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Parliamentary questions
12 December 2007
Answer given by Mr McCreevy on behalf of the Commission

The Commission has examined carefully the facts described by the Honourable Member. Danish law(1) regulates the charges that can be imposed by retailers when payment cards are being used in Denmark. The principle is that the acquiring bank is not allowed to request fees from the retailer when the payment is made with a national or international payment card issued in Denmark. Subsequently, the retailer is not allowed to impose any surcharge on the card holder for these cards. This principle, however, does not apply to international payment cards issued outside Denmark which may be subject to a surcharge which shall not be excessive. On the basis of the information available to the Commission and in line with what is described by the Honourable Member, payment transactions carried out with payment cards issued in another country are indeed often subject to a surcharge.

The Danish authorities have the competence to regulate the issue of surcharges. This is in line with the directive on payment services in the internal market(2), in particular with Article 52(3) thereof. However, the Commission is concerned by the fact that the ‘no retailer fee’- rule and the surcharge prohibition only apply to payment cards issued domestically and not to all payment cards. This restriction raises concerns in terms of free provision of services and in relation to the future single euro payment area (SEPA). The Commission intends to raise this issue with the Danish authorities. The Honourable Member will be kept informed about the development of the matter.

(1)See in particular: ‘Bekendtgørelse nr. 1712 af 20.12.2006 om gebyrer ved brug af internationale betalingsmidler’.
(2)OJ L 319, 5.12.2007.

OJ C 191, 29/07/2008
Last updated: 29 January 2008Legal notice