An "EU sweep" is a joint EU investigation and enforcement action to check for compliance with consumer laws on a particular market in order to see where consumer rights are being compromised or denied. National enforcement authorities then follow up on these findings, contacting the non-compliant companies and demanding that they come into line with the relevant requirements. Legal action can be taken against operators who violate EU consumer law.
On 16 September 2010, EU Consumer Commissioner John Dalli announced the results of the second phase of the the sweep targeting websites selling electronic goods, such as mobile phones, digital cameras and personal music players. 84% of the websites checked for breach of EU consumer rules now comply with EU laws compared with only 44% in 2009 when the initial check was done.
The "sweep" investigation was launched in May 2009 and carried out by national authorities in 26 member states, Norway and Iceland. The problems identified included misleading information on consumer rights, incorrect prices and missing contact details of the trader (IP/09/1292). These sites have now been corrected and penalties have been imposed where necessary.
Find out more:
Speech: "Sweeps Press conference"
Press release: "Consumers: Most internet sites now safe to buy electronic goods" ( PDF version )
Sweep Investigations - Frequently Asked Questions: "2009 Sweep on electronic goods (second phase) " ( PDF version )
Previous press material:
Press release: "EU crackdown on websites selling consumer electronic goods" ( PDF version )
Frequently asked questions: "EU-wide investigation into websites selling consumer electronic goods" ( PDF version )