The Directive on Consumer Rights
The Directive on Consumer Rights (2011/83/EC) replaces, as of 13 June 2014, on the protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts and to protect consumer in respect of contracts negotiated away from business premises. on certain aspects of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees as well as on unfair terms in consumer contracts remains in force.
Guidance on the application of the Directive
DG Justice has issued a guidance document in the EU languages to facilitate the effective application of the Directive. The Guidance includes an optional model for the provision of consumer information about online digital products.
Member States had to transpose the Directive into national laws by 13 December 2013. Member States must apply the national laws implementing the Directive from 13 June 2014. The Commission has assisted Member States in the transposition of the Consumer Rights Directive. Several meetings have been held with Member States' representatives since October 2012; the most recent meeting took place on 11 April 2014.
References to national transposition measures for the CRD are available from Eur-Lex. Please scroll down to section "Relationship between documents" and click on hyperlink "NIM" in the function "Display the national implementing measures".
Tip: sort the results by "document identifier" to see the transposition measures grouped by Member State.
Regulatory choices under Article 29 of the Consumer Rights Directive
Under Article 29 of the Directive, Member States must inform the Commission about their use of the regulatory choices provided by certain Articles of the Directive. The Commission provides a summary table and makes the Member States' notifications publicly available in the form they are provided.
Notifications according to Article 32 and 33 of the CRD
An overview of notifications received by the Commission regarding provisions going beyond Directive 93/13/EEC (the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive) and provisions going beyond Article 5(1) to (3) and Article 7(1) of Directive 1999/44/EC (the Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive) is made available for your information.
Contents of the Directive
Chapter I defines the scope of the Directive, which is all contracts concluded between a "consumer" and a "trader ". It also provides for definitions of terms and specifies that the Member States may not diverge from the Directive by imposing more or less stringent provisions unless a specific possibility to deviate from its rules is provided in the Directive itself.
Chapter II contains core information to be provided by traders prior to the conclusion of consumer contracts, which are not distance or off-premises contracts. Member States may add on further information requirements in their national law.
Chapter III lays down the information requirements for distance and off-premises contracts, including information about the functionality and interoperability of digital content. It regulates the right of withdrawal (length of the withdrawal period, procedure and effects of the withdrawal), including a standard withdrawal form (Annex I(B)) that must be provided by traders and may be used by consumers to notify the withdrawal from the contract.
Chapter IV provides for rules on delivery and passing of risk applicable to contracts for the sale of goods as well as certain rules applicable to all types of consumer contracts. These include rules on the fees for the use of certain means of payment (e.g. credit or debit cards) and regarding the charges for calling telephone hotlines operated by traders as well as a prohibition to use pre-ticked boxes on websites for charging extra payments in addition to the remuneration for the trader's main contractual obligation.
Chapter V contains general provisions, e.g. on enforcement and penalties.
For the ten most important changes in the EU legislation for consumers under the Directive on Consumer Rights, please see the press release of the Commission.
For the main facts about the Directive on Consumer Rights, please see the factsheet put together by the Commission.