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Parliamentary question - E-002635/2022(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Mr Reynders on behalf of the European Commission

The Commission is aware of the concerns relating to the practice of traders reducing the size or quantity of consumer products while maintaining the same price and appearance of the packaging as before the reduction (‘shrinkflation’) .

While EU consumer law does not limit the traders’ freedom to set retail prices or to determine the size or quantity of their products, the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive[1] (UCPD), Consumer Rights Directive[2] and sector-specific legislation, where applicable, require traders to clearly indicate the total price of a product and its main characteristics, such as size.

Moreover, Article 6 of the UCPD prohibits various types of traders’ misleading commercial practices that cause or are likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision that they would not have taken otherwise.

Subject to a case-by-case assessment, such practices could also consist of a misleading overall presentation of the product in a way that deceives or is likely to deceive the average consumer about the product’s size.

The enforcement of EU consumer law falls under the competence of Member States. The UCPD enables national authorities and courts to assess and stop such practices when they mislead the average consumer.

National authorities are aware of these practices, conduct market surveillance and take measures, where appropriate. Consumers are encouraged to report such practices to the relevant authorities in their Member State.

Last updated: 4 October 2022
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