Changes to EU consumer protection laws
The EU Council and Parliament have reached agreement on amendments to the directives on consumer protection and unfair commercial practices, Euwid reports.
The outcome of the trilogue negotiations has yet to be adopted by the Parliament and Council before the new rules are finalized and enter into force after publication in the Official Journal of the EU. The changes are intended to ensure, among other things, that consumers receive sufficient information about the durability and reparability of products and that better action can be taken against so-called "planned obsolescence," the intended shortening of the lifespan of products. In addition, the new regulations are intended to prevent "greenwashing" and other types of consumer deception, particularly with regard to the environmental properties of products. According to Euwid, the trilogue compromise will prohibit, among other things, unnecessary software updates or the obligation to purchase spare parts from the original manufacturer. According to the information, harmonized labeling with information about the durability guarantee offered by manufacturers will be introduced with reference to the legal conformity guarantee of two years. In addition, retailers will be required to display clearly visible harmonized notices in stores and on websites providing information about the legal conformity guarantee. The list of prohibited practices will also include unfair claims related to carbon dioxide emissions offsets. According to the EU Council's communiqué, this means that traders will no longer be allowed to claim that a product has a neutral, reduced or improved environmental impact if this was based on unverified offset programs. In addition, the most important elements of a certification system were defined, on which sustainability labels must be based in the future, unless these elements were determined by public authorities. This is intended to improve the credibility of the seals.
Member states must now adapt their national regulations accordingly within 24 months of publication of the new rules in the EU Official Journal.
- Euwid Recycling und Entsorgung 39/2023 (Sept. 26, 2023)
- Photo: Symbolbild, unsplash.com, Abillion