit agreements for consumers relating to residential immovable property and Directive 2014/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on the comparability of fees related to payment accounts, payment account switching and access to payment accounts.

6.  This Regulation shall be without prejudice to the role and powers of competent authorities and European Banking Authority under Directive 2014/17/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council1a and Directive 2014/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council1b. Chapter III of this Regulation shall not apply to intra-Union infringements of the two Directives referred to in the first subparagraph.

 

__________________

 

1a Directive 2014/17/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 February 2014 on credit agreements for consumers relating to residential immovable property and amending Directives 2008/48/EC and 2013/36/EU and Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 (OJ L 60, 28.2.2014, p. 34).

 

1b Directive 2014/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on the comparability of fees related to payment accounts, payment account switching and access to payment accounts with basic features (OJ L 257, 28.8.2014, p. 214).

Amendment     43

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

7.  Chapter III of this Regulation shall not apply to intra-Union infringements of the following legislation:

deleted

(a)  Directive 2014/17/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 February 2014 on credit agreements for consumers relating to residential immovable property

 

(b)  Directive 2014/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on the comparability of fees related to payment accounts, payment account switching and access to payment accounts with basic features.

 

Amendment    44

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 8 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

8a.  This Regulation shall be without prejudice to the possibility of bringing private enforcement actions and actions for damages under national law.

Amendment    45

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a)  ‘laws that protect consumers' interests’ means the Directives as transposed into the internal legal order of the Member States and the Regulations listed in the Annex;

(a)  ‘Union laws that protect consumers' interests’ means the Directives as transposed into the internal legal order of the Member States and the Regulations listed in the Annex hereto;

Amendment    46

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b)  ‘intra-Union infringement’ means any ongoing or ceased act or omission contrary to the laws that protect consumers' interests that harmed, harms, or is likely to harm the collective interests of consumers residing in a Member State other than the Member State where the act or omission originated or took place, where the trader responsible for the act or omission is established or where evidence or assets of the trader pertaining to the act or omission are to be found;

(b)  ‘intra-Union infringement’ means any act or omission contrary to Union laws that protect consumers' interests that harmed, harms, or is likely to harm the collective interests of consumers residing in a Member State other than the Member State where the act or omission originated or took place, or where the trader responsible for the act or omission is established, or where evidence or assets of the trader pertaining to the act or omission are to be found;

Amendment    47

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point c – point 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1)  any act or omission contrary to the laws that protect consumers' interests that harmed, harms, or is likely to harm the collective interests of consumers residing in at least two Member States other than the Member State where the act or omission originated or took place, or where the trader responsible for the act or omission is established, or where evidence or assets pertaining to the act or omission are to be found; irrespective of whether the act or omission is ongoing or has ceased; or

(1)  any act or omission contrary to Union laws that protect consumers' interests that harmed, harms, or is likely to harm the collective interests of consumers residing in at least two Member States other than the Member State where the act or omission originated or took place, or where the trader responsible for the act or omission is established, or where evidence or assets pertaining to the act or omission are to be found; irrespective of whether the act or omission is ongoing or has ceased; or

Amendment    48

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point c – point 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2)  any acts or omissions contrary to the laws that protect consumers interests that have common features, such as the same unlawful practice, the same interest being infringed or that are occurring concurrently, in at least two Member States;

(2)  any acts or omissions contrary to Union laws that protect consumers interests that harmed, harm, or are likely to harm consumers' collective interests and that have common features, such as the same unlawful practice or the same interest being infringed, or that are occurring concurrently, in at least two Member States;

Amendment    49

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point c a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ca)  'widespread infringement with a Union dimension' means a widespread infringement that harmed, harms or is likely to harm consumer's collective interests in a majority of Member States accounting together for at least a majority of the population of the Union;

Amendment    50

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point c b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(cb)  'competent authority' means any public authority established at national, regional or local level with specific responsibilities to enforce Union laws that protect consumers' interests;

Amendment    51

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point c c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(cc)  'single liaison office' means the public authority in each Member State designated as responsible for coordinating the application of this Regulation within that Member State;

Amendment     52

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point c d (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(cd)  'designated body' means a body that a Member State can designate and which has a legitimate interest in the cessation or prohibition of infringements of Union laws that protect consumers' interests;

Amendment    53

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point f a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(fa)  'consumer' means any natural person who is acting for purposes which are outside his trade, business, craft or profession;

Amendment    54

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point i

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(i)  ‘harm to collective interests of consumers’ means actual or potential harm to the interests of a number of consumers that are concerned by intra-Union infringements or widespread infringements; and that shall be presumed in particular where the infringement potentially; or actually harmed, harms or is likely to harm a significant number of consumers in a similar situation.

(i)  ‘harm to collective interests of consumers’ means actual or potential harm to the interests of a number of consumers that are concerned by intra-Union infringements, widespread infringements or widespread infringements with a Union dimension;

Amendment    55

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point i a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ia)  'risk of serious and irreparable harm to consumers' means the risk of a situation likely to cause serious damage which can no longer be remedied;

Amendment     56

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point i b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ib)  'sweeps' means a concerted investigation of consumer markets through simultaneous coordinated control actions to identify infringements of Union laws that protect consumers' interests.

Amendment    57

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 4

Article 4

Limitation periods for infringements

Limitation period for imposing sanctions, for ordering that consumers be compensated and for ordering the restitution of profits obtained as a result of infringements

1.  The competent authorities may investigate infringements referred to in Article 2 and prohibit traders from engaging in such infringements in the future. The competent authorities may impose penalties for those infringements within five years from the cessation of the infringement.

1.  The competent authorities may investigate infringements referred to in Article 2(1) and prevent traders from engaging in such infringements in the future. The competent authorities may exercise the following powers within five years from the cessation of the infringement:

 

(a)  the power to impose sanctions, as provided for in point (m) of Article 8(2);

 

(b)  the power to order the trader responsible for the infringement to compensate consumers that have suffered harm as a consequence of that infringement, as provided for in point (n) of Article 8(2); and

 

(c)  the power to order the restitution of profits obtained as a result of infringements, as provided for in point (o) of Article 8(2).

 

The competent authorities may, where necessary, exercise those powers based upon evidence that is outside of the limitation period referred to in the second subparagraph.

2.  The limitation period for the imposition of penalties shall begin to run on the day on which the infringement ceased.

2.  The limitation period for exercising the powers referred to in paragraph 1 shall begin to run on the day on which the infringement ceased.

3.  Any action taken by the competent authority for the purpose of the investigation or enforcement proceedings in respect of the infringement shall suspend the limitation period for the imposition of penalties until the final decision concerning the matter is adopted. The limitation period for the imposition of penalties shall be suspended for as long as the decision, order or other action of the competent authority is the subject of proceedings pending before a court.

3.  Any action taken by the competent authority for the purpose of the investigation or enforcement proceedings in respect of the infringement shall suspend the limitation period for exercising the powers referred to in paragraph 1 until the final decision concerning the matter is adopted. That limitation period shall be suspended for as long as the decision, order or other action of the competent authority is the subject of proceedings pending before a court.

Amendment    58

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 5

Article 5

Competent authorities and single liaison offices

Competent authorities and single liaison offices

1.  Each Member State shall designate as the competent authorities public authorities established either at national, regional or local level with specific responsibilities to enforce the laws that protect consumers' interests.

1.  Each Member State shall designate the competent authorities and a single liaison office that are responsible for the application of this Regulation.

2.  Competent authorities shall fulfil their obligations under this Regulation as though acting on behalf of consumers in their own Member State and on their own account.

2.  Competent authorities shall fulfil their obligations under this Regulation as though acting on behalf of consumers in their own Member State and on their own account.

3.  Each Member State shall designate one competent authority as single liaison office.

 

4.  The single liaison office shall be responsible for coordinating investigation and enforcement activities related to intra-Union infringements and widespread infringements by the competent authorities, other public authorities as set out in Article 6, designated bodies as set out in Article 13 and entities participating in the alert mechanism as set out in Article 34.

4.  The single liaison office shall be responsible for coordinating, as between the competent authorities, other public authorities as referred to in Article 6, designated bodies and entities participating in the alert mechanism as referred to in Article 35, investigation and enforcement activities relating to intra-Union infringements, widespread infringements and widespread infringements with a Union dimension.

5.  Member States shall ensure that competent authorities and single liaison offices have the adequate resources necessary for the application of this Regulation and for the effective use of their powers pursuant to Article 8, including sufficient budgetary and other resources, expertise, procedures and other arrangements.

5.  Member States shall ensure that competent authorities and single liaison offices have the necessary resources for the application of this Regulation, including budgetary and other resources, expertise, procedures and other arrangements.

6.  Where there is more than one competent authority on their territory, Member States shall ensure that their respective duties are clearly defined and that those authorities collaborate closely so that they can discharge their respective duties effectively.

6.  Where there is more than one competent authority on their territory, Member States shall ensure that their respective duties are clearly defined and that those authorities collaborate closely so that they can discharge their respective duties effectively.

Amendment     59

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4.  Each Member State may designate bodies having a legitimate interest in the cessation or prohibition of infringements ("designated bodies") to gather the necessary information and to take the necessary enforcement measures available to them under national law on behalf of a requested competent authority.

4.  Each Member State may impose an obligation on designated bodies to gather the necessary information and to take the necessary enforcement measures available to them under national law on behalf of a requested competent authority.

Amendment     60

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5.  Member States shall ensure cooperation between the competent authorities and designated bodies, in particular to ensure that infringements referred to in Article 2 are brought to the attention of competent authorities without delay.

5.  Member States shall ensure cooperation between the competent authorities and designated bodies, in particular to ensure that infringements referred to in Article 2(1) are brought to the attention of competent authorities without delay.

Amendment    61

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Each Member State shall communicate without delay to the Commission and the other Member States the identities of the competent authorities, of the single liaison office, of the designated bodies as set out in Article 13 and of the entities participating in the alert mechanism as set out in Article 34, as well as any changes thereto.

1.  Each Member State shall communicate without delay to the Commission:

Amendment    62

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – point a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(a)  the identities and contact details of the competent authorities, of the single liaison office, of the designated bodies and of the entities participating in the alert mechanism as referred to in Article 35;

Amendment    63

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – point b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(b)  information about the organisation, powers and responsibilities of the competent authorities; and

Amendment    64

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – point c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(c)  any changes to the information mentioned in points (a) and (b).

Amendment    65

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  The Commission shall maintain and update a publicly available list of single liaison offices, competent authorities, designated bodies and entities on its website.

2.  The Commission shall maintain and update on its website the information referred to in paragraph 1 and make it publicly available.

Amendment    66

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 8

Article 8

Minimum powers of competent authorities

Powers of competent authorities

1.  Each competent authority shall have the investigation and enforcement powers necessary for the application of this Regulation and shall exercise them in accordance with this Regulation and national law.

1.  Each Member State shall confer on their competent authorities the investigation and enforcement powers and shall provide them with the resources necessary for the application of this Regulation.

 

1a.  Notwithstanding paragraph 1, Member States may decide not to confer all the powers to each competent authority provided that every power can be effectively exercised.

2.  Each competent authority shall have at least the following powers and exercise them under the conditions set out in Article 9, to:

2.  In order to carry out the duties assigned to them by this Regulation, the competent authorities in each Member State shall have at least the following powers and shall exercise them under the conditions set out in Article 9:

(a)  have access to any relevant document, data or information related to an infringement under this Regulation, in any form or format and irrespective of the medium on which or the place where they are stored;

(a)  the power to have access to any relevant document, data or information related to an infringement under this Regulation, in any form or format and irrespective of the medium on which or the place where they are stored;

(b)  require the supply by any natural or legal person, including banks, internet service providers, domain registries and registrars and hosting service providers of any relevant information, data or document in any format or form and irrespective of the medium on which or the place where they are stored, for the purpose of among others identifying and following financial and data flows, or of ascertaining the identity of persons involved in financial and data flows, bank account information and ownership of websites;

(b)  the power to require the supply by any natural or legal person, including banks, payment service providers, internet service providers, domain registries and registrars and hosting service providers of any relevant information, data or document in the format or form in which it is stored, and irrespective of the medium on which or the place of storage, where they are stored, for the purpose of identifying and following financial and data flows, or of ascertaining the identity of persons involved in financial and data flows, bank account information and ownership of websites when the information, data or document in question is related to the subject matter of an investigation;

(c)  require any public authority, body or agency within the Member State of the competent authority to supply any relevant information, data or document in any format or form and irrespective of the medium on which or the place where they are stored, for the purpose among others, of identifying and following of financial and data flows, or of ascertaining the identity of persons involved in financial and data flows, bank account information and ownership of websites;

(c)  the power to require any public authority, body or agency within the Member State of the competent authority to supply any relevant information, data or document in any format or form and irrespective of the medium on which or the place where they are stored, for the purpose of identifying and following financial and data flows, or of ascertaining the identity of persons involved in financial and data flows, bank account information and ownership of websites when the information, data or document in question is related to the subject matter of an investigation;

(d)  carry out the necessary on-site inspections, including in particular the power to enter any premises, land or means of transport or to request other authorities to do so in order to examine, seize, take or obtain copies of information, data or documents, irrespective of the medium on which they are stored; to seal any premises or information, data or documents for a necessary period and to the extent necessary for the inspection; to request any representative or member of the staff of the trader concerned to give explanations on facts, information or documents relating to the subject matter of the inspection and to record the answers;

(d)  the power to carry out the necessary on-site inspections, including the power to enter any premises, land or means of transport that the trader uses for purposes related to his trade, business, craft or profession, or to request other authorities to do so in order to examine, seize, take or obtain copies of information, data or documents, irrespective of the medium on which they are stored; to seal any premises or information, data or documents for a necessary period and to the extent necessary for the inspection;

 

(da)  the power to request any representative or member of the staff of the trader concerned to give explanations or provide facts, information or documents relating to the subject matter of the inspection and record the answers;

(e)  purchase goods or services as test purchases in order to detect infringements under this Regulation and obtain evidence;

(e)  the power to purchase goods or services as test purchases, including under a cover identity, to inspect them and to reverse engineer them in order to detect infringements under this Regulation and obtain evidence; depending on the nature of their intended use, samples which cannot be returned to the trader in their original condition shall be bought;

(f)  purchase goods or services under a cover identity in order to detect infringements and to obtain evidence;

 

(g)  adopt interim measures to prevent the risk of serious and irreparable harm to consumers, in particular the suspension of a website, domain or a similar digital site, service or account;

(g)  the power to adopt interim measures, where there are no other means available to prevent the risk of serious and irreparable harm to collective interests of consumers, in particular requiring hosting service providers to remove content or to suspend a website, service or account, or requiring domain registries and registrars to put a fully qualified domain name on hold for a specified period of time;

(h)  start investigations or procedures to bring about the cessation or prohibition of intra-Union infringements or widespread infringements of its own initiative and where appropriate to publish information about this;

(h)  the power to start investigations or procedures to bring about the cessation of intra-Union infringements, widespread infringements or widespread infringements with a Union dimension of its own initiative and where appropriate to publish information about this;

(i)  obtain a commitment from the trader responsible for the intra-Union infringement or widespread infringement to cease the infringement and where appropriate to compensate consumers for the harm caused;

(i)  the power to seek to obtain and/or accept a commitment from the trader responsible for the intra-Union infringement, widespread infringement or widespread infringements with a Union dimension to cease the infringement and where appropriate to compensate consumers for the harm caused;

(j)  request in writing the cessation of the infringement by the trader;

 

(k)  bring about the cessation or the prohibition of the infringement;

(k)  the power to bring about the cessation or the prohibition of the infringement;

(l)  close down a website, domain or similar digital site, service or account or a part of it, including by requesting a third party or other public authority to implement such measures;

(l)  the power, in the absence of an effective reaction within a reasonable time by the trader to a written request by the competent authority for the cessation or prohibition of an infringement, to order a hosting service provider to remove content or close down a website, service or account or a part of it, or to order a domain registries or registrars to delete a fully qualified domain name and allow the competent authority concerned to register it, including by requesting a third party or other public authority to implement such measures, in order to prevent the risk of serious and irreparable harm to the collective interests of consumers;

(m)  impose penalties, including fines and penalty payments, for intra-Union infringements and widespread infringements and for the failure to comply with any decision, order, interim measure, commitment or other measure adopted pursuant to this Regulation;

(m)  the power to impose sanctions, including fines and penalty payments, for intra-Union infringements, widespread infringements and widespread infringements with a Union dimension and for failure to comply with any decision, order, interim measure, commitment or other measure adopted pursuant to this Regulation;

(n)   order the trader responsible for the intra-Union infringement or widespread infringement to compensate consumers that have suffered harm as a consequence of the infringement including, among others, monetary compensation, offering consumers the option to terminate the contract or other measures ensuring redress to consumers who have been harmed as a result of the infringement;

(n)   the power to order the trader responsible for the intra-Union infringement, widespread infringement or widespread infringement with a Union dimension to compensate consumers that have suffered harm as a consequence of that infringement including, inter alia, monetary compensation, offering consumers the option to terminate the contract or other measures ensuring redress to consumers who have been harmed as a result of the infringement;

(o)  order the restitution of profits obtained as a result of infringements, including an order that those profits are paid to the public purse or to a beneficiary designated by the competent authority or under national legislation;

(o)  the power to order the restitution of profits obtained as a result of infringements;

(p)  publish any final decisions, interim measures or orders, including the publication of the identity of the trader responsible for the intra-Union infringement or widespread infringement;

(p)  the power to publish any final decisions, final measures, trader's commitments or orders adopted pursuant to this Regulation, including the publication of the identity of the trader responsible for the intra-Union infringement, widespread infringement or widespread infringement with a Union dimension;

(q)  consult consumers, consumer organisations, designated bodies and other persons concerned about the effectiveness of the proposed commitments in ceasing the infringement and removing the harm caused by it.

(q)  the power to consult consumers, consumer organisations, trader organisations, designated bodies, where applicable, and other persons concerned about the effectiveness of the proposed commitments in ceasing the infringement and removing the harm caused by it.

Amendment    67

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 9

Article 9

Exercise of minimum powers

Exercise of powers by competent authorities

1.  The competent authorities shall exercise the powers set out in Article 8 in accordance with this Regulation and national law either:

1.  The competent authorities shall exercise the powers set out in Article 8:

(a)  directly under their own authority; or

(a)  directly under their own authority;

 

(aa)  with the assistance of other public authorities or under the supervision of the judicial authorities, where appropriate;

 

(ab)  by instructing designated bodies, where relevant; or

(b)   by application to courts competent to grant the necessary decision, including, where appropriate, by appeal, if the application to grant the necessary decision is not successful.

(b)   by application to courts competent to grant the necessary decision, including, where appropriate, by appeal, if the application to grant the necessary decision is not successful.

 

1a.   The competent authorities shall in any case exercise the powers set out in points (d), (g) and (l) of Article 8(2) in accordance with point (b) of paragraph 1 of this Article.

2.  Insofar as competent authorities exercise their powers by application to courts, those courts shall have the power to grant the necessary decisions and shall act within the framework of this Regulation.

2.  Insofar as competent authorities exercise their powers by application to courts, those courts shall have the power to grant the necessary decisions.

 

2a.  The competent authorities shall exercise powers set out in Article 8 proportionately, efficiently and effectively in accordance with Union law, including the principles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, applicable procedural safeguards and the Union rules on data protection, and national law.

 

2b.  Investigation and enforcement measures adopted in application of this Regulation shall adequately reflect the nature of the infringement and the overall actual or potential harm caused by it.

 

2c.  When a decision is being made whether to impose a sanction and on the amount of the fine to be imposed in each individual case, due regard shall be given to the following:

 

(a)   the nature, gravity and duration of the infringement, taking into account the number of consumers affected and the level of damage suffered by them;

 

(b)   the intentional or negligent character of the infringement;

 

(c)   any action taken by the trader to mitigate the damage suffered by consumers;

 

(d)   any relevant previous infringements committed by the trader;

 

(e)   the degree to which the trader has cooperated with the competent authority in order to remedy the infringement and to mitigate the possible adverse thereof.

3  The Member States shall ensure that the court fees and other costs linked to the adoption of the court decisions in the proceedings initiated in application of this Regulation are proportionate and do not hamper the application of this Regulation.

3.  The Member States shall ensure that the court fees and other costs linked to the adoption of the court decisions in the proceedings initiated in application of this Regulation are proportionate and do not hamper the application of this Regulation.

Amendment    68

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 10

deleted

Implementing powers

 

The Commission may adopt implementing acts setting out the conditions for the implementation and exercise of the minimum powers of competent authorities referred to in Article 8. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

 

Amendment    69

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 11

Article 11

Requests for information

Requests for information

1.  A requested authority shall, on request from an applicant authority, supply any relevant information required to establish whether an intra-Union infringement has occurred and to bring about the cessation of that infringement. The requested authority shall notify the Commission without delay of the request for information and of its reply.

1.  A requested authority shall, on request from an applicant authority, supply to the applicant authority without delay, and in any event within 30 days, any relevant information required to establish whether an intra-Union infringement has occurred and to bring about the cessation of that infringement. The requested authority shall notify the Commission without delay of the request for information and of its reply.

2.  The requested authority shall undertake the appropriate investigations or take any other necessary or appropriate measures in order to gather the required information. If necessary, those investigations shall be carried out with the assistance of other public authorities or designated bodies.

2.  The requested authority shall undertake the appropriate investigations or take any other necessary or appropriate measures in order to gather the required information. If necessary, those investigations shall be carried out with the assistance of other public authorities or designated bodies.

3.  On request from the applicant authority, the requested authority may allow competent officials of the applicant authority to accompany the officials of the requested authority in the course of their investigations.

3.  On request from the applicant authority, the requested authority may allow competent officials of the applicant authority to accompany the officials of the requested authority in the course of their investigations.

4.  The requested authority shall reply to the request using the procedure for information requests and within the time limits set out by the Commission in the implementing act.

 

5.  The Commission shall adopt implementing acts setting out the time limits, standard forms and details of the procedures for requests for information. The implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

 

Amendment    70

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 12

Article 12

Requests for enforcement measures

Requests for enforcement measures

1.  A requested authority shall, on request from an applicant authority, take all necessary enforcement measures to bring about the cessation or prohibition of the intra-Union infringement, including imposing penalties and ordering or facilitating the compensation of consumers for harm caused by the infringement.

1.  A requested authority shall, without undue delay, on request from an applicant authority, take all necessary enforcement measures to bring about the cessation of the intra-Union infringement by exercising the powers set out in Article 8 and any additional powers granted to it under national law, including imposing sanctions and ordering or facilitating the compensation of consumers for harm caused by that infringement.

2.  In order to fulfil its obligations laid down in paragraph 1, the requested authority shall exercise the powers set out under Article 8 and any additional powers granted to it under national law. The requested authority shall determine the enforcement measures appropriate to bring about the cessation or prohibition of the intra-Union infringement in a proportionate, efficient and effective way. If necessary, those measures shall be determined and implemented with the assistance of other public authorities.

 

3.  The requested authority shall regularly inform and consult the applicant authority about the steps and measures taken. The requested authority shall notify through the database set out in Article 43 the applicant authority, the competent authorities of other Member States and the Commission of the measures taken and their effect on the intra-Union infringement without delay, including the following:

3.  The requested authority shall regularly inform the applicant authority about the steps and measures taken and shall consult the applicant authority about the steps and measures that the requested authority intends to take. The requested authority shall notify through the database, provided for in Article 43, of the measures taken and the effect thereof on the intra-Union infringement, including the following:

(a)  whether interim measures have been imposed;

(a)  whether interim measures have been imposed;

(b)  whether the infringement has ceased;

(b)  whether the infringement has ceased;

(c)  which penalties have been imposed;

(c)  which measures, including sanctions, have been imposed and whether those measures have been implemented;

(d)  to what extent consumers have been compensated

(d)  to what extent consumers have been compensated.

(e)  whether the measures taken have been implemented.

 

4.  The requested authority shall reply to the request using the procedures for requests for enforcement measures and within the time limits set out by the Commission in the implementing act.

 

5.  The Commission shall adopt implementing acts setting out the time limits, standard forms and details of the procedures for requests for enforcement measures. The implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

 

Amendment    71

Proposal for a regulation

Article 13 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6.  The Commission shall adopt implementing acts setting out the time limits, standard forms and details of the procedures involving designated bodies. The implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

deleted

Amendment    72

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  In requests for mutual assistance, the applicant authority shall provide sufficient information to enable a requested authority to fulfil the request, including any necessary evidence obtainable only in the Member State of the applicant authority.

1.  In requests for mutual assistance, the applicant authority shall provide necessary information to enable a requested authority to fulfil the request, including any necessary evidence obtainable only in the Member State of the applicant authority.

Amendment    73

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 15

Article 15

Refusal to comply with a request for mutual assistances

Refusal to comply with a request for mutual assistance

1.  A requested authority may refuse to comply with a request for information under Article 11 if one or more of the following applies:

1.  A requested authority may refuse to comply with a request for information under Article 11 if one or more of the following applies:

(a)  in its opinion, following consultation with the applicant authority, the information requested is not needed by the applicant authority to establish whether an intra-Union infringement has occurred or to establish whether there is a reasonable suspicion that it may occur;

(a)  following consultation with the applicant authority, the requested authority provides justified reasons showing that the information requested is not needed by the applicant authority in order to establish whether an intra-Union infringement has occurred or to establish whether there is a reasonable suspicion that it may occur;

b)  the applicant authority does not agree that the information is subject to the provisions on confidentiality and professional and commercial secrecy set out in Article 41;

b)  the applicant authority does not agree that the information is subject to the provisions on confidentiality and professional and commercial secrecy set out in Article 41;

(c)  criminal investigations or judicial proceedings have already been initiated or final judgment has already been given in respect of the same intra-Union infringement and against the same trader before the judicial authorities in the Member State of the requested or applicant authority.

(c)  criminal investigations or judicial proceedings have already been initiated in respect of the same intra-Union infringement and against the same trader before the judicial authorities in the Member State of the requested or applicant authority.

2.  A requested authority may refuse to comply with a request for enforcement measures under Article 12 following a consultation with the applicant authority, if one or more of the following applies:

2.  A requested authority may refuse to comply with a request for enforcement measures under Article 12 following a consultation with the applicant authority, if one or more of the following applies:  

(a)  criminal investigations or judicial proceedings have already been initiated or final judgment has already been given in respect of the same intra-Union infringement and against the same trader before the judicial authorities in the Member State of the requested or applicant authority

(a)  criminal investigations or judicial proceedings have already been initiated or there is a final administrative decision, a final judgment or a court settlement in respect of the same intra-Union infringement and against the same trader before the judicial authorities in the Member State of the requested or applicant authority;

(b)   in its opinion, following appropriate investigation no intra-Union infringement has occurred;

(b)   in its opinion, following appropriate investigation no intra-Union infringement has occurred;

(c)   in its opinion, the applicant authority has not provided sufficient information in accordance with Article 12(1),

(c)   in its opinion, the applicant authority has not provided necessary information in accordance with Article 14(1),

A request for enforcement measures cannot be refused on the ground that insufficient information has been provided if a request for information on the same intra-Union infringement was refused on the grounds that criminal investigations or judicial proceedings have already been initiated or final judgment has already been given in respect of the same intra-Union infringement and against the same trader, as referred to in paragraph (1)(c).

A request for enforcement measures cannot be refused on the ground that insufficient information has been provided if a request for information on the same intra-Union infringement was previously refused on the grounds referred to in point (c) of paragraph 1.

3.   The requested authority shall inform the applicant authority and the Commission of the refusal to comply with a request for mutual assistance and provide grounds for the refusal.

3.   The requested authority shall inform the applicant authority and the Commission of the refusal to comply with a request for mutual assistance and provide grounds for the refusal.

4.   In the event of a disagreement between the applicant and the requested authority, the applicant authority or the requested authority shall without delay refer the matter to the Commission which shall issue an opinion. Where the matter is not referred to it, the Commission may of its own motion issue an opinion.

4.  In the event of a disagreement between the applicant authority and the requested authority, the applicant authority or the requested authority may refer the matter to the Commission which shall without delay issue an opinion. Where the matter is not referred to it, the Commission may of its own motion issue an opinion. For the purpose of issuing an opinion, the Commission may ask for relevant information and documents exchanged between the applicant authority and the requested authority.

5.  The Commission shall monitor the functioning of the mutual assistance mechanism, the compliance of competent authorities with the procedures and the time limits for handling mutual assistance requests. The Commission shall have access to the mutual assistance requests and to the information and documents exchanged between the applicant and requested authority.

5.  The Commission shall monitor the functioning of the mutual assistance mechanism and the compliance of competent authorities with the procedures and the time limits for handling mutual assistance requests. The Commission shall have access to the mutual assistance requests.

6.  Where appropriate, the Commission may issue guidance and provide advice to the Member States to ensure the effective and efficient functioning of the mutual assistance mechanism.

6.  Where appropriate, the Commission may issue guidance and provide advice to the Member States to ensure the effective and efficient functioning of the mutual assistance mechanism.

7.  The Commission may adopt implementing acts setting out the details of the procedures to address cases of disagreement between competent authorities under paragraphs 3 and 4. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

 

Amendment    74

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 15a

 

Implementing acts

 

The Commission shall adopt implementing acts laying down the standard forms and steps of the procedure referred to in Articles 11, 12 and 15. Those implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

Amendment    75

Proposal for a regulation

Chapter IV – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

COORDINATED SURVEILLANCE, INVESTIGATION AND ENFORCEMENT MECHANISM FOR WIDESPREAD INFRINGEMENTS

COORDINATED INVESTIGATION AND ENFORCEMENT MECHANISM FOR WIDESPREAD INFRINGEMENTS AND WIDESPREAD INFRINGEMENTS WITH A UNION DIMENSION

Amendment    76

Proposal for a regulation

Chapter IV – section I – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Widespread infringements

Widespread infringements and widespread infringements with a Union dimension

Amendment    77

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 16

Article 16

Opening of coordinated action and designation of the coordinator

Launching of coordinated actions and designation of the coordinator

1.  Where a competent authority has a reasonable suspicion that a widespread infringement is taking place, it shall notify the competent authorities of the other Member States concerned by the widespread infringement and the Commission without delay.

1.  Where a competent authority or the Commission has a reasonable suspicion that a widespread infringement is taking place, it shall notify the competent authorities of the Member States concerned by that infringement and the Commission, as applicable, without delay.

2.  Where the Commission has a reasonable suspicion that a widespread infringement is taking place, it shall notify the competent authorities concerned by the widespread infringement.

 

3.  After receiving the notifications referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, the competent authorities concerned by the widespread infringement shall, acting by consensus, designate the competent authority that shall coordinate the action.

3.  After receiving the notification as referred to in paragraph 1, in the case of a widespread infringement, the competent authorities concerned by it shall, acting by consensus, decide whether to launch a coordinated action. The notifying competent authority shall coordinate the action unless the competent authorities concerned by the widespread infringement agree that another competent authority or the Commission is to do so.

4.  The competent authorities concerned may invite the Commission to take up the coordination role. The Commission shall inform the competent authorities concerned without delay whether it accepts the coordination role.

 

5.  When notifying the competent authority pursuant to paragraph 2, the Commission may propose to take up the coordination role. The competent authorities concerned shall inform the Commission without delay whether they accept that the Commission coordinates the action.

5.  When it is the Commission that notifies the competent authorities pursuant to paragraph 1, it may propose to take up the coordination role. The competent authorities concerned shall inform the Commission without delay whether they agree to the Commission coordinating the action, or whether they agree on a competent authority that is to coordinate the action.

6.  Where the Commission declines to take up the coordination role or where the competent authorities concerned do not accept that the Commission coordinates the action, the competent authorities concerned shall designate a competent authority that shall coordinate the action. Where no agreement among competent authorities is reached, the competent authority that first notified the suspected infringement to the other competent authorities shall coordinate the action.

6.  Where the Commission declines to take up the coordination role or where the competent authorities concerned do not accept that the Commission coordinates the action, the competent authorities concerned shall designate a competent authority that shall coordinate the action. Where no agreement among competent authorities is reached, the competent authority that first notified the suspected infringement to the other competent authorities shall coordinate the action.

 

6a.  After giving or receiving the notification referred to in paragraph 1, the Commission together with the single liaison offices of the Member States concerned shall verify the preliminary evidence regarding the existence of the widespread infringement. When the threshold for a widespread infringement with a Union dimension is met, the Commission shall launch a coordinated action. The Commission shall notify its decision to launch the coordinated action to the single liaison offices of the Member States concerned by that action. The Commission shall coordinate the action.

Amendment    78

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 16a

 

Participation in coordinated actions

 

1.   A competent authority may decline to take part in a coordinated action for any of the following reasons:

 

(a)   a criminal investigation or judicial proceedings have already been initiated in respect of the same widespread infringement or the widespread infringement with a Union dimension and against the same trader in the Member State concerned;

 

(b)   a final administrative decision, a final judgment or a court settlement has already been arrived at in respect of the same widespread infringement or the widespread infringement with a Union dimension and against the same trader in the Member State concerned;

 

(c)   the relevant widespread infringement or the widespread infringement with a Union dimension has not occurred in the Member State concerned.

 

2.   Following the decision to launch a coordinated action pursuant to Article 16, where a competent authority decides not to take part in the coordinated action, it shall without delay inform the Commission and the other competent authorities and single liaison offices concerned about its decision, state the reasons for it and provide the necessary supporting documents.

 

3.   A competent authority may join a coordinated action if it becomes apparent during the coordinated action that it is concerned by the widespread infringement or the widespread infringement with a Union dimension that is the subject of the coordinated action.

Amendment    79

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 17

Article 17

Investigation measures in coordinated actions

Investigation measures in coordinated actions

1.  The competent authorities concerned shall ensure that the necessary evidence, data and information are gathered effectively and efficiently. The competent authorities concerned shall ensure that investigations and inspections are conducted simultaneously and that interim measures are applied simultaneously.

1.  The competent authorities concerned shall ensure that the necessary evidence, data and information are gathered effectively and efficiently. The competent authorities concerned shall ensure that investigations and inspections are conducted simultaneously and that interim measures are applied simultaneously to the extent that national procedural law so allows.

2.  The competent authorities concerned may use the mutual assistance mechanism pursuant to Chapter III, in particular to gather evidence and information from Member States other than the Member States concerned by the coordinated action or to ensure that the trader concerned does not circumvent enforcement measures.

2.  The competent authorities concerned may use the mutual assistance mechanism pursuant to Chapter III, in particular to gather evidence and information from Member States other than the Member States concerned by the coordinated action or to ensure that the trader concerned does not circumvent enforcement measures.

3.  Where appropriate, the competent authorities concerned may set out the outcome of the investigation and the assessment of the widespread infringement in a common position agreed upon among themselves.

3.  The competent authorities concerned shall set out the outcome of the investigation and the assessment of the widespread infringement or, where applicable, the widespread infringement with a Union dimension, in a common position agreed upon among themselves.

 

3a.  Unless otherwise agreed between the competent authorities concerned, the coordinator shall communicate the common position to the trader responsible for the infringement, who shall be given the opportunity to be heard on the matters forming part of the common position.

4.  Where appropriate and without prejudice to the rules on professional and commercial secrecy set out in Article 41, the competent authorities concerned may decide to publish the common position or parts of it on their websites and on the Commission website and seek the views of other parties concerned.

4.  Without prejudice to the rules on professional and commercial secrecy set out in Article 41, the competent authorities concerned shall publish the common position or parts of it on their websites and on the Commission website and may seek the views of consumer organisations, trader organisations and other parties concerned.

Amendment    80

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 18

Article 18

Enforcement measures in coordinated actions

Commitments in coordinated actions

1.  The competent authorities concerned may invite the trader responsible for the infringement to propose commitments to cease the infringement and where appropriate to compensate or take other measures facilitating compensation of consumers that have suffered harm. The trader may also, on its own initiative, propose commitments to cease the infringement and to compensate consumers.

1.  On the basis of a common position adopted pursuant to Article 17, the competent authorities concerned may invite the trader responsible for the widespread infringement or the widespread infringement with a Union dimension to propose commitments to cease the infringement and where appropriate to compensate, or take other measures facilitating compensation of, consumers that have suffered harm. The trader may also, on his own initiative, propose commitments to cease the infringement and to compensate such consumers.

2.  Where the trader proposes commitments, the competent authorities concerned, may, where appropriate, publish the proposed commitments on their websites or, as appropriate, on the Commission website to seek the views of other parties concerned and to verify whether the commitments are sufficient to cease the infringement and to compensate consumers.

2.  Where the trader proposes commitments, the competent authorities concerned, may, where appropriate, publish the proposed commitments on their websites or, as appropriate, on the Commission website to seek the views of other parties concerned, including consumer organisations and trader organisations.

 

2a.  The competent authorities concerned shall assess the proposed commitments by the trader responsible for the infringement and communicate to the trader the outcome of the assessment agreed upon among themselves. Where those commitments are considered to be sufficient to ensure the cessation of the widespread infringement or widespread infringement with a Union dimension and, where appropriate, the compensation of consumers harmed by it, the competent authorities shall accept those commitments and set a time limit for implementation of the commitments.

 

Where it is unlikely that the widespread infringement or widespread infringement with a Union dimension will cease as a result of commitments made by the trader responsible for that infringement, the competent authorities may take enforcement measures pursuant to Article 18a.

 

2b.  The competent authorities concerned shall monitor the implementation of the commitments. They shall in particular ensure that the trader responsible for the infringement regularly reports to the coordinator about the progress of the implementation of the commitments.

3.  The competent authorities concerned may designate one competent authority to take enforcement measures on behalf of the other competent authorities in order to bring about the cessation or to prohibit the widespread infringement, to ensure compensation of consumers or to impose penalties. When designating a competent authority to take enforcement measures the competent authorities shall take into consideration the location of the trader concerned. Once the competent authority has been designated to take enforcement measures by the other competent authorities concerned, it shall become competent to act on behalf of the consumers of each such Member State as if they were its own consumers.

 

4.  The competent authorities may decide to take enforcement measures simultaneously in all or some Member States concerned by the widespread infringement. In such a case, the competent authorities shall ensure that those enforcement measures are launched simultaneously in all Member States concerned.

 

5.  The instruction of a designated body to take enforcement measures pursuant to paragraphs 1 to 4 shall only be possible if the competent authorities concerned give their consent to such instruction and where such instruction does not lead to disclosure of information which is subject to the rules on professional and commercial secrecy set out in Article 41.

 

Amendment    81

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 18a

 

Enforcement measures in coordinated actions

 

1.   The competent authorities concerned shall agree which competent authority, or, where necessary, competent authorities, is to take, on behalf of the other competent authorities, enforcement measures, including the imposition on the trader of sanctions and of an order requiring him to pay compensation to the consumers harmed by it, where:

 

(a)   it is unlikely that the infringement will cease as a result of the commitments proposed by the trader responsible for the infringement;

 

(b)   the trader responsible for the infringement does not propose commitments before the expiry of a time limit set by the competent authorities concerned;

 

(c)   the trader responsible for the infringement proposes commitments which are insufficient to ensure the cessation of the infringement and the compensation of consumers harmed by the infringement; or

 

(d)   the trader responsible for the infringement fails to implement the commitments before the expiry of the time limit set out in Article 18(2a).

 

2.   Once a competent authority has been designated to take enforcement measures by the other competent authorities concerned, it shall be competent to act on behalf of the consumers in each of the other Member States concerned as if they were its own consumers. When designating a competent authority to take enforcement measures, the competent authorities shall take into consideration all relevant aspects conducive to effective enforcement.

 

3.   Where the competent authorities do not proceed in accordance with paragraph 2, they shall take enforcement measures simultaneously in several or all of the Member States concerned by the widespread infringement or the widespread infringement with a Union dimension.

 

4.   A designated competent authority may be directed to take enforcement measures pursuant to paragraphs 1 to 3 of this Article only if the competent authorities of the Member States concerned by such measures give their consent and only if this does not lead to disclosure of information which is subject to the rules on professional and commercial secrecy set out in Article 41.

Amendment    82

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 19

Article 19

Closure of the coordinated actions

Closure of the coordinated actions

 

1. The competent authorities concerned shall decide to close the coordinated action where they conclude that:

 

(a)   no widespread infringement or widespread infringement with a Union dimension has occurred;

 

(b)   following the implementation of commitments by the trader responsible for it, the widespread infringement or widespread infringement with a Union dimension has ceased;

 

(c)   following enforcement measures, the widespread infringement or widespread infringement with a Union dimension has ceased.

The coordinating authority shall inform the Commission and competent authorities of the Member States concerned without delay when the widespread infringement has ceased or has been prohibited.

2. The coordinator shall notify the Commission, where applicable, the competent authorities and the single liaison offices of the Member States concerned without delay of the closure of the coordinated action.

Amendment    83

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 19a

 

Re-opening of coordinated actions

 

The coordinator shall, without delay, notify the Commission, where applicable, and the competent authorities and the single liaison offices of the Member States concerned if the widespread infringement or widespread infringement with a Union dimension recurs and further measures are to be taken. In that event, the coordination may take place without launching a new coordinated action.

Amendment    84

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission may adopt implementing acts setting out the details of the procedures for common actions for widespread infringements, in particular the standard forms for notifications and other exchanges between competent authorities and the Commission. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

The Commission may adopt implementing acts laying down the time limits and the standard forms for notifications and other exchanges of information and enforcement requests between competent authorities and the Commission for coordinated actions in relation to widespread infringements and widespread infringements with a Union dimension. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

Amendment    85

Proposal for a regulation

Chapter IV – section II

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

[...]

deleted

Amendment    86

Proposal for a regulation

Chapter IV – section III – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

General provisions applicable to coordinated actions and to common actions under this chapter

General provisions applicable to coordinated actions

Amendment    87

Proposal for a regulation

Article 29 – paragraph 1 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  The coordinator appointed in accordance with Articles 16, 21 or 32 shall in particular:

1.  The coordinator appointed in accordance with Articles 16 or 32 shall in particular:

Amendment    88

Proposal for a regulation

Article 29 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a)  ensure that all the competent authorities concerned and the Commission are duly informed in a timely manner of the progress of the enforcement action, the anticipated next steps and the measures to be adopted;

(a)  ensure that all the competent authorities concerned and, where applicable, the Commission are duly informed in a timely manner of the progress of the enforcement action, the anticipated next steps and the measures to be adopted;

Amendment    89

Proposal for a regulation

Article 29 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b)  coordinate the investigations, the inspections and the adoption of interim measures that are decided upon by the competent authorities concerned in accordance with sections I and II, monitor investigations, inspections and interim measures, as well as other measures, pursuant to Article 8;

(b)  coordinate and monitor the investigations, the inspections and the adoption of interim measures that are decided upon by the competent authorities concerned in accordance with section I;

Amendment    90

Proposal for a regulation

Article 29 – paragraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c)  coordinate the preparation and sharing of all necessary documents among the competent authorities concerned and the Commission;

(c)  coordinate the preparation and sharing of all necessary documents among the competent authorities concerned and, where applicable, the Commission;

Amendment     91

Proposal for a regulation

Article 29 – paragraph 1 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d)  maintain contact with the traders and other parties concerned by the surveillance, investigation and enforcement measures, unless otherwise agreed upon by the competent authorities concerned and the Commission;

(d)  maintain contact with the traders and other parties concerned by the surveillance, investigation and enforcement measures, unless otherwise agreed upon by the competent authorities concerned, the coordinator and, where applicable, the Commission;

Amendment    92

Proposal for a regulation

Article 29 – paragraph 1 – point f

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(f)  coordinate other enforcement measures adopted by the competent authorities concerned, including applications to the courts for the necessary orders and decisions, the imposition of penalties and the adoption of measures ensuring consumer compensation;

(f)  coordinate other enforcement measures adopted by the competent authorities concerned, including applications to the courts for the necessary orders and decisions, the imposition of sanctions and the adoption of measures ensuring consumer compensation;

Amendment     93

Proposal for a regulation

Article 30 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  The competent authorities shall coordinate their market surveillance activities and their investigation and enforcement measures to address widespread infringements pursuant to sections I and II. They shall exchange all necessary information and provide each other and the Commission with any other assistance needed without delay.

1.  The competent authorities shall coordinate their market surveillance activities and their investigation and enforcement measures to address widespread infringements pursuant to section I. They shall exchange all necessary information and provide each other and the Commission with any other assistance needed without delay.

Amendment    94

Proposal for a regulation

Article 30 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  The languages used by the competent authorities and the Commission for notifications and for all communications linked to the coordinated actions, common actions and concerted investigations of consumer markets pursuant to this Chapter shall be agreed upon by the competent authorities concerned and the Commission.

3.  The languages used by the competent authorities and the Commission for notifications and for all communications linked to coordinated actions and sweeps pursuant to this Chapter shall be agreed upon by the competent authorities concerned and the Commission.

Amendment    95

Proposal for a regulation

Article 30 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4.  If no agreement can be reached, notifications and other communications shall be sent in the official language of the Member State making the notification or other communication. In that case, each competent authority concerned shall ensure the necessary translations of the notifications, communications and other documents that it receives from other competent authorities.

4.  If no agreement can be reached, notifications and other communications shall be sent in the official language of the Member State making the notification or other communication. In that case, each competent authority concerned shall if necessary ensure the production of translations of the notifications, communications and other documents that it receives from other competent authorities.

Amendment    96

Proposal for a regulation

Article 30 – paragraph 5 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5.  Where the coordinated or common actions pursuant to sections I and II concern widespread infringements of the following Union legislation the coordinator shall invite the European Banking Authority to take an observer role:

5.  Where coordinated actions pursuant to section I concern widespread infringements or widespread infringements with a Union dimension which contravene the following Union legislation, the coordinator shall invite the European Banking Authority to act as an observer:

Amendment    97

Proposal for a regulation

Article 31 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Common position and hearing of traders

Language arrangements for communication with traders

Amendment     98

Proposal for a regulation

Article 31 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  The common position referred to in Articles 17 and 23 shall be communicated to the trader responsible for the infringement. The trader responsible for the infringement shall be given the opportunity to be heard on the matters which are part of the common position.

deleted

Amendment    99

Proposal for a regulation

Article 31 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  The trader shall be entitled to communicate in the official language of the Member State of its establishment or residence. The trader may waive that right or request that another official language of the Union be used for communicating with the competent authorities.

2.  The trader shall be entitled to communicate in the official language of the Member State of his establishment or residence.

Amendment    100

Proposal for a regulation

Article 31 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  The Commission may adopt implementing acts setting out the details of the implementation of traders' rights of defence in coordinated and common actions. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

deleted

Amendment    101

Proposal for a regulation

Article 32

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 32

Article 32

Concerted investigations of consumer markets

Sweeps

1.  Where market trends, consumer complaints or other indications suggest that widespread infringements may have occurred, occur or may occur, the competent authorities concerned may decide to conduct a concerted investigation of consumer markets ("sweep"). Such a concerted investigation shall be coordinated by the Commission.

1.  Where market trends, consumer complaints or other indications suggest that widespread infringements may have occurred, occur or may occur, the competent authorities concerned may decide to conduct sweeps.

 

1a.  Sweeps shall be coordinated by the Commission.

2.  When conducting concerted investigations, the competent authorities concerned shall make effective use of the powers set out in Article 8 and other powers conferred upon them by national law.

2.  When conducting sweeps, the competent authorities participating in them shall make effective use of the powers set out in Article 8 and other powers conferred upon them by national law.

3.  The competent authorities may invite Commission officials and other accompanying persons authorised by the Commission to participate in sweeps.

3.  The competent authorities may invite designated bodies, Commission officials and other accompanying persons authorised by the Commission, when appropriate and duly substantiated, to participate in sweeps.

4.  The Commission may adopt implementing acts setting out the details of the procedures for sweeps. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

4.  The Commission may adopt implementing acts setting out the details of the procedures for sweeps. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

Amendment    102

Proposal for a regulation

Article 34

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 34

Article 34

Alert Mechanism

Alert Mechanism

1.  A competent authority shall without delay notify the Commission and other competent authorities of any reasonable suspicion that an infringement is taking place on its territory that may affect consumers' interests in other Member States ('alert') using the standard form via the database referred to in Article 43.

1.  A competent authority shall without delay notify the Commission and other competent authorities of any reasonable suspicion that an intra-Union infringement or a widespread infringement is taking place on its territory that may affect consumers' interests in other Member States ('alert') using the standard form via the database referred to in Article 43.

2.  The Commission shall without delay notify the competent authorities concerned of any reasonable suspicion that an infringement has occurred on the Union's territory ('alert') via the database referred to in Article 43.

2.  The Commission shall without delay notify the competent authorities concerned of any reasonable suspicion that an intra-Union infringement or a widespread infringement has occurred on the Union's territory ('alert') via the database referred to in Article 43.

3.  In an alert the competent authority or the Commission shall provide, where available, in particular the following information about the suspected infringement:

3.  In an alert the competent authority or the Commission shall provide, where available, in particular the following information about the suspected intra-Union infringement or a widespread infringement;

(a)  a description of the act or omission that constitutes the infringement;

(a)  a description of the act or omission that constitutes the infringement;

(b)  the product or service concerned by the infringement;

(b)  the product or service concerned by the infringement;

(c)  the Member States concerned or possibly concerned by the infringement;

(c)  the Member States concerned or possibly concerned by the infringement;

(d)  the trader responsible or suspected of being responsible for the infringement;

(d)  the trader responsible or suspected of being responsible for the infringement;

(e)  the legal basis for possible actions by reference to national law and the corresponding provisions of the Union acts in the Annex to this Regulation;

(e)  the legal basis for possible actions by reference to national law and the corresponding provisions of the Union acts listed in the Annex;

(f)  the nature of legal proceedings, enforcement measures or other measures taken concerning the infringement and their dates and duration;

(f)  the nature and status of legal proceedings, enforcement measures or other measures taken concerning the infringement and their dates and duration;

(g)  the status of legal proceedings, enforcement measure or other measures taken concerning the infringement;

 

(h)  the competent authority conducting legal proceedings and other measures;

(h)  the competent authority conducting legal proceedings and other measures.

(i)  whether the alert is 'for information' or 'for action'.

 

4  In an alert 'for action', the competent authority or the Commission may ask other competent authorities and the Commission to verify whether similar suspected infringements may be taking place in the territory of other Member States or whether any enforcement measures have already been taken against such infringements in other Member States.

4  In an alert, the competent authority or the Commission shall ask competent authorities of other Member States and, where appropriate, the Commission to verify whether similar suspected infringements are taking place in the territory of other Member States or whether any enforcement measures have already been taken against such infringements in other Member States. Those competent authorities of other Member States and the Commission shall reply to the request without delay.

5  To address the suspected infringements effectively, the competent authorities concerned shall, depending on the replies to the alert, take the necessary measures set out in Chapters III and IV.

 

6  The Commission shall adopt implementing acts setting out the details of the functioning of the alert mechanism, including in particular standard forms for alerts. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

6.  The Commission shall adopt implementing acts laying down standard forms for submitting an alert via the database referred to in Article 43. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

Amendment    103

Proposal for a regulation

Article 35

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 35

Article 35

Participation of other entities in the alert mechanism

Participation of other entities in the alert mechanism

1.  Designated bodies and European Consumer Centres shall participate in the alert mechanism set out in Article 34. Member States shall designate consumer organisations and associations, and other entities such as trader associations, with the appropriate expertise and legitimate interest in consumer protection that shall participate in the alert mechanism. Member States shall notify the Commission of those entities without delay.

1.  Designated bodies, European Consumer Centres, consumer organisations and associations as well as trader associations having the appropriate expertise and legitimate interest in consumer protection shall be entitled to notify competent authorities of the Member States concerned and the Commission of suspected infringements and provide the information set out in Article 34(3) using the standard form for external notifications via the database referred to in Article 43 ('external alert').

 

The Commission shall adopt implementing acts laying down standard forms for submitting an external alert via the database referred to in Article 43. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

2.  The Commission may designate other entities representing consumer and business interests at a Union level that shall participate in the alert mechanism.

2.  The Commission shall entitle other entities representing consumer and business interests at Union level to make an external alert.

3.  The entities described in paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be entitled to notify the competent authorities of the Member States concerned and the Commission of suspected infringements and provide the information set out in Article 34(3), using the standard form for external notifications provided by the database referred to in Article 43 ('external alert').

 

4.  The external alerts shall only be 'for information'. The competent authorities shall not be bound to initiate a procedure or take any other action in response to the alerts and information provided by those entities. Entities making external alerts shall ensure that the information provided is correct, up to date and accurate and shall correct the information posted without delay or withdraw it as appropriate. For that purpose, they shall have access to the information they have provided, subject to the limitations referred to in Articles 41 and 43.

4.  The competent authorities shall not be bound to initiate a procedure or take any other action in response to the external alerts. Entities referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 making external alerts shall ensure that the information provided is correct, up to date and accurate, and shall correct any errors in the information posted without delay or withdraw it as appropriate. For that purpose, they shall have access to the information they have provided, subject to the limitations referred to in Articles 41 and 43. Those entities shall also be notified of any follow-up actions taken by the competent authority concerned in relation to external alerts, or, upon request, of the lack of any action.

5.  The Commission may adopt implementing acts setting out the details of the designation and participation of other entities in the alert mechanism. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

 

Amendment    104

Proposal for a regulation

Article 36 – paragraph 1 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Via the database referred to in Article 43, the competent authorities shall without delay notify the Commission and other competent authorities of any measure that they have taken to address an infringement of the laws which protect consumers' interests on their territory if they suspect that the infringement may affect consumers' interests in other Member States, in particular:

1.  Via the database referred to in Article 43, competent authorities shall notify the Commission and competent authorities of other Member States without delay of any measure taken by them to address an infringement of Union laws that protect consumers' interests on their territory if they suspect that the infringement in question may affect consumers' interests in other Member States.

Amendment    105

Proposal for a regulation

Article 36 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a)  any notice, order, decision or similar measure of a competent authority or another authority relating to the opening of national proceedings concerning an infringement or suspected infringement;

deleted

Amendment    106

Proposal for a regulation

Article 36 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b)  any decision of a court or other judicial authority, judicial order, injunction or other similar measure that concerns an infringement or suspected infringement;

deleted

Amendment    107

Proposal for a regulation

Article 36 – paragraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c)  any other information, decision, order or act of other national authorities or designated bodies, as appropriate, that may concern an infringement or suspected infringement.

deleted

Amendment    108

Proposal for a regulation

Article 36 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  The Commission may adopt implementing acts setting out the details of the exchange of other information relevant for the detection of infringements under this Regulation. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

deleted

Amendment    109

Proposal for a regulation

Article 37

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 37

Article 37

Coordination of other activities contributing to surveillance and enforcement

Coordination of other activities contributing to surveillance and enforcement

1.  Member States shall inform each other and the Commission of their activities in the following areas:

1.  Member States shall inform each other and the Commission of their activities in the following areas:

(a)  the training of their officials involved in enforcing consumer protection, including language training, and the organisation of training seminars;

(a)  development of personnel resources of the competent authorities responsible for the application of this Regulation, including relevant training of their officials;

(b)  the collection, classification and exchange of data on consumer complaints;

(b)  the collection, classification and exchange of data on consumer complaints;

(c)  the development of sector-specific networks of competent officials;

(c)  the development of sector-specific networks of competent officials;

(d)  the development of information and communication tools;

(d)  the development of information and communication tools;

(e)  the development of standards, methodologies and guidelines for officials involved in enforcing consumer protection;

(e)  the development of standards, methodologies and guidelines concerning the application of this Regulation;

(f)  the exchange of their officials, including the ability to carry out activities under Chapters III and IV.

 

2.  Member States shall coordinate and jointly organise the activities set out in paragraph 1.

2.  Member States may coordinate and jointly organise the activities referred to in paragraph 1.

3.  The Commission and the Member States shall regularly share information and data concerning consumer complaints. For that purpose, the Commission shall develop and maintain a harmonised methodology for classifying and reporting consumer complaints in cooperation with Member States.

 

4.  The Commission may adopt implementing acts necessary to develop the framework for cooperation under paragraphs 1 and 2. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

 

Amendment    110

Proposal for a regulation

Article 39 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  Member States may, in cooperation with the Commission, carry out common activities in the areas set out in paragraph 1. The Member States shall, in cooperation with the Commission, develop a common framework for the activities set out to in point (e) of paragraph 1.

2.  Member States may, in cooperation with the Commission, carry out common activities in the areas referred to in paragraph 1. They may, in cooperation with the Commission, develop a common framework for the activities referred to in point (e) of paragraph 1.

Amendment    111

Proposal for a regulation

Article 39 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  The Commission may adopt implementing acts necessary to develop the framework for exchange of information referred to paragraph 1. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

deleted

Amendment    112

Proposal for a regulation

Article 41 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Information collected pursuant to Article 8 which is communicated to the competent authorities and the Commission shall only be used for the purposes of ensuring compliance with the laws that protect consumers' interests.

1.  Information collected by or communicated to the competent authorities and the Commission shall only be used for the purpose of ensuring compliance with Union laws that protect consumers' interests.

Amendment    113

Proposal for a regulation

Article 41 – paragraph 3 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  Notwithstanding paragraph 2, the competent authorities may use and disclose the information necessary:

3.  Notwithstanding paragraph 2 and provided that fundamental rights, such as the right to privacy and to protection of personal data, as well as Union law on protection and processing of personal data, are fully respected, the competent authorities may use and disclose the information necessary:

Amendment     114

Proposal for a regulation

Article 41 – paragraph 3 – point b a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ba)  for matters of public interest, such as public safety, consumer protection, public health and environmental protection.

Amendment      115

Proposal for a regulation

Article 42 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  Evidence, documents, information, explanations and investigation findings made by a competent authority in one Member State in accordance with Article 8 may be used for proceedings initiated in application of this Regulation by competent authorities in other Member States without further formal requirements.

2.  Member States shall ensure that evidence, documents, information, explanations and investigation findings made by a competent authority in one Member State may be used for proceedings initiated in application of this Regulation by competent authorities in other Member States without further formal requirements.

Amendment    116

Proposal for a regulation

Article 43 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  The Commission shall establish and maintain the necessary electronic database in which it shall store and process the information received to support mutual assistance requests pursuant to Chapter III, measures pursuant to Chapter IV and the surveillance mechanism pursuant to Chapter V. The database shall be made available for consultation to the competent authorities and the Commission.

1.  The Commission shall establish and maintain the necessary electronic database for all communications between competent authorities, single liaison offices and the Commission under this Regulation. That database shall be made directly accessible for the competent authorities, single liaison offices and the Commission.

Amendment     117

Proposal for a regulation

Article 43 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  Information provided by other authorities, entities and designated bodies shall be stored and processed in the electronic database but those authorities, entities and designated bodies shall not have access to this database.

2.  Information provided by other public authorities, entities referred to in Article 35 and designated bodies shall be stored and processed in the electronic database but those authorities, entities and designated bodies shall not have access to that database.

Amendment     118

Proposal for a regulation

Article 43 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a.  Where a competent authority, a designated body or an entity referred to in Article 35 establishes that a notification of an infringement given by it pursuant to Articles 34 and 35 has subsequently been shown to be unfounded, it shall withdraw that notification. The Commission shall without delay remove the relevant information from the database, and shall inform the parties of the reasons for that removal.

Amendment    119

Proposal for a regulation

Article 43 – paragraph 3 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a)  a requested authority notifies the Commission pursuant to Article 12(3) that an intra-Union infringement has ceased;

(a)  a requested competent authority notifies the Commission pursuant to Article 12(3) that an intra-Union infringement has ceased;

Amendment    120

Proposal for a regulation

Article 43 – paragraph 3 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b)  the coordinating authority notifies the Commission pursuant to Article 19 that the widespread infringement has ceased or has been prohibited;

(b)  the coordinator notifies the Commission pursuant to Article 19 that the coordinated action is closed;

Amendment    121

Proposal for a regulation

Article 43 – paragraph 3 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c)  the Commission decides pursuant to Article 26 that the common action concerning a widespread infringement with a Union dimension is closed but traders' commitments shall be stored for 10 years to ensure compliance with the laws that protect consumers' interests;

(c)  the Commission, as coordinator, decides pursuant to Article 19 that the coordinated action concerning a widespread infringement with a Union dimension is closed but that traders' commitments are to be stored for five years to ensure compliance with Union laws that protect consumers' interests;

Amendment    122

Proposal for a regulation

Article 43 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4.  The Commission shall adopt implementing acts necessary to implement the database. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

4.  The Commission shall adopt implementing acts laying down standard electronic forms and templates available in the database for the discussion forum through which all requests and replies as well as other documents are to be exchanged. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

Amendment    123

Proposal for a regulation

Article 45 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

National enforcement plans and prioritisation

Enforcement plans and prioritisation

Amendment    124

Proposal for a regulation

Article 45 – paragraph 1 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Every two years from xx/xx/20xx [the date of entry into force of this Regulation], each Member State shall submit to the Commission biennial enforcement plans, using a dedicated online standard form provided by the Commission. The enforcement plans shall contain in particular:

1.  By .... [the date of entry into force of this Regulation] and every two years thereafter, each Member State shall submit to the Commission enforcement plans. Those enforcement plans shall contain:

Amendment    125

Proposal for a regulation

Article 45 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a)  information concerning market trends that may affect consumers' interests in their Member State, thus highlighting issues that may be likely to exist in other Member States;

(a)  information concerning market trends that may affect consumers' interests;

Amendment    126

Proposal for a regulation

Article 45 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b)  where applicable, a summary of the implementation of the previous biennial enforcement plan, including overview of actions under this Regulation, consumer complaints and other complaints received, surveillance and enforcement activities and important court actions, judgments and other orders or measures and reasons why the previous biennial plan may not have been fully implemented;

deleted

Amendment    127

Proposal for a regulation

Article 45 – paragraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c)  information about the organisation, powers and responsibilities of the competent authorities as well as any changes or planned changes thereof;

deleted

Amendment    128

Proposal for a regulation

Article 45 – paragraph 1 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d)  the priority areas for the enforcement of the laws that protect consumers' interests for the next two years in the Member State;

(d)  the priority areas for the enforcement of Union laws that protect consumers' interests in the Member State concerned;

Amendment    129

Proposal for a regulation

Article 45 – paragraph 1 – point f

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(f)  an overview of resources available and committed for enforcement of the laws that protect consumers' interests in the Member State for the two years;

deleted

Amendment    130

Proposal for a regulation

Article 45 – paragraph 1 – point g

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(g)  a statement of resources committed to the implementation of this Regulation for the next two years.

deleted

Amendment    131

Proposal for a regulation

Article 45 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a.  The Commission shall make publicly available a summary of the enforcement plans.

Amendment    132

Proposal for a regulation

Article 45 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  In case of substantial change of circumstances or market conditions during the two years after the submission of the last enforcement plan, Member States may submit a revised enforcement plan.

2.  In cases involving a substantial change of circumstances or market conditions, Member States may provide information concerning those changes where their scope goes beyond what is covered by the enforcement plan.

Amendment    133

Proposal for a regulation

Article 46

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 46

deleted

Monitoring and implementation of national enforcement plans

 

1.   The Commission shall monitor the implementation of the national enforcement plans. The Commission may give advice concerning the implementation of national enforcement plans, establish benchmarks as regards resources necessary for the implementation of this Regulation and promote best practices.

 

2.   The Commission shall adopt implementing acts necessary to develop the online standard forms and details of the national enforcement plans referred to in Article 45. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

 

Amendment    134

Proposal for a regulation

Article 47 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Principles for imposing penalties for intra-Union and widespread infringements

Principles for imposing sanctions for intra-Union, widespread infringements and widespread infringements with a Union dimension

Amendment    135

Proposal for a regulation

Article 47 – paragraph 1 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  When imposing penalties in the context of intra-Union infringements and widespread infringements, the competent authorities shall take into account among others:

1.  When imposing sanctions in the context of intra-Union infringements, widespread infringements and widespread infringements with a Union dimension, the competent authorities shall take into account inter alia:

Amendment     136

Proposal for a regulation

Article 47 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a.  Those penalties shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.

Amendment    137

Proposal for a regulation

Article 49 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States shall communicate to the Commission without delay the text of any provisions of national law that they adopt, or of agreements other than to deal with individual cases that they conclude, on matters covered by this Regulation.

Member States shall communicate to the Commission without delay the text of any provisions of national law that they adopt, and of agreements, other than agreements dealing with individual cases, that they conclude on matters covered by this Regulation.

Amendment    138

Proposal for a regulation

Article 50 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

By [xx/xx/20xx at the latest, no later than within seven years from its entry into application], the Commission shall present a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Regulation.

By ... [five years after the date of entry into force of this Regulation], the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and to the Council a report on the application of this Regulation.

Amendment    139

Proposal for a regulation

Article 50 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The report shall contain an evaluation of the application of the Regulation including an assessment of the effectiveness of enforcement of the laws that protect consumers' interests under this Regulation and an examination of, among others, how the compliance with the laws that protect consumers' interests by traders has evolved in key consumer markets concerned by cross-border trade.

The report shall contain an evaluation of the application of the Regulation including an assessment of the effectiveness of enforcement of Union laws that protect consumers' interests under this Regulation and an examination of, inter alia, how compliance with Union laws that protect consumers' interests by traders has evolved in key consumer markets concerned by cross-border trade. The Commission shall assess, in particular, the effectiveness of the following:

 

(a)   the powers provided under Article 8;

 

(b)   the threshold set for wide-spread infringements with a Union dimension;

 

(c)   the system of exchange of information on infringements as provided for by Article 43.

 

That report shall be accompanied, where necessary, by legislative proposals.

Amendment    140

Proposal for a regulation

Article 50 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

By ... [the date of entry into force of this Regulation] and every two years thereafter, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and to the Council a report containing an overview of the information, developments in the area of consumer law enforcement and statistics exchanged under the surveillance mechanism established pursuant to Article 33, including posted alerts and follow-up actions taken in relation to external alerts, and an overview of widespread infringements and widespread infringements with a Union dimension pursuant to Article 16.

Amendment    141

Proposal for a regulation

Article 51

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 51

deleted

Amendment of the Annex to Regulation (EU) No 2006/2004

 

In the Annex to Regulation (EU) No 2006/2004 the following points are added:

 

‘18.   Directive 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on consumer rights (OJ L 304, 22.11.2011, p.64).

 

19.   Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on services in the internal market: Article 20 (OJ L 376, 27.12. 2006, p. 36).

 

20.   Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on railway passenger rights and obligations (OJ L 315, 3.12. 2007, p. 14).

 

21.   Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air (OJ L 204, 26.7.2006, p. 1).

 

22.   Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community: Articles 22, 23 and 24 (OJ L 293, 31.10.2008, p. 3).

 

23.   Directive 2014/17/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 February 2014 on credit agreements for consumers relating to residential immovable property: Articles 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, Chapter 10 and Annexes I and II (OJ L 60, 28.2.2014, p. 34).

 

24.   Directive 2014/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on the comparability of fees related to payment accounts, payment account switching and access to payment accounts with basic features, Articles 4 to 18 and 20(2) (OJ L 257, 28.8.2014, p. 214). ’

 

Amendment    142

Proposal for a regulation

Article 53 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

This Regulation shall apply from [one year after its entry into force].

This Regulation shall apply from ... [18 months after the date of entry into force of this Regulation].

Amendment    143

Proposal for a regulation

Article 53 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

However, Article 51 shall apply from [the entry into force of this Regulation].

deleted

Amendment    144

Proposal for a regulation

Annex – point 24 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

24a.  Regulation (EU) No 524/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on online dispute resolution for consumer disputes and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC (Regulation on consumer ODR): Article 14 (OJ L 165, 18.6.2013, p. 1).

Amendment    145

Proposal for a regulation

Annex – point 24 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

24b.  Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on cross-border payments in the Community and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2560/2001 (OJ L 266, 9.10.2009, p. 11).

Amendment    146

Proposal for a regulation

Annex – point 24 c (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

24c.  Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro and amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 (OJ L 94, 30.3.2012, p. 22).

Amendment    147

Proposal for a regulation

Annex – point 24 d (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

24d.  Directive (EU) 2015/2366 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on payment services in the internal market, amending Directives 2002/65/EC, 2009/110/EC and 2013/36/EU and Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010, and repealing Directive 2007/64/EC (OJ L 337, 23.12.2015, p. 35).

Amendment    148

Proposal for a regulation

Annex – point 24 e (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

24e.  Directive (EU) 2016/97 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 January 2016 on insurance distribution (OJ L 26, 2.2.2016, p. 19).

Amendment     149

Proposal for a regulation

Annex – point 24 f (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

24f.  Regulation 2017/... of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... on ensuring the cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market (OJ L ...)+.

 

+ OJ: Please insert the serial number, date of adoption and reference to publication of this Regulation (COD 2015/0284).

Amendment     150

Proposal for a regulation

Annex – point 24 g (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

24g.  Regulation .../... of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... on addressing geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on customers' nationality, place of residence or place of establishment within the internal market and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC (OJ L ...)+.

 

+ OJ: Please insert the serial number, date of adoption and reference to publication of this Regulation (COD 2016/0152).

(1)

OJ C 34, 2.2.2017, p. 100.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Background and the Commission’s proposal

In 2003 the Commission proposed for the first time a system for cross-border cooperation between the national authorities, in order to promote more effective surveillance, investigation and prosecution of cross-border infringements, thereby closing gaps exploited by rogue traders. Regulation 2006/2004 (the so-called ‘CPC Regulation’) was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 27 October 2004 and entered into force on 29 December 2006.

Ten years after, the Commission submits a proposal to revise the CPC Regulation, to improve the effectiveness of the rules and procedures relevant to this cooperation, in particular with the aim to better addressing the challenges of the Digital Single Market. The proposal for a Regulation, repealing Regulation 2006/2004, forms part of the E-Commerce package adopted on 25 May 2016. The revised provisions are meant to enhance the enforcement mechanisms used by the national authorities to address unlawful practices harmful to consumers in several countries, especially as regards online breaches.

Position of the rapporteur

The Rapporteur welcomes the Commission’s proposal and acknowledges that considerable progress is still to be achieved in the area of enforcement of consumer protection laws.

Because traders increasingly operate across the Single Market, EU relevant infringements should be supported by efficient mechanisms to avoid inconsistent enforcement approaches regarding the same infringement, and duplication of enforcement efforts and cost.

Therefore, the Rapporteur believes that the Commission’s proposal has rightly identified the powers needed by the enforcement authorities in all Member States (Article 8) and considers this set of powers as a prerequisite for a proper cross-border cooperation to tackle infringements. For achieving an effective cooperation these powers should be available to enforcement authorities in all Member States.

The limitation period to exercise certain powers in the case of an infringement is reasonably set to 5 years, providing legal certainty and possibly having a deterrent effect (Article 5).

The Rapporteur supports the introduction of the new notions of “widespread infringement” and “widespread infringement with a Union dimension”. However, the Rapporteur is of the opinion that the threshold set for the latter is too high (Article 21). Due to complexity of investigation and coordinated enforcement that is foreseen in case of widespread infringement with a Union dimension, the anticipation of the Commission as the coordinating entity is needed. The Rapporteur therefore agreed a different threshold with the Shadow Rapporteurs, namely a majority of the Member States representing at least a majority of the population of the Union (Article 3).

The Rapporteur supports the participation of consumer organisations, for example under the alert mechanism provided in Article 34, because entities having a legitimate interest in consumers’ protection very often become aware of infringements much earlier than the competent authorities. In this respect, it is also necessary to ensure an appropriate functioning of the database and of the information exchange system provided under Article 43.

The Rapporteur believes that once the secrecy criteria have been complied with, common positions - the outcome of the investigation and the assessment of widespread infringements - or parts of them should be published in order to improve transparency and inform consumers about proven infringements.

The Rapporteur agrees that a substantial number of consumer laws should be added to the list of legislation that the Regulation covers to help enforcement bodies to tackle issues such as discrimination of consumers on grounds of residence/nationality of recipient and all cross-border infringements in general.

The submission of biannual enforcement plans by each Member State (Article 45) is accepted by the Rapporteur as means for the Member States to better prioritise and increase efficient application. However, the Rapporteur would propose to limit the set obligations to what is necessary, while respecting subsidiarity.

The Rapporteur proposes the Commission to submit every two years a report containing an overview of the information exchanged under the cooperation mechanism set by this Regulation, including alerts notified by both competent authorities and external entities. This publicly available report shall summarize trends and developments in the area of enforcement of consumer laws.

In addition, the Rapporteur believes that the proposal can benefit from a number of improvements and has sought with her amendments to address the following:

•  To provide for a clear set of definitions, including “widespread infringement with a Union dimension”, “competent authority”, “single liaison office”, “sweep”, whereas definitions codified in the existing consumer acquis can be maintained (consumer, trader);

•  To extend the sweeps to the offline sector because consumer protection should be enforced regardless of the medium (infringements occurring online or offline);

•  To tackle the numerous empowerments to the Commission which are laid down in the proposal in an insufficiently and unclear manner. Amongst others, the Rapporteur agreed with the Shadow Rapporteurs to propose to lay down in the basic act a 30 days time-limit for replying to requests (Article 11) and asks the Commission to set reasonable time limits for the exchange of information and enforcement requests for coordinated actions, by means of implementing measures;

•  To simplify the structure of the proposal’s text, especially of Chapter IV, amongst other in order to avoid unnecessary repetition. On the substance, to clarify procedures for cooperation, whilst respecting legal traditions with regard to enforcement of the law;

•  To clarify the role of the Commission, especially under Chapter III on the mutual assistance mechanism and under Chapter IV on widespread infringements and widespread infringements with a Union dimension;

•  To clarify the procedure of opening coordinated actions and designation of a coordinator when a suspicion of a widespread infringement is notified;

•  To address the coordination role of the single liaison office, that should be entrusted in each Member State to an authority that has necessary resources to undertake this key role;

•  To remove the location of the trader as the most important criterion for designating the competent authority taking the enforcement measures (Article 25 as amended in Article 18a).


ANNEX: LIST OF ENTITIES OR PERSONSFROM WHOM THE RAPPORTEUR HAS RECEIVED INPUT

The following list is drawn up on a purely voluntary basis under the exclusive responsibility of the rapporteur. The rapporteur has received input from the following entities or persons in the preparation of the draft report, until the adoption thereof in committee:

Entity and/or person

BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation

BUSINESSEUROPE

CENTR, Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries

česká obchodní inspekce (Czech Trade Inspection Authority)

Czech Telecommunications Office

CDE, Confederation of Danish Enterprise

ECC France, European Consumer Centre France

EUROCOMMERCE

ECTAA, The European Travel Agents and Tour Operators

EUROISPA, The European Internet Service Providers Association

Prof. Dr. Evelyne Terryn, professor of consumer law and commercial law, KU Leuven, Belgium

FEDMA, Federation of European Direct and Interactive Marketing

GOOGLE

HDE, Handelsverband Deutschland (German Retail Federation)

Ministry of Economic Affairs of Portugal, Directorate-General for Consumers

Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Czech Republic

Permanent Representation of the Republic of Bulgaria to the EU

UK Government

WKO, Wirtschaftskammer Österreich (Austrian Federal Economic Chamber)

ZAW, Zentralverband der deutschen Werbewirtschaft (German Advertising Federation)


OPINION of the Committee on Legal Affairs (8.3.2017)

for the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws

(COM(2016)0283 – C8‑0194/2016 – 2016/0148(COD))

Rapporteur: Kostas Chrysogonos

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Legal Affairs calls on the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, as the committee responsible, to take into account the following amendments:

Amendment    1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital -1 (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(-1)  Point (f) of Article 4(2), Article 12, Article 114(3) and Article 169 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Article 38 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union constitute the primary law governing consumer protection policy,

Amendment    2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital -1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(-1a)  Article 169 TFEU defines as specific objectives of Union policy the promotion of the interests of consumers and the ensuring of a high level of consumer protection. Accordingly, the Union is to contribute to protecting the health, safety and economic interests of consumers, as well as to promoting their right to information, education and to organise themselves in order to safeguard their interests,

Amendment    3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital -1 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(-1b)  Article 197 TFEU on administrative cooperation recognises the importance of effective implementation of Union law by the Member States and fixes the limits within which the Union and Member States are to act in this regard,

Amendment     4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1)  Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council58 provides for harmonised rules and procedures to facilitate cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of cross-border consumer protection laws. Article 21a provides for a review of the effectiveness and operational mechanisms of that Regulation and pursuant to that Article, the Commission concluded that Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 is not sufficient to effectively address the enforcement challenges of the Single Market, and in particular the Digital Single Market,

(1)  Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council58 provides for harmonised rules and procedures to facilitate cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of cross-border consumer protection laws. Article 21a of Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 provides for a review of the effectiveness and operational mechanisms of that Regulation and pursuant to that Article, the Commission concluded that Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 is not sufficient to effectively address the enforcement challenges of the Single Market, especially the Digital Single Market. The Commission report shows that the current Regulation needs to be replaced to respond to the challenges of the digital economy and the development of cross-border retail trade in the EU,

_________________

_________________

58 Regulation (EC) 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws (OJ L 364, 9.12.2004, p. 1).

58 Regulation (EC) 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws (OJ L 364, 9.12.2004, p. 1).

Amendment     5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2)  The Digital Single Market Strategy adopted by the Commission on 6 May 2015 identified as one of the priorities the need to enhance consumer trust through more rapid, agile and consistent enforcement of consumer rules. The Single Market Strategy adopted by the Commission on 28 October 2015 reiterated that enforcing Union consumer protection legislation should be further strengthened by the Regulation on Consumer Protection Cooperation,

(2)  The Digital Single Market Strategy adopted by the Commission on 6 May 2015 identified as one of the priorities the need to enhance consumer trust through more rapid and consistent enforcement of consumer rules. The Single Market Strategy adopted by the Commission on 28 October 2015 reiterated that enforcing Union consumer protection legislation should be further strengthened by the Regulation on Consumer Protection Cooperation,

Amendment     6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3)  The resulting ineffective enforcement of cross-border infringements, in particular in the digital environment, enables traders to evade enforcement by relocating within the Union, giving rise to a distortion of competition for law-abiding traders operating either domestically or cross-border, and thus directly harming consumers and undermining consumer confidence in cross-border transactions and the Single Market. An increased level of harmonisation setting effective and efficient enforcement cooperation among competent public enforcement authorities is therefore necessary to detect, investigate and order the cessation of intra-Union infringements and widespread infringements,

(3)  The resulting ineffective enforcement of cross-border infringements, in particular in the digital environment, enables traders to evade enforcement by relocating within the Union, giving rise to a distortion of competition for law-abiding traders operating (whether online or offline) either domestically or cross-border, and thus directly and significantly harming the single market and consumers and undermining consumer confidence in cross-border transactions and the Single Market. An increased level of harmonisation setting effective and efficient enforcement cooperation among competent public enforcement authorities is therefore necessary to detect, investigate and order the cessation of intra-Union infringements and provide an efficient and proportionate response to widespread infringements with a Union dimension that significantly harm consumers and the single market,

Amendment     7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 5 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(5a)  In order to ensure legal certainty and the effectiveness of implementing measures relating to cross-border infringements which have ceased, a limitation period should be introduced. This will involve the setting of an unambiguous period within which competent authorities, when enforcing the rules governing cross-border infringements, should be able to impose sanctions, order the compensation of consumers or order the restitution of profits obtained as a result of infringements,

Amendment     8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6)  Competent authorities should have a minimum set of powers of investigation and enforcement to apply this Regulation effectively, to cooperate with each other, and to deter traders from committing intra-Union infringements and widespread infringements. Those powers should be adequate to tackle the enforcement challenges of e-commerce and the digital environment where the possibilities of a trader easily concealing its identity or changing it are of particular concern. Those powers should ensure that evidence can be validly exchanged among competent authorities to achieve effective enforcement at an equal level in all Member States,

(6)  Competent authorities should have a minimum set of powers of investigation and enforcement to apply this Regulation effectively, to ensure efficient and legally sound cross-border cooperation with each other, and to deter traders from committing intra-Union infringements and widespread infringements. Those powers should be balanced, adequate and sufficient to tackle the enforcement challenges of e-commerce and the digital environment where the possibilities of a trader easily concealing its identity or changing it are of particular concern. Those powers should ensure that information and evidence can be validly exchanged among competent authorities to achieve effective enforcement at an equal level in all Member States,

Amendment     9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(7)  Member States may choose whether the competent authorities exercise those powers directly under their own authority or by application to the competent courts. Where the Member States choose that competent authorities exercise their powers by application to the competent courts, Member States should ensure that those powers can be exercised effectively and in a timely manner and that the cost of exercise of those powers be proportionate and does not hamper the application of this Regulation,

(7)  This Regulation does not affect the freedom of Member States to choose the enforcement system that they deem to be appropriate. Member States may choose whether the competent authorities exercise those powers directly under their own authority or by application to the competent courts. Where the Member States choose that competent authorities exercise their powers by application to the competent courts, Member States should ensure that those powers can be exercised effectively and in a timely manner and that the cost of exercise of those powers be proportionate and does not hamper the application of this Regulation,

Amendment     10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9)  Competent authorities should be in a position to open investigations on their own initiative if they become aware of intra-Union infringements or widespread infringements by means other than consumer complaints. This is particularly necessary to ensure effective cooperation among competent authorities when addressing widespread infringements,

(9)  Competent authorities should be in a position to open investigations on their own initiative if they become aware of intra-Union infringements or widespread infringements by means other than consumer complaints. This is particularly necessary to ensure effective cooperation among competent authorities when addressing widespread infringements, as well as to support national jurisdictions when implementing Council Regulation 44/20011a ,

 

_________________

 

1a Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (OJ L 12, 16.1.2001, p. 1).

Amendment     11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10)  Competent authorities should have access to all necessary evidence, data and information to determine whether an intra-Union infringement or widespread infringement has occurred, and in particular to identify the trader responsible, irrespective of who possesses this evidence, information or data, of where it is located and of its format. Competent authorities should be able to directly request that third parties in the digital value chain provide all the evidence, data and information necessary,

(10)  Competent authorities should have access to all necessary evidence, data and information to determine whether an intra-Union infringement or widespread infringement has occurred, and in particular to identify the trader responsible, irrespective of who possesses this evidence, information or data, of where it is located and of its format. Competent authorities should be able to directly request that third parties in the digital value chain, including those located in non-EU countries, provide all the evidence, data and information necessary; in the digital environment, particular attention should be paid to traders and services that cause widespread infringement of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council1a, Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council1b and of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council1c, and which could justify common action under Article 21,

 

_________________

 

1a Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31).

 

1b Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 2002 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (Directive on privacy and electronic communications) (OJ L 201, 31.7.2002, p. 37).

 

1c Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1).

Amendment     12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(10a)  Competent authorities should be able to carry out the necessary on-site inspections, and should have the power to enter any premises, land or means of transport that the trader uses for purposes relating to his trade, business, craft or profession,

Amendment     13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(12)  In the digital environment in particular, the competent authorities should be able to stop infringements quickly and effectively, notably where the trader selling goods or services conceals its identity or relocates within the Union or to a third country to avoid enforcement. In cases where there is a risk of serious and irreparable harm to consumers, the competent authorities should to be able to adopt interim measures to prevent such harm or reduce it, including, where necessary, the suspension of a website, domain or a similar digital site, service or account. Furthermore, the competent authorities should have the power to take down or have a third party service provider take down a website, domain or a similar digital site, service or account,

(12)  In the digital environment in particular, the competent authorities should be able to take effective and transparent measures to stop infringements quickly and effectively, notably where the trader selling goods or services conceals its identity or relocates within the Union or to a third country to avoid enforcement. In cases where there is a risk of serious and irreparable harm to consumers, the competent authorities should to be able to adopt interim measures to prevent such harm or reduce it, including, where necessary, requesting hosting service providers to remove content, suspend a website, service or account, or requesting a domain registry or registrar to put a fully qualified domain name on hold for a specific period of time. Furthermore, the competent authorities should have the power to request a hosting service provider to remove content, close down a website, service or account or a part of it, or request a registry or registrar to delete a fully qualified domain name. However, measures to remove content can be harmful to freedom of speech and information, as well as ineffective since, in a fast-moving digital environment, content reappears as quickly as it was removed. Therefore, measures taken to restrict the online distribution, or otherwise making available, of content to the public should always comply with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, be limited to what is necessary and proportionate and be executed on the basis of a prior judicial authorisation,

Amendment     14

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(12a)  The goal of this Regulation is to effectively bring to an end infringements and to prevent and compensate the harm caused to consumers. Therefore, all enforcement measures should aim to address the source of the infringements rather than a presentation layer, and the measures targeting a domain name should only be a last resort in the event that the removal of content has been unsuccessful,

Amendment     15

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15)  The effectiveness and efficacy of the mutual assistance mechanism should be improved. Information requested should be provided in a timely manner and the necessary enforcement measures should be adopted in a timely manner. The Commission should therefore set binding time periods for competent authorities to reply to information and enforcement requests, and clarify procedural and other aspects of handling information and enforcement requests, by means of implementing measures,

(15)  The effectiveness and efficacy of the mutual assistance mechanism should be improved. Information requested should be provided in a timely manner, within clear time limits, and the necessary enforcement measures should be adopted in a timely and transparent manner. The Commission should therefore set clear and binding time periods for competent authorities to reply to information and enforcement requests, and clarify procedural and other aspects of handling information and enforcement requests, by means of implementing measures,

Amendment     16

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 18

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(18)  Coordinated screening of online e-commerce websites (sweeps) are another form of enforcement coordination that has proven to be an effective tool against infringements that should be retained and strengthened in the future,

(18)  Coordinated screening of online e-commerce websites (sweeps) is another form of enforcement coordination that has proven to be an effective tool against infringements that should be retained and strengthened in the future, including by extending its application to offline sectors,

Amendment     17

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 19

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(19)  Widespread infringements with a Union dimension may cause large scale harm to a majority of consumers in the Union. They therefore require a specific Union-level coordination procedure with the Commission as the mandatory coordinator. To ensure that the procedure is launched in a timely, coherent and effective manner and that the conditions are verified in a uniform manner, the Commission should be in charge of verifying whether the conditions for the launch of the procedure are fulfilled. Evidence and information collected during the common action should be used seamlessly in national proceedings when required,

(19)  In the case of widespread infringements with a Union dimension that may cause harm to consumers' collective interests in a majority of Member States, the Commission should launch and manage a Union-level coordination procedure. To ensure procedural coherence, the Commission should be in charge of verifying whether the conditions for the launch of the procedure are fulfilled. Evidence and information collected during the coordinated action should be used seamlessly in national proceedings when required,

Amendment     18

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 20

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(20)  In the context of widespread infringements and widespread infringement with a Union dimension, the rights of defence of the traders concerned should be respected. This requires, in particular, giving the trader the right to be heard and to use the language of its choice during the proceedings,

(20)  In the context of infringements, widespread infringements and widespread infringement with a Union dimension, access to justice and the rights of defence of the traders concerned should be respected. Inter alia, this requires, in particular, giving the trader the right to be heard and to use the language of its choice during the proceedings,

Amendment     19

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 22 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(22a)  In order to provide analysis of developments in the area of enforcement of consumer protection law and to improve cooperation networks, the Commission should submit regular public reports containing statistics and summarising developments in the area of consumer protection law enforcement, collected within the framework of the cooperation provided for by this Regulation,

Amendment     20

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 25

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(25)  Data related to consumer complaints may help policymakers at a national and Union level to assess the functioning of consumer markets and detect infringements. With a view to facilitating the exchange of such data at a Union level, the Commission has adopted a Recommendation on the use of a harmonised methodology for classifying and reporting consumer complaints and enquiries59. That Recommendation should be implemented to fully support enforcement cooperation and facilitate the detection of intra-Union infringements and widespread infringements,

(25)  Data related to consumer complaints may help policymakers at a national and Union level to assess the functioning of consumer markets and detect infringements or risks of infringements. With a view to facilitating the exchange of such data at a Union level, the Commission has adopted a Recommendation on the use of a harmonised methodology for classifying and reporting consumer complaints and enquiries59. Member States should implement that Recommendation in order to fully support and encourage cross-border enforcement cooperation and facilitate the detection of intra-Union infringements and widespread infringements,

_________________

_________________

59 Commission Recommendation on the use of harmonised methodology for classifying consumer complaints and enquiries (2010/304/EU, OJ L 136, 2.6. 2010, p. 1-31).

59 Commission Recommendation on the use of harmonised methodology for classifying consumer complaints and enquiries (2010/304/EU, OJ L 136, 2.6. 2010, p. 1-31).

Amendment     21

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 29 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(29a)  The European Small Claims Procedure should be promoted as an alternative to the procedures existing under the laws of the Member States. A judgment given in the European Small Claims Procedure is recognised and enforceable in all other Member States without a declaration of enforceability being necessary. This procedure provides an inexpensive and easy way to pursue a cross-border claim in civil and in commercial matters;

Amendment     22

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 35

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(35)  This Regulation respects fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union67. Accordingly this Regulation should be interpreted and applied with respect to those rights and principles. When exercising the minimum powers set out in this Regulation, the competent authorities should strike an appropriate balance between the interests protected by fundamental rights such as a high level of consumer protection, the freedom to conduct business and freedom of information.

(35)  This Regulation respects fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union67. Accordingly this Regulation should be interpreted and applied with respect to those rights and principles. When exercising the minimum powers set out in this Regulation, the competent authorities should guarantee that the principle of proportionality is respected and strike an appropriate balance between the interests protected by fundamental rights such as a high level of consumer protection, the freedom to conduct business, freedom of expression and freedom of information.

_________________

_________________

67 OJ C 364, 18.12.2000, p. 1.

67 OJ C 364, 18.12.2000, p. 1.

Amendment     23

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 35 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(35a)  This Regulation should be interpreted and applied in full compliance with the Union rules on the protection and processing of personal data,

Amendment    24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 8 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

8a.  This Regulation shall be without prejudice to the possibility of bringing private enforcement actions and actions for damages under national law.

Amendment     25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 8 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

8b.  This Regulation respects fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Amendment     26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point i

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(i)  ‘harm to collective interests of consumers’ means actual or potential harm to the interests of a number of consumers that are concerned by intra-Union infringements or widespread infringements; and that shall be presumed in particular where the infringement potentially; or actually harmed, harms or is likely to harm a significant number of consumers in a similar situation.

(i)  ‘harm to collective interests of consumers’ means actual or potential harm to the interests of a reasonable number of consumers that are concerned by intra-Union infringements or widespread infringements; and that shall be presumed in particular where the infringement potentially; or actually harmed, harms or is likely to harm a reasonable number of consumers in a similar situation.

Amendment     27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  The competent authorities may investigate infringements referred to in Article 2 and prohibit traders from engaging in such infringements in the future. The competent authorities may impose penalties for those infringements within five years from the cessation of the infringement.

1.  The competent authorities may investigate infringements referred to in Article 2 and prohibit traders from engaging in such infringements in the future. The competent authorities may use the powers referred to in points (m), (n) and (o) of Article 8(2) within a period of five years from the cessation of the infringement.

Amendment     28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  The limitation period for the imposition of penalties shall begin to run on the day on which the infringement ceased.

2.  The limitation period for exercising the powers referred to in paragraph 1 shall begin to run on the day on which the infringement ceased.

Amendment     29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  Any action taken by the competent authority for the purpose of the investigation or enforcement proceedings in respect of the infringement shall suspend the limitation period for the imposition of penalties until the final decision concerning the matter is adopted. The limitation period for the imposition of penalties shall be suspended for as long as the decision, order or other action of the competent authority is the subject of proceedings pending before a court.

3.  Any action taken by the competent authority for the purpose of the investigation or enforcement proceedings in respect of the infringement shall suspend the limitation period for exercising the powers referred to in paragraph 1 until the final decision concerning the matter is adopted. The limitation period for exercising the powers referred to in paragraph 1 shall be suspended for as long as the decision, order or other action of the competent authority is the subject of proceedings pending before a court.

Amendment     30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5.  Member States shall ensure that competent authorities and single liaison offices have the adequate resources necessary for the application of this Regulation and for the effective use of their powers pursuant to Article 8, including sufficient budgetary and other resources, expertise, procedures and other arrangements.

5.  Member States shall ensure that competent authorities and single liaison offices have the resources that are necessary and sufficient for the application of this Regulation and for the effective use of their powers pursuant to Article 8, including budgetary and other resources, expertise, procedures and other arrangements.

Amendment     31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Each competent authority shall have the investigation and enforcement powers necessary for the application of this Regulation and shall exercise them in accordance with this Regulation and national law.

1.  Each competent authority shall have the investigation and enforcement powers and resources that are necessary for the application of this Regulation and shall exercise them in accordance with this Regulation and national law.

Amendment     32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 2 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  Each competent authority shall have at least the following powers and exercise them under the conditions set out in Article 9, to:

2.  Each competent authority shall have at least the following powers and exercise them, under the conditions set out in Article 9, for the purpose of performing the tasks assigned to them by this Regulation, to:

Amendment     33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 2 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b)  require the supply by any natural or legal person, including banks, internet service providers, domain registries and registrars and hosting service providers of any relevant information, data or document in any format or form and irrespective of the medium on which or the place where they are stored, for the purpose of among others identifying and following financial and data flows, or of ascertaining the identity of persons involved in financial and data flows, bank account information and ownership of websites;

(b)  require, in accordance with the rules of the Union on data protection and in full respect of the right to privacy and data protection enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the supply, by any natural or legal person, including banks, internet service providers, payment service providers, domain registries and registrars and hosting service providers, of any relevant information, data or document in any format or form and irrespective of the medium on which or the place where they are stored, for the purpose of inter alia identifying and following financial and data flows, or of ascertaining the identity of persons involved in financial and data flows, bank account information and ownership of websites provided that the information, data or document in question is relevant for the investigation;

Amendment     34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 2 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c)  require any public authority, body or agency within the Member State of the competent authority to supply any relevant information, data or document in any format or form and irrespective of the medium on which or the place where they are stored, for the purpose among others, of identifying and following of financial and data flows, or of ascertaining the identity of persons involved in financial and data flows, bank account information and ownership of websites;

(c)  require any public authority, body or agency within the Member State of the competent authority to supply any relevant information, data or document in any format or form and irrespective of the medium on which or the place where they are stored, for the purpose of identifying and following financial and data flows, or of ascertaining the identity of persons involved in financial and data flows, bank account information and ownership of websites, provided that the information, data or document in question is relevant for the investigation;

Amendment     35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 2 – point g

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(g)  adopt interim measures to prevent the risk of serious and irreparable harm to consumers, in particular the suspension of a website, domain or a similar digital site, service or account;

(g)  adopt interim measures to prevent the risk of serious and irreparable harm to consumers, in particular measures requesting hosting service providers to suspend a website, service or account, or requesting domain registries and registrars to put a fully qualified domain name on hold for a limited period of time, provided that any measure taken to restrict the online distribution, or otherwise making available, of content to the public is in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and is limited to what is necessary and proportionate;

Amendment     36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 2 – point l

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(l)  close down a website, domain or similar digital site, service or account or a part of it, including by requesting a third party or other public authority to implement such measures;

(l)  in the absence of an effective reaction within a reasonable time by the trader to a request in writing by the competent authorities to cease an infringement, order a hosting service provider to close down a website, service or account or a part of it, or order a domain registry or registrar to delete a fully qualified domain name and allow the competent authority concerned to register it; close down a website, domain or similar digital site, service or account or a part of it provided that any measure taken to restrict the online distribution, or otherwise making available, of content to the public complies with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, is limited to what is necessary and proportionate and is executed on the basis of a prior judicial authorisation,

Amendment    37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 1 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  The competent authorities shall exercise the powers set out in Article 8 in accordance with this Regulation and national law either:

1.  The competent authorities shall exercise the powers set out in Article 8 in accordance with this Regulation and national law and in compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, either:

Amendment     38

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission may adopt implementing acts setting out the conditions for the implementation and exercise of the minimum powers of competent authorities referred to in Article 8. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

deleted

Amendment    39

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 10a

 

Protection of personal data

 

This Regulation shall be applied in full compliance with the provisions on the protection of personal data laid down in Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council1a and Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council1b.

 

___________________

 

1a Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31).

 

1b Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1).

Amendment     40

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  A requested authority shall, on request from an applicant authority, supply any relevant information required to establish whether an intra-Union infringement has occurred and to bring about the cessation of that infringement. The requested authority shall notify the Commission without delay of the request for information and of its reply.

1.  A requested authority shall, on request from an applicant authority, supply to the applicant authority without delay, and in any event within 14 days, any relevant information required to establish whether an intra-Union infringement has occurred and to bring about the cessation of that infringement. The requested authority shall notify the Commission without delay of the request for information and of its reply.

Amendment     41

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  A requested authority shall, on request from an applicant authority, take all necessary enforcement measures to bring about the cessation or prohibition of the intra-Union infringement, including imposing penalties and ordering or facilitating the compensation of consumers for harm caused by the infringement.

1.  A requested authority shall without undue delay, on request from an applicant authority, take all necessary enforcement measures to bring about the cessation or prohibition of the intra-Union infringement, including imposing penalties and ordering or facilitating the compensation of consumers for harm caused by the infringement.

Amendment     42

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  In requests for mutual assistance, the applicant authority shall provide sufficient information to enable a requested authority to fulfil the request, including any necessary evidence obtainable only in the Member State of the applicant authority.

1.  In requests for mutual assistance, the applicant authority shall provide all the relevant information to enable a requested authority to fulfil the request, including any necessary evidence obtainable only in the Member State of the applicant authority.

Amendment     43

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 2 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c)  in its opinion, the applicant authority has not provided sufficient information in accordance with Article 12(1),

(c)  in its opinion, the applicant authority has not provided all the relevant information in accordance with Article 12(1),

Amendment    44

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4.  Where appropriate and without prejudice to the rules on professional and commercial secrecy set out in Article 41, the competent authorities concerned may decide to publish the common position or parts of it on their websites and on the Commission website and seek the views of other parties concerned.

4.  Where appropriate and without prejudice to the rules on professional and commercial secrecy set out in Article 41, the competent authorities concerned may decide to publish the common position or parts of it on their websites and on the Commission website and seek the views of other parties concerned, including consumer associations and trader organisations.

Amendment    45

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  Where the trader proposes commitments, the competent authorities concerned, may, where appropriate, publish the proposed commitments on their websites or, as appropriate, on the Commission website to seek the views of other parties concerned and to verify whether the commitments are sufficient to cease the infringement and to compensate consumers.

2.  Where the trader proposes commitments, the competent authorities concerned, may, where appropriate, publish the proposed commitments on their websites or, as appropriate, on the Commission website to seek the views of other parties concerned and to verify whether the commitments are sufficient to cease the infringement and to compensate consumers. The competent authorities may also consult consumer associations and trader organisations.

Amendment     46

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  The competent authorities concerned may designate one competent authority to take enforcement measures on behalf of the other competent authorities in order to bring about the cessation or to prohibit the widespread infringement, to ensure compensation of consumers or to impose penalties. When designating a competent authority to take enforcement measures the competent authorities shall take into consideration the location of the trader concerned. Once the competent authority has been designated to take enforcement measures by the other competent authorities concerned, it shall become competent to act on behalf of the consumers of each such Member State as if they were its own consumers.

3.  The competent authorities concerned may designate one competent authority to take enforcement measures on behalf of the other competent authorities in order to bring about the cessation or to prohibit the widespread infringement, to ensure compensation of consumers or to impose penalties. When designating a competent authority to take enforcement measures the competent authorities shall take into consideration the location of the infringement concerned. Once the competent authority has been designated to take enforcement measures by the other competent authorities concerned, it shall become competent to act on behalf of the consumers of each such Member State as if they were its own consumers.

Amendment    47

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4.  The competent authorities may decide to take enforcement measures simultaneously in all or some Member States concerned by the widespread infringement. In such a case, the competent authorities shall ensure that those enforcement measures are launched simultaneously in all Member States concerned.

4.  The competent authorities may decide to take appropriate and effective enforcement measures simultaneously in all or some Member States concerned by the widespread infringement. In such a case, the competent authorities shall ensure that those enforcement measures are launched simultaneously in all Member States concerned.

Amendment    48

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Closure of the coordinated actions

Termination of the coordinated actions

Amendment    49

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 19a

 

Follow-up information

 

The coordinating authority shall inform the Commission and the competent authorities of the Member States concerned without delay in the event that the infringement recurs and further measures are to be taken. In that event, the coordinating action may take place without any new coordinated action procedure being launched.

Amendment    50

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Where there is a reasonable suspicion that a widespread infringement harmed, harms or is likely to harm consumers in at least three quarters of the Member States accounting together for at least three quarters of the population of the Union ("widespread infringement with a Union dimension"), the Commission shall launch a common action. For that purpose the Commission may request the necessary information or documents from the competent authorities.

1.  Where there is a reasonable suspicion that a widespread infringement harmed, harms or is likely to harm consumers in a majority of the Member States accounting together for at least one third of the population of the Union ("widespread infringement with a Union dimension"), the Commission shall launch a common action in order to assist the competent authorities of the Member States, and to cooperate with them, with a view to protecting the interests of consumers in the Union where the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States, and to ensuring that the Union’s consumer protection laws are properly enforced in the Union. For that purpose, the Commission may request the necessary information or documents from the competent authorities.

Amendment     51

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 3 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  A competent authority may decline to take part in the common action for one of the following reasons:

3.  A competent authority may decline to take part in the common action if a final judgment has already been given or a final administrative decision has already been adopted in respect of the same infringement against the same trader in that Member State. Where the competent authority decides to decline to take part to such action, it shall state the reasons for that decision.

Amendment     52

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 3 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a)  judicial proceedings have already been initiated concerning the same infringement against the same trader in that Member State;

deleted

Amendment     53

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 3 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b)  final judgment or a final administrative decision has already been passed in respect of the same infringement against the same trader in that Member State.

deleted

Amendment    54

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4.  Following the notification of the decision to launch the common action pursuant to paragraph 2, where a competent authority decides not to take part in the common action, it shall without delay inform the Commission and the other competent authorities concerned about its decision, state the reasons for it pursuant to paragraph 3 and provide the necessary supporting documents.

4.  Following the notification of the decision to launch the common action pursuant to paragraph 2, where a competent authority decides not to take part in the common action, it shall without delay inform the Commission and the other competent authorities concerned about its decision, state in writing the reasons for that decision pursuant to paragraph 3 and provide the necessary supporting documents.

Amendment    55

Proposal for a regulation

Article 23 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  Where appropriate, and without prejudice to the rules on professional and commercial secrecy set out in Article 41, the competent authorities may decide to publish the common position or parts of it on their websites and on the Commission website or where it is appropriate to seek the views of other parties concerned.

3.  Where appropriate, and without prejudice to the rules on professional and commercial secrecy set out in Article 41, the competent authorities shall publish the common position or parts of it on their websites and on the Commission website or where it is appropriate to seek the views of other parties concerned, including consumer associations and trader organisations.

Amendment    56

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  Where the trader proposes commitments, the competent authorities concerned may, where appropriate, publish the proposed commitments on their websites and on the Commission website to seek the views of other parties concerned and to verify whether those commitments are sufficient to cease the infringement and to compensate consumers.

2.  Where the trader proposes commitments, the competent authorities concerned may, where appropriate, publish the proposed commitments on their websites and on the Commission website, in order to seek the views of other parties concerned, including consumer associations and trader organisations, and to verify whether those commitments are sufficient to cease the infringement and to compensate consumers.

Amendment     57

Proposal for a regulation

Article 25 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  Once a competent authority is designated to take enforcement measures by the other competent authorities concerned, it shall be competent to act on behalf of the consumers of each Member State as if they were its own consumers. When designating a competent authority to take enforcement measures, the competent authorities shall take the location of the trader concerned into consideration.

2.  Once a competent authority is designated to take enforcement measures by the other competent authorities concerned, it shall be competent to act on behalf of the consumers of each Member State as if they were its own consumers. When designating a competent authority to take enforcement measures the competent authorities shall take the location of the infringement concerned into consideration, while consistently taking account of the protection of consumer interests.

Amendment     58

Proposal for a regulation

Article 34 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 34a

 

Other alert mechanism procedures

 

1.   If the laboratory tests or technical assessments do not confirm the factors that triggered the alert, the competent authorities or the Commission, as appropriate, shall proceed without delay to take all measures necessary to remedy matters and restore balance on the internal market and/or in the market sector where the trader operates, so as to protect the trader and avoid harming his interests.

 

In this connection, the competent authorities or the Commission, as appropriate, shall inform consumers as soon as possible after a false alert has been identified as such.

 

2.   Where the interests of the trader are harmed as a result, the competent authorities or the Commission, as appropriate, shall take action to compensate him.

 

3.   The measures taken to compensate the trader should, in particular, seek to restore his credibility in the market sector(s) where he operates and/or on the internal market, as appropriate.

Amendment     59

Proposal for a regulation

Article 35 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Designated bodies and European Consumer Centres shall participate in the alert mechanism set out in Article 34. Member States shall designate consumer organisations and associations, and other entities such as trader associations, with the appropriate expertise and legitimate interest in consumer protection that shall participate in the alert mechanism. Member States shall notify the Commission of those entities without delay.

1.  Designated bodies and European Consumer Centres, at national level and at Union level, shall participate in the alert mechanism set out in Article 34. Member States shall designate consumer organisations and associations, and other entities such as trader associations, with the appropriate expertise and legitimate interest in consumer protection that shall participate in the alert mechanism. Member States shall notify the Commission of those entities without delay.

Amendment     60

Proposal for a regulation

Article 35 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4.  The external alerts shall only be 'for information'. The competent authorities shall not be bound to initiate a procedure or take any other action in response to the alerts and information provided by those entities. Entities making external alerts shall ensure that the information provided is correct, up to date and accurate and shall correct the information posted without delay or withdraw it as appropriate. For that purpose, they shall have access to the information they have provided, subject to the limitations referred to in Articles 41 and 43.

4.  The external alerts shall mainly be 'for information' and shall require the competent authorities to verify whether they are based on a reasonable suspicion in accordance with Article 34(1). The competent authorities shall not be bound to initiate enforcement measures or to take any other action in response to the information provided by those entities making external alerts as provided for in Article 35(3). Entities making external alerts shall ensure that the information provided is correct, up to date and accurate and shall correct any errors in the information posted without delay or withdraw that information as appropriate. For that purpose, they shall have access to the information they have provided, subject to the limitations referred to in Articles 41 and 43. They shall also be notified of any follow-up actions taken by the competent authority concerned in relation to external alerts, or of the lack of any action, in the latter case stating the reasons why the alert was not acted upon. The notification by the competent authority of the actions taken or of the lack of action shall respect the need to preserve the confidentiality of the investigation.

Amendment    61

Proposal for a regulation

Article 35 – paragraph 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

4a.  Where relevant, the entities referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be consulted and their position taken into account in the prioritisation of the enforcement actions.

Amendment     62

Proposal for a regulation

Article 35 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5.  The Commission may adopt implementing acts setting out the details of the designation and participation of other entities in the alert mechanism. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

5.  The Commission may adopt implementing acts laying down details of the designation and participation of consumer organisations and associations and trader associations in the alert mechanism, as well as the means of notification of any follow-up actions taken in relation to external alerts, or the lack of any action. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 48(2).

Amendment    63

Proposal for a regulation

Article 41 – paragraph 3 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  Notwithstanding paragraph 2, the competent authorities may use and disclose the information necessary:

3.  Notwithstanding paragraph 2 and provided that fundamental rights, such as the right to privacy and to protection of personal data, as well as Union law on protection and processing of personal data, are fully respected, the competent authorities may use and disclose the information necessary:

Amendment     64

Proposal for a regulation

Article 41 – paragraph 3 – point b a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ba)  for reasons of public interest, such as public safety, consumer protection, public health and environmental protection,

Amendment    65

Proposal for a regulation

Article 42 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  Evidence, documents, information, explanations and investigation findings made by a competent authority in one Member State in accordance with Article 8 may be used for proceedings initiated in application of this Regulation by competent authorities in other Member States without further formal requirements.

2.  Evidence, documents, information, explanations and investigation findings made by a competent authority in one Member State in accordance with Article 8 may be used for proceedings initiated in application of this Regulation by competent authorities in other Member States, provided that the fundamental rights of consumers are fully respected.

Amendment    66

Proposal for a regulation

Article 50 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

By [xx/xx/20xx at the latest, no later than within seven years from its entry into application], the Commission shall present a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Regulation.

By [xx/xx/20xx at the latest, no later than within five years from its entry into application], the Commission shall present a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Regulation.

Amendment     67

Proposal for a regulation

Article 50 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The report shall contain an evaluation of the application of the Regulation including an assessment of the effectiveness of enforcement of the laws that protect consumers' interests under this Regulation and an examination of, among others, how the compliance with the laws that protect consumers' interests by traders has evolved in key consumer markets concerned by cross-border trade.

The report shall contain an evaluation of the application of the Regulation including an assessment of the effectiveness of enforcement of the laws that protect consumers' interests under this Regulation and an examination of, among others, how the compliance with the laws that protect consumers' interests by traders has evolved in key consumer markets concerned by cross-border trade. The Commission shall, in particular, assess the effectiveness of the following:

Amendment     68

Proposal for a regulation

Article 50 – paragraph 2 – point a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(a)  the powers provided under Article 8;

Amendment     69

Proposal for a regulation

Article 50 – paragraph 2 – point b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(b)  the threshold set for widespread infringements with a Union dimension;

Amendment     70

Proposal for a regulation

Article 50 – paragraph 2 – point c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(c)  the system of exchange of information on infringements provided for by Article 43.

Amendment     71

Proposal for a regulation

Article 50 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

That report shall be accompanied, where necessary, by legislative proposals.

Amendment     72

Proposal for a regulation

Article 50 – paragraph 2 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

By ... [the date of entry into force of this Regulation] and every two years thereafter, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and to the Council a report containing:

 

(a)   an overview of the information and the developments in the area of consumer law enforcement, as well as statistics exchanged under the surveillance mechanism established pursuant to Article 33, including posted alerts and follow-up actions taken in relation to external alerts;

 

(b)   an overview of widespread infringements and widespread infringements with a Union dimension, specifying the coordinated actions taken under Article 16, the enforcement measures taken under Article 18, the common actions launched under Article 21 and the commitments taken by infringing traders and their results, as well as the enforcement measures taken according to Article 25.

 

The report shall be publicly available and shall, if necessary, include further legislative or non-legislative proposals in order to adapt the existing legislation to new technological developments or potential future phenomena in the digital environment.

Amendment    73

Proposal for a regulation

Article 51 – paragraph 1

Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004

Annex – point 24 a (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

24a.  Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on cross-border payments in the Community and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2560/2001 (OJ L 266, 9.10.2009, p. 11).

Amendment    74

Proposal for a regulation

Article 51 – paragraph 1

Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004

Annex – point 24 b (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

24b.  Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro and amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 (OJ L 94, 30.3.2012, p. 22).

Amendment    75

Proposal for a regulation

Article 51 – paragraph 1

Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004

Annex – point 24 c (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

24c.  Directive (EU) 2015/2366 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on payment services in the internal market, amending Directives 2002/65/EC, 2009/110/EC and 2013/36/EU and Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010, and repealing Directive 2007/64/EC (OJ L 337, 23.12.2015, p. 35).

Amendment    76

Proposal for a regulation

Article 51 – paragraph 1

Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004

Annex – point 24 d (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

24d.  Directive (EU) 2016/97 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 January 2016 on insurance distribution (OJ L 26, 2.2.2016, p. 19).

Amendment     77

Proposal for a regulation

Article 51 – paragraph 1

Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004

Annex – point 24 e (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

24e.  Regulation 2017/... of the European Parliament and of the Council on ensuring the cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market.

Amendment     78

Proposal for a regulation

Article 51 – paragraph 1

Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004

Annex – point 24 f (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

24f.  Regulation 2017/... of the European Parliament and of the Council on addressing geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on customers' nationality, place of residence or place of establishment within the internal market and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC.

PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Title

Cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws (Text with EEA relevance)

References

COM(2016)0283 – C8-0194/2016 – 2016/0148(COD)

Committee responsible

Date announced in plenary

IMCO

9.6.2016

 

 

 

Opinion by

Date announced in plenary

JURI

9.6.2016

Rapporteur

Date appointed

Kostas Chrysogonos

11.7.2016

Discussed in committee

31.1.2017

 

 

 

Date adopted

28.2.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

21

2

0

Members present for the final vote

Max Andersson, Joëlle Bergeron, Marie-Christine Boutonnet, Jean-Marie Cavada, Kostas Chrysogonos, Therese Comodini Cachia, Mady Delvaux, Laura Ferrara, Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann, Gilles Lebreton, António Marinho e Pinto, Jiří Maštálka, Emil Radev, Julia Reda, Evelyn Regner, Pavel Svoboda, Axel Voss, Tadeusz Zwiefka

Substitutes present for the final vote

Daniel Buda, Evelyne Gebhardt, Virginie Rozière, Tiemo Wölken

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Pál Csáky


PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Title

Cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws

References

COM(2016)0283 – C8-0194/2016 – 2016/0148(COD)

Date submitted to Parliament

25.5.2016

 

 

 

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

IMCO

9.6.2016

 

 

 

Committees asked for opinions

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

9.6.2016

ITRE

9.6.2016

CULT

9.6.2016

JURI

9.6.2016

Not delivering opinions

       Date of decision

BUDG

15.6.2016

ITRE

14.6.2016

CULT

20.6.2016

 

Rapporteurs

       Date appointed

Olga Sehnalová

17.6.2016

 

 

 

Discussed in committee

11.10.2016

9.11.2016

5.12.2016

6.2.2017

 

13.3.2017

 

 

 

Date adopted

21.3.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

33

0

3

Date tabled

27.3.2017


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

33

+

ALDE

Dita Charanzová, Morten Løkkegaard, Jasenko Selimovic

ECR

Edward Czesak, Vicky Ford, Ulrike Trebesius, Anneleen Van Bossuyt

EFDD

Marco Zullo

PPE

Pascal Arimont, Carlos Coelho, Lara Comi, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, Antonio López-Istúriz White, Jiří Pospíšil, Andreas Schwab, Ivan Štefanec, Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, Mihai Ţurcanu, Sabine Verheyen

S&D

Sergio Gaetano Cofferati, Nicola Danti, Evelyne Gebhardt, Maria Grapini, Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Arndt Kohn, Marlene Mizzi, Christel Schaldemose, Olga Sehnalová, Catherine Stihler

Verts/ALE

Jan Philipp Albrecht, Julia Reda

0

-

 

 

3

0

EFDD

Robert Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz

ENF

Marcus Pretzell, Mylène Troszczynski

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

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