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Consumers (13-06-2005)

Unfair Commercial Practices Directive Published in O.J.

Directive 2005/29/EC on Unfair Commercial Practices was published in the Official Journal on Saturday, June 11th. Member States have two and half years from this date to fully apply the provisions of the Directive. The new legislation harmonises EU rules on business-to-consumer commercial practices, with the aim of clarifying consumers' rights and boosting cross-border trading. "Sharp practices" such as pressure selling, misleading marketing and unfair advertising are banned under the Directive, and there are certain restrictions on advertising to children. Rules are laid down for determining whether a practice is unfair, and Member States will be responsible for enforcing the legislation and pursuing “rogue traders”.

The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive was proposed by the Commission in 2003, and was accompanied by an extended impact assessment – one of the first ever conducted by the Commission. The Commission will now work with the Member States and all the relevant stakeholders to make sure that the Directive is transposed into national law in a timely and accurate manner.

For more information on the UCP Directive, see: