New EU consumer protection rules agreed after marathon talks

28-Mar-2019 @ 11:00

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Agreement has been reached on modernising the European Union's consumer protection laws following intense negotiations.  

Conservative consumer protection spokesman Daniel Dalton represented the European Parliament in so-called "trilogue" talks with the European Council and Commission. The deal struck means the report will now put to MEPs in April for final approval.

New measures include forcing online marketplaces andprice comparison websites to detail their methodology for ranking products. Online reviews will become more transparent, with sites having to reveal what criteria they use to ensure reviews are genuine and unbiased. 

There will be a ban on the resale of event tickets bought by 'bots' and a mobile-friendly website is being created to provide a single source of advice and dispute resolution for consumers across the EU. Heavy fines of up to four cent of turnover can be imposed on firms which breach consumer rights.

Mr Dalton said: "This is a good day for consumers. The changes bring the law up to date to reflect the way we now shop. 

"Issues such as ensuring online reviews are genuine, that product rankings really are independent and that tickets can be obtained by consumers, not profiteers, will all now all be covered by legislation with real teeth. 

"And there is going to be a single website providing advice and help for people to use when things go wrong." 

The legislation also addresses the issue of dual quality products – the practice of branded products being produced to different standards from country to country. In future consumersshould know that the product's contents can vary, depending where it is sold, and the practice will only be allowed if there is a "legitimate" reason, such as the local availability of raw materials or different national legislation.

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