Online shopping: beef up protection of consumer rights
EU-wide rules to better protect consumers against scams and detect and stop rogue traders more swiftly will be debated and put to a final vote on Tuesday.
National enforcement authorities will have more powers to detect and halt online breaches of consumer protection laws and be able to coordinate better their actions across the EU, under the revised Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) regulation. Their investigation and enforcement powers must include, inter alia:
- requesting information from domain registrars and banks to identify rogue traders,
- purchasing goods or services as test purchases, including undercover (“mystery shopping”),
- imposing the explicit display of a warning or ordering the removal of digital content if there are no other effective means to stop an illegal practice,
- imposing penalties, such as fines, and
- informing consumers how to seek compensation.
A 2014 check found that 37% of e-commerce and booking websites for travel, entertainment, clothing, electronic goods and consumer credit services were in breach of EU consumer laws. This proposal is part of the e-commerce package presented by the EU Commission on 25 May 2016. Parliament and Council negotiators reached a provisional deal on the regulation on 21 June 2017.
Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), first reading agreement
Debate: Tuesday, 14 November
Vote: Tuesday, 14 November