Joke Goddaer, Contractual remedies for unfair commercial practices to reach social justice [2014] Social Justice Conference 5

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "Joke Goddaer, Contractual remedies for unfair commercial practices to reach social justice [2014] Social Justice Conference 5"

Transcription

1 Joke Goddaer, Contractual remedies for unfair commercial practices to reach social justice [2014] Social Justice Conference 5

2 Conference at London School of Economics 1 and 2 August 2014 Working paper Social Justice 2014: the institutions of social justice Contractual remedies for unfair commercial practices to reach social justice JOKE GODDAER 1 I. Introduction 1. The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive - The Green Paper on European Union Consumer Protection 2 revealed the need to harmonise the divergent national legislation on unfair commercial practices in business-to-consumer relationships. With directive 2005/29/EC of 11 May 2005 (hereinafter: UCPD) 3, a new framework directive, based on full harmonisation, was established in this field. 4 Main purposes of the EU were the contribution to the proper functioning of the internal market and the achievement of a high level of consumer protection by approximating the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States on unfair commercial practices which harm the consumers economic interests. 5 According to the European Commission s Green Paper, the fragmentation of the national law within the EU concerning unfair commercial practices, paves the way to legal uncertainty, consumer distrust and high transactional costs for businesses which led consequently to the lack of cross border trade exercised both by consumers as well as businesses. 6 1 PhD assistant at KU Leuven [Consumer, Competition, Market (CCM)] and UHasselt. 2 Green Paper on European Union Consumer Protection, Brussels 2 October 2001, COM(2001)531 final. 3 Directive 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the council of 11 May 2005 concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market and amending Council Directive 84/450/EEC, Directives 97/7/EC, 98/27/EC and 2002/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council ( Unfair Commercial Practices Directive ), OJ, L149, 11 June 2005, G.B. ABBAMONTE, "The unfair commercial practices directive: an example of the new European consumer protection approach", Columbia Journal of European Law 2006, v. 12, issue 3, (695) 696; M.F.H. BROEKMAN, De Richtlijn Oneerlijke Handelspraktijken, TvC 2005, (175) 175, nr. 1; L. DE BROUWER, "Consumentenrecht. Richtlijn 2005/29/EG van 11 mei 2005 betreffende oneerlijke handelspraktijken", TBH 2005, issue 7, (790) 790; L. DE BROUWER, "De oneerlijke handelspraktijken en de gereglementeerde handelspraktijken" in G. STRAETMANS, J. STUYCK and E. TERRYN (eds.), De wet handelspraktijken anno 2008 (Handelspraktijken na omzetting Richtlijn 2005/29) in Studiecentrum voor consumentenrecht, 10, Mechelen, Kluwer, 2008, (143) 143, nr. 1; Y. MONTANGIE, "De Richtlijn Oneerlijke Handelspraktijken: de weg vrij voor grensoverschrijdende handelstransacties?" in A. DE BOECK and Y. MONTANGIE (eds.), De nieuwe bepalingen in de Handelspraktijkenwet in Collectie bedrijfsrecht, (5) 5, nr Art. 1 UCPD; G. ANAGNOSTARAS, "The unfair commercial practices directive in context: from legal disparity to legal complexity?", CMLRev. 2010, issue 47, (147) 147; P.G.F.A. GEERTS, H.B. KRANS, R. STEENNOT and A.J. VERHEIJ, Oneerlijke handelspraktijken: praktijkervaringen in België met de sanctie van artikel 41 WMPC, Den Haag, Boom juridische uitgevers, 2011, 10; F. HENNING-BODEWIG (ed.), International Handbook on Unfair Competition, München, C.H. Beck, 2013, 49, nr. 19; Y. MONTANGIE, "De Richtlijn Oneerlijke Handelspraktijken: de weg vrij voor grensoverschrijdende handelstransacties?" in A. DE BOECK and Y. MONTANGIE (eds.), De nieuwe bepalingen in de Handelspraktijkenwet in Collectie bedrijfsrecht, (5) 5, nr. 2; R. STEENNOT and P. GEERTS, "De implementatie van de Richtlijn Oneerlijke Handelspraktijken in België en Nederland", TPR 2011, issue 1, 681, nr G.B. ABBAMONTE, "The unfair commercial practices directive: an example of the new European consumer protection approach", Columbia Journal of European Law 2006, v. 12, issue 3, (695) 696; L. DE BROUWER, "Consumentenrecht. Richtlijn 2005/29/EG van 11 mei 2005 betreffende oneerlijke handelspraktijken", TBH 2005, issue 7, (790) 790; L. DE BROUWER, "De oneerlijke handelspraktijken en de gereglementeerde handelspraktijken" in G. STRAETMANS, J. STUYCK and E. TERRYN (eds.), De wet handelspraktijken anno 2008 (Handelspraktijken na omzetting Richtlijn 2005/29) in Studiecentrum voor consumentenrecht, 10, Mechelen, Kluwer, 2008, (143) 146, nr. 7; J. STUYCK, E. TERRYN and T. VAN DYCK, "Confidence through fairness? The new directive on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market", CMLRev. 2006, issue 43, (107)

3 2. Article 3, par. 1 UCPD indicates that the scope of the directive concerns unfair business-toconsumer commercial practices before, during and after a commercial transaction in relation to a product. This means that the scope of the directive interacts without doubt with elements of contract law. Nonetheless, article 3, par. 2 UCPD stipulates that the directive is without prejudice to contract law and, in particular, to the rules on the validity, formation and effect of a contract. 7 The question arises whether this separation is feasible, especially in view of an effective enforcement of the unfair commercial practices regulation. Is there no need for a contractual remedy if a contract is concluded with a consumer after an unfair commercial practice occurred? II. The UCPD and its implementation in the national law of Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and France 3. Since the European legislator opted for a directive as the instrument for the harmonisation of the law on B2C-commercial practices, the UCPD needed to be implemented in the national law of the member states. The implementation had to take place at latest at 12 June 2007 and the new provisions had to apply at latest at 12 December 2007 (art. 19 UCPD). 8 BELGIUM The UCPD was implemented by the Act of 5 June in the Belgian national law, and was integrated in the Act of 14 July 1991 concerning Trade Practices and Consumer Protection (hereinafter: TPA 1991). These new provisions entered into force at 1 December 2007 (art. 44 Act of 5 June 2007). After the TPA was replaced by the Market Practices and Consumer Protection Act of , the provisions concerning B2C-commercial practices can nowadays be found in Book VI of the Code of Economic Law (hereinafter: CEL) which entered into force at 31 May THE NETHERLANDS - The UCPD was implemented in Dutch law in section 6.3.3A Unfair commercial practices of the Dutch Civil Code (hereinafter: DCC), more specific in the articles 6:193a to 6:193j DCC. 11 These articles entered into force at 15 October By the Act of 12 March , which implements the Consumer Rights Directive 2011/83/EU, a paragraph 3 was added to article 6:193j DCC. THE UK The UCPD was implemented in the UK legislation by the Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (hereinafter: CPR 2008). 14 This legislation entered into force on 6 April Recently, this Regulation 7 F. HENNING-BODEWIG (ed.), International Handbook on Unfair Competition, München, C.H. Beck, 2013, 51, nr. 26; B. KEIRSBILCK, "De private handhaving van de WMPC in het licht van het gemeen recht" in A. DE BOECK, S. STIJNS, R. VAN RANSBEECK and I. SAMOY (ed.), Knelpunten in het buitencontractueel aansprakelijkheidsrecht in Leerstoel professor Constant Matheeussen, 7, Brugge, Die Keure, 2013, (94) B. KEIRSBILCK, "The implementation of the unfair commercial practices directive in the United Kingdom, Germany and The Netherlands" in G. STRAETMANS, J. STUYCK and E. TERRYN (eds.), De wet handelspraktijken anno 2008 (Handelspraktijken na omzetting Richtlijn 2005/29) in Studiecentrum voor consumentenrecht, 10, Mechelen, Kluwer, 2008, (219) 220, nr Act of 5 June 2007 amending the Act of 14 July 1991 concerning trade practices and the information and protection of consumers, Belgian Journal Official 21 June 2007, Act of 6 April 2010 on Market Practices and Consumer Protection, Belgian Official Journal 12 April 2010, P.G.F.A. GEERTS, H.B. KRANS, R. STEENNOT and A.J. VERHEIJ, Oneerlijke handelspraktijken: praktijkervaringen in België met de sanctie van artikel 41 WMPC, Den Haag, Boom juridische uitgevers, 2011, 17; F. HENNING-BODEWIG (ed.), International Handbook on Unfair Competition, München, C.H. Beck, 2013, 418, nr Stb. 2008, 397 and Act of 12 March 2014 on the adaptation of Book 6 and 7 of the Civil Code, the Act enforcement of consumer protection and some other acts concerning the implementation of Directive 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on consumer rights, amending Council Directive 93/13/EEC and Directive 1999/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Directive 85/577/EEC and Directive 97/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council; M. LOOS, Onvolkomendheden bij de implementatie van de richtlijn consumentenrecht, Nederlands Juristenblad 2013, issue 38, (2684) F. HENNING-BODEWIG (ed.), International Handbook on Unfair Competition, München, C.H. Beck, 2013, 612, nr

4 was amended by the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (hereinafter: CP(A)R 2014). FRANCE In France, the UCPD was implemented in 2008 in the Code de la Consommation by the Act n of 4 August 2008 concerning the modernization of the economy. 16 A recent Loi de la Consommation 17 amends the Code de la Consommation and is of great importance for the doctrine concerning the civil law remedies in case of unfair commercial practices. 1 Scope ratione personae 4. BUSINESS TO CONSUMER (B2C) - The UCPD s purpose is to protect consumers in a B2Crelationship against unfair commercial practices. A consumer is defined in article 2 (a) UCPD as any natural person who, in commercial practices covered by this Directive, is acting for purposes which are outside his trade, business, craft or profession. The benchmark is the average consumer as known in the CJEU-jurisprudence (Infra nr. 13). A trader is described as any natural or legal person who, in commercial practices covered by this Directive, is acting for purposes relating to his trade, business, craft or profession and anyone acting in the name of or on behalf of a trader (art. 2 (b) UCPD). Business-to-business, consumer-to-consumer and consumer-to-business relationships consequently fall outside the scope of the UCPD, but the member states are allowed to apply the B2C-provisions in those situations. However, not only consumers can rely on the UCPD provisions. Article 11, par. 1 UCPD mentions the possibility for competitive businesses to sue their competitor in case of an infringement of the unfair B2C-commercial practices legislation because of their interests (to prevent damage to their reputation, or the reputation of their products, to avoid losing their goodwill, etc.). 18 BELGIUM In Belgian law, a consumer is defined in article I.1, 2 CEL as any natural person who is acting for purposes which are outside his trade, business, craft or profession" Even when the contract has a dual purpose (non-professional and professional), the natural person is to be considered a consumer as long as the trade purpose is so limited as not to be predominant in the overall context of the contract. 19 Article I.1, 1 CEL defines 'business' as "any natural or legal person pursuing a commercial objective on a lasting basis, including an association of such persons". This general definition requires that the commercial activity is exploited within the framework of an organisation. 20 A certain sustainability of the activity in conjunction with a particular structure and frequency is required. 21 Also liberal professions are businesses in the sense of this article. It must however be noticed that book VI of the CEL will only apply to the intellectual performances which are non-characteristic to the liberal profession. In the other case, book XIV CEL will apply. THE NETHERLANDS In Dutch law, a consumer is defined as a natural person who does not act for purposes of his profession or business (art. 6:193a DCC). In article 6:193b DCC a definition of trader can 15 B. KEIRSBILCK, "The implementation of the unfair commercial practices directive in the United Kingdom, Germany and The Netherlands" in G. STRAETMANS, J. STUYCK and E. TERRYN (eds.), De wet handelspraktijken anno 2008 (Handelspraktijken na omzetting Richtlijn 2005/29) in Studiecentrum voor consumentenrecht, 10, Mechelen, Kluwer, 2008, (219) 223, nr F. HENNING-BODEWIG (ed.), International Handbook on Unfair Competition, München, C.H. Beck, 2013, 215, nr. 29; 17 Loi n de 17 mars 2014 relative à la consommation. 18 M.F.H. BROEKMAN, De Richtlijn Oneerlijke Handelspraktijken, TvC 2005, (175) 181, nr Recital 17 CRD; ME of the Bill of 27 May 2013 concerning the establishment of Title I "General definitions" in Book I "Definitions" of the Code of Economic Law, Parl.Ch. Sess. Ord , No. 2836/001, 6; E. PIETERS, K. BYTTEBIER and R. FELTKAMP, "Le Code de droit économique - Survol du contenu et des principals nouveautés", TBH 2014, issue 4, (327) 335, nr ME of the Bill of 27 May 2013 concerning the establishment of Title I "General definitions" in Book I "Definitions" of the Code of Economic Law, Parl.Ch. Sess. Ord , No. 2836/001, P.G.F.A. GEERTS, H.B. KRANS, R. STEENNOT and A.J. VERHEIJ, Oneerlijke handelspraktijken: praktijkervaringen in België met de sanctie van artikel 41 WMPC, Den Haag, Boom juridische uitgevers, 2011, 37. 3

5 be found: a natural or legal person who acts for purposes of a profession or a business or another person acting in the trader s name. THE UK The UK applies the provisions of the UCPD also in case of a C2B-transaction. 22 A consumer is defined in regulation 2(1) CPR 2008 as amended by regulation 2(3) CP(A)R as an individual acting for purposes that are wholly or mainly outside that individual s business. A trader is defined as (a) a person acting for purposes relating to that person s business, whether acting personally or through another person acting in the trader s name or on the trader s behalf and (b) except in Part 4A, includes a person acting in the name of or on behalf of a trader (Reg. 2(1) CPR 2008 as amended by Reg. 2(7) CP(A)R). A business is defined as including (a) a trade, craft or profession and (b) the activities of any government department or local or public authority (Reg. 2(1) CPR 2008, as amended by Reg. 2(2) CP(A)R). Pure B2Brelationships fall outside the scope of the CPR/CP(A)R. FRANCE By the Act n of 17 March 2014 concerning the consumption 23, a definition of consumer was established for the whole Code de la Consommation. Article 3 of this recent act adds a preliminary provision which defines the concept of consumer for the first time in the Code de la Consommation. According to that provision, a consumer is any natural person acting for purposes which are outside his trade, business, craft or profession. A definition of le professionel remains however absent in the Code de la Consommation. 2 Scope ratione materiae 5. COMMERCIAL PRACTICES BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER A COMMERCIAL TRANSACTION IN RELATION TO A PRODUCT The UCPD applies to unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices before, during and after a commercial transaction in relation to a product (art. 3, 1 UCPD). Though useful, the directive did not define the concept of commercial transaction. According to KEIRSBILCK, there is no doubt that, in view of the definitions of a commercial practice and a transactional decision (Infra nr. 6 and 12) this concept includes all sales and services contracts. 24 Furthermore the words before, during and after make clear that not only practices in the precontractual phase (such as comparative advertising, marketing and advertisements) 25 are subjected to the UCPD, but all practices up to and including the sale or delivery of the product, as well as the postcontractual services and complaints procedure. 26 So during the promotional period, the negotiation, conclusion, performance and enforcement of the contract, the business has to be aware of the fact the provisions of the UCPD apply. 27 KEIRSBILCK regrets this wide scope of the UCPD 28, since it was stated that the UCDP was without prejudice to contract law and, in particular, to the rules on the validity, formation and effect of a contract COM(2013) 139 final, Loi n du 17 mars 2014 relative à la consommation 24 B. KEIRSBILCK, "Vijf jaar toepassing van de Richtlijn oneerlijke handelspraktijken in België ( )", SEW 2012, issue 11, (451) 452, nr. 4, voetnoot B. KEIRSBILCK, "Vijf jaar toepassing van de Richtlijn oneerlijke handelspraktijken in België ( )", SEW 2012, issue 11, (451) 451, nr B. KEIRSBILCK, Which way forward for the new European law of unfair commercial practices?, EJCL 2013, issue 2, (233) 243; D.W.F. VERKADE, Oneerlijke handelspraktijken jegens consumenten, Monografieën BW B49a, Deventer, Kluwer, C. WILLET, Fairness and Consumer Decision Making under the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, J.Cons.P. 2010, (247) In his opinion, the regulation of unfair commercial practices which occur after the conclusion of the contract or during its execution, should have been left to national law as to provide for adequate individual contract law remedies (B. KEIRSBILCK, Which way forward for the new European law of unfair commercial practices?, EJCL 2013, vol. 2, (233) 243, footnote 71). 29 F. HENNING-BODEWIG (ed.), International Handbook on Unfair Competition, München, C.H. Beck, 2013, 51, nr. 26; B. KEIRSBILCK, "De private handhaving van de WMPC in het licht van het gemeen recht" in A. DE BOECK, S. STIJNS, R. VAN RANSBEECK and I. SAMOY (ed.), Knelpunten in het buitencontractueel aansprakelijkheidsrecht in Leerstoel professor Constant Matheeussen, 7, Brugge, Die Keure, 2013, (94)

6 BELGIUM The implementation of article 3, 1 UCPD can nowadays be found in article VI.92 CEL. The wording has however not been copied. The Belgian legislation stipulates that the provisions concerning B2C unfair commercial practices apply to commercial practices before, during and after an offer for sale and sale of products. 30 Though this article refers to a sales contract, also services contracts are included since the concept of products is defined in article I.1, 4 CEL as "goods and services, immovable property, rights and obligations and also the content of article 3 UCPD would be denied. 31 THE NETHERLANDS AND FRANCE Neither in the DCC, nor in the Code de la Consommation a provision can be found which stipulates explicitly that the unfair commercial practices provisions are to be applied to B2C-commercial practices before, during and after a commercial transaction in relation to a product. The obligation to interpret the national law in conformity with the UCPD, leads however to the same wide scope of this national legislation as mentioned above. THE UK In the UK the legislator opted for the implementation of article 3, 1 UCPD by integrating it in the definition of a commercial practice (Reg. 2(1) CPR 2008). 6. DEFINITION (UNFAIR) B2C COMMERCIAL PRACTICES The commitment of unfair commercial practices is prohibited according to article 5 UCPD. A business-to-consumer commercial practice is described as any act, omission, course of conduct or representation, commercial communication including advertising and marketing, by a trader, directly connected with the promotion, sale or supply of a product to consumers. This concept is obviously interpreted in a large way, by consequence of which the scope of the prohibition concerning unfair commercial practices is very extensive. 32 The CJEU confirmed in several judgements that a very wide interpretation must be given to the concept of commercial practice. 33 BELGIUM The Belgian definition of a B2C commercial practice is identical to the one mentioned above (art. I.1, 23 CEL). THE NETHERLANDS Article 193a, d) DCC provides for the same definition. THE UK For the UK, a definition of commercial practice was implemented in regulation 2(1) CPR The UK definition is however not identical to the one in the UCPD and the scope of regulation 2(1) CPR 2008 is wider than the one of the UCPD. Not only the sale or supply of a product to consumers, but also the sale or supply of a product from consumers falls under the scope of the unfair commercial practices regulation. Since those cases are outside the scope of the UCPD and thus outside the full harmonization area, the UK is free to apply the UCPD provisions for these cases. 34 FRANCE - The Code de la Consommation does not contain a definition of the concept (B2C) commercial practice. Reference has to be made to the definition in the UCPD itself. 30 B. KEIRSBILCK, "Vijf jaar toepassing van de Richtlijn oneerlijke handelspraktijken in België ( )", SEW 2012, issue 11, (451) 452, nr. 4; E. TERRYN and J. GODDAER, Unfair B2C Commercial Practices: the General Clause in G. STRAETMANS, J. STUYCK (Eds.), Commercial Practices, Brussel, Larcier, 2014, (41) See also G.L. BALLON in cooperation with S. VERVERKEN, De wet marktpraktijken. Een eerste commentaar, Kluwer, Mechelen, 2011, P. CAMBIE, Onrechtmatige bedingen in Bibliotheek handelsrecht larcier. Mededinging, handelspraktijken en intellectuele rechten, 9, Gent, Larcier, 2009, 83, nr. 99; B. KEIRSBILCK, "Het gebruik van oneerlijke of intransparante bedingen als oneerlijke, misleidende of agressieve handelspraktijk", TvC 2011, issue 4, (138) 139, nr See joined cases CJEU C-261/07 and C-299/07, VTB-VAB NV / Total Belgium NV and Galatea BVBA / Sanoma Magazines Belgium NV, 2009; CJEU C-304/08, Plus Warenhandelsgesellschaft, 2010; CJEU C-288/10, Wamo, 2011; CJEU C-540/08, Mediaprint Zeitungs- und Zeitschriftenverlag GmbH & Co KG/'Österrech'-Zeitungsverlag GmbH, 2010; CJEU C-453/10, Perenicova, 2012; CJEU C-206/11, Köck, 2013; C-343/12, Euronics, 2013; B. KEIRSBILCK, "Vijf jaar toepassing van de Richtlijn oneerlijke handelspraktijken in België ( )", SEW 2012, issue 11, (451) 452, nr. 4; B. KEIRSBILCK, Which way forward for the new European law of unfair commercial practices?, EJCL 2013, issue 2, (233) B. KEIRSBILCK, "The implementation of the unfair commercial practices directive in the United Kingdom, Germany and The Netherlands" in G. STRAETMANS, J. STUYCK and E. TERRYN (eds.), De wet handelspraktijken anno 2008 (Handelspraktijken na omzetting Richtlijn 2005/29) in Studiecentrum voor consumentenrecht, 10, Mechelen, Kluwer, 2008, (219) 223, nr. 4. 5

7 3 Unfair commercial practices 1. Grand general provision 7. TWO CUMULATIVE CONDITIONS Article 5, par. 1 UCPD provides that a commercial practice is unfair if it is (1) contrary to the requirements of professional diligence and (2) materially distorts or is likely to materially distort the economic behaviour with regard to the product of the average consumer whom it reaches or to whom it is addressed, or of the average member of the group when a commercial practice is directed to a particular group of members. Those two conditions are to be fulfilled cumulative. 35 BELGIUM This grand general provision can be found in article VI.93 CEL for Belgian law. THE NETHERLANDS - In the Dutch legislation these two conditions are provided for in article 6:193b, par. 2, DCC. THE UK For the UK, regulation 3(3) CPR 2008 has implemented the general provision of article 5 UCPD. FRANCE: In France, the implementation of article 5 UCPD took place in article L Code de la Consommation. A. First condition - Contrary to the requirements of professional diligence 8. PROFESSIONAL DILIGENCE The first condition requires some interpretation with regard to the concept of professional diligence. Article 2, h) UCPD defines it as the standard of special skill and care which a trader may reasonably be expected to exercise towards consumers, commensurate with honest market practice and/or the general principle of good faith in the trader s field of activity. 36 The bonus pater familias, known from the general law of obligations, might be recognized within this provision. Some authors state that the first condition of article 5 UCPD softens slightly the second one (Infra nr. 9). 37 Given the fact that both conditions need to be fulfilled cumulatively, it is possible that the economic behavior of a consumer is strongly distorted, but that the commercial practice which was used therefore, is not contrary to the requirements of profession diligence. By consequence the commercial practice cannot be qualified unfair. B. Second condition - The material distortion of the economic behaviour of consumers 9. (LIKELY) MATERIALLY DISTORT THE ECONOMIC BEHAVIOUR OF CONSUMERS Secondly, the commercial practice has to materially distort or be likely to materially distort the economic behaviour of a consumer. The UCPD states in article 2, (e) UCPD that 'to materially distort the economic behaviour of consumers' means using a commercial practice to appreciably impair the consumer s ability to make an informed decision, thereby causing the consumer to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise. 38 In the first place it is thus required that the commercial practice has 35 CJEU C-540/08, Mediaprint Zeitungs- und Zeitschriftenverlag GmbH & Co KG/'Österrech'-Zeitungsverlag GmbH [2010]; B. KEIRSBILCK, Which way forward for the new European law of unfair commercial practices?, EJCL 2013, vol. 2, (233) 268, nr Belgium: art. I.1, 25 CEL identical definition, there is only no reference to the principle of good faith. 37 F. ROOSE, "Een uniforme Handelspraktijkenwet", NJW 2003, (1286) 1289, nr. 12. See also A. DE BOECK, "De nieuwe bepalingen in de Wet Handelspraktijken en hun relevantie voor de contractuele relatie en de algemene voorwaarden in het bijzonder", in A. DE BOECK and Y. MONTAGNIE (ed.), De nieuwe bepalingen in de Handelspraktijkenwet, Brugge, Vanden Broele, 2008, (19) 26, nr See also for Belgium: Pres. Comm. Nivelles 18 February 2009, Jb.Hand.Med. 2009, (132) 134; G. STRAETMANS, "Recente tendensen in handelspraktijken", CBR-Jaarboek , Antwerpen, Maklu, 2006, (163)

8 a certain influence. Besides, this influence has to be appreciable as to (probably) change the original decision into another decision. 39 In fact, this second condition of the general unfairness test focusses on the consequences of the businesses' behaviour which was contrary to the requirements of professional diligence. 40 The essence of this requirement is to ensure that the economic behaviour of a consumer is based on the ability to make an informed choice. 41 The consumer must be able to make his choice in full knowledge of the facts in order to make sure his choice meets his preferences. 42 The addition of 'likely' in this second condition makes its scope very wide. No actual distortion needs to be proved. It is sufficient that a commercial practice is likely to have impact on the economic behaviour of the consumer. 43 Some Belgian authors still use the wording '(potential) damage' 44, though the word does not occur anymore in the Belgian general clause of the unfair commercial practices legislation since the implementation of the UCPD in These authors make clear that no actual damage needs to be demonstrated and that the proof of a mere potential damage to the consumer's interests is sufficient. 45 THE NETHERLANDS The Dutch legislator opted for a different wording than the UCPD, as to the second condition to consider a practice as unfair. Article 6:193b, par. 2 a-b DCC stipulates that commercial practice is unfair if (a) the trader acts contrary to the requirements of professional diligence and (b) the average consumer s ability to take an informed decision is or can be appreciably impaired, thereby causing the average consumer to take a transactional decision that he would or could not have taken otherwise. It is clear the second requirement of this provision refers directly to the definition of to material distort the consumer s behaviour as provided in article 2, (e) UCPD. 10. APPRECIABLE IMPAIRMENT The impairment of the consumer's ability to make an informed decision has to be material, in other words: appreciable. It means that the impairment must have been significant enough to change - at least likely to change - the behaviour of the consumer when he was making a transactional decision. 46 It is not the effect of the impairment, namely the consumer making a transactional decision which he would not have made otherwise, that has to be appreciable, but the impairment itself. 47 Both elements are nevertheless closely connected. The impairment will only be 39 See also G.L. BALLON in cooperation with S. VERVERKEN, De wet marktpraktijken: een eerste commentaar, Mechelen, Kluwer, 2011, 185, nr. 296; A. DE BOECK, "De nieuwe bepalingen in de Wet Handelspraktijken en hun relevantie voor de contractuele relatie en de algemene voorwaarden in het bijzonder", in A. DE BOECK and Y. MONTAGNIE (ed.), De nieuwe bepalingen in de Handelspraktijkenwet, Brugge, Vanden Broele, 2008, (19) 26, nr G. STRAETMANS, "Recente tendensen in handelspraktijken", CBR-Jaarboek , Antwerpen, Maklu, 2006, (163) Pres. Comm. Brussels 17 July 2009, Jb.Hand.Med. 2009, (144) 149. M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, 262; J. STUYCK, E. TERRYN and T. VAN DYCK, "Confidence through fairness? The new directive on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market", C.M.L. Rev. 2006, issue 43, (107) M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, 262 and Guidance Commission UCPD, Comm. Brussels 5 March 2008, DBF 2008, issue 4, (227) 230; L. DE BROUWER, "Richtlijn 2005/29/EG van 11 mei 2005 betreffende oneerlijke handelspraktijken", TBH 2005, issue 7, (790) 791; R. STEENNOT, in cooperation with S. DEJONGHE, Handboek consumentenbescherming en handelspraktijken, Antwerpen, Intersentia, 2007, 85, n 141; R. STEENNOT, "Overzicht van rechtspraak consumentenbescherming ", TPR 2009, issue 1, (229) 393, n 211; R. STEENNOT, F. BOGAERT, D. BRULOOT and D. GOENS, Wet Marktpraktijken, Antwerpen, Intersentia, 2010, 63, n H. DE BAUW, "De algemene verbodsbepalingen in de relatie verkoper-consument" in G. STRAETMANS, J. STUYCK and E. TERRYN (ed.), De wet handelspraktijken anno 2008, Mechelen, Kluwer, 2008, (107) 118, n 26; L. DE BROUWER, "Richtlijn 2005/29/EG van 11 mei 2005 betreffende oneerlijke handelspraktijken", TBH 2005, issue 7, (790) COM (2003) 356, final, 10, n 37 and 13, n 55; B. DE GROOTTE and K. DE VULDER, "European Framework for Unfair Commercial Practices: Analysis of Directive 2005/29", JBL 2007, (16) 30; R. STEENNOT, in cooperation with S. DEJONGHE, Handboek consumentenbescherming en handelspraktijken, Antwerpen, Intersentia, 2007, 85, n 141. In DE BROUWER'S opinion, the condition of the materially distortion resembles the condition of fraud and error with regard to the substantial character (L. DE BROUWER, "Richtlijn 2005/29/EG van 11 mei 2005 betreffende oneerlijke handelspraktijken", TBH 2005, issue 7, (790) 792). 47 M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, 263; J. STUYCK, E. TERRYN and T. VAN DYCK, "Confidence through fairness? The new directive on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market", C.M.L. Rev. 2006, issue 43, (107)

9 appreciable when it has an impact on the consumer's transactional decision. RADEIDEH therefore finds one of both elements superfluous. 48 If the impairment has no effect on the behaviour of the consumer, the impairment will certainly not be appreciable. 49 When a consumer makes a decision, a lot of factors play a role. In the first place, human limitations such as motivation, knowledge and abilities influence his decision-making process. Furthermore, several circumstances are determinable for the decision such as opportunity, time pressure, absentmindedness and presentation. Last but not least, also the frequency and the importance of the decision for the consumer are qualifying factors in the decision-making process. 50 All those factors might be influenced or manipulated by businesses, but that does not make the practice of the business unfair right away. 51 A mere misconception which does not influence the decision-making process of the consumer in any reasonable respect is irrelevant. 52 Incentives such as offering free coffee or tea, offering transport to the business s premises, etc., simply do not materially impair the consumer's free choice. 53 Advertising practices which may influence the consumer's perception of the product or service in a way the decision of the consumer is not affected, are also outside the scope of the provision. 54 Examples of those general advertising practices are legal product placement, trade mark differentiation or the mere incentive to purchase a product. 55 DE GROOTTE and DE VULDER nonetheless emphasize that particular incentives in a certain context can create enough moral pressure to give the consumer the feeling that he cannot simply refuse the presented offer and has to buy a product or contract a service. 56 It is obvious that it will not always be easy to draw the line between what is an appreciable impairment and what is not. 57 In the same line, BAEKELAND also remarks that the appreciable impairment is a blank norm which may cause legal uncertainty due to difficulties with regard to the burden of proof on the one hand, and the variety of interpretations the national courts will give to it, on the other hand M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, J. STUYCK, E. TERRYN and T. VAN DYCK, "Confidence through fairness? The new directive on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market", C.M.L. Rev. 2006, issue 43, (107) J. STUYCK, E. TERRYN and T. VAN DYCK, "Confidence through fairness? The new directive on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market", C.M.L. Rev. 2006, issue 43, (107) M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, 263; J. STUYCK, E. TERRYN and T. VAN DYCK, "Confidence through fairness? The new directive on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market", C.M.L. Rev. 2006, issue 43, (107) COM (2003) 356, final, 12, n 54; B. DE GROOTTE and K. DE VULDER, "European Framework for Unfair Commercial Practices: Analysis of Directive 2005/29", JBL 2007, (16) 30. (see also G.L. BALLON in cooperation with S. VERVERKEN, De wet marktpraktijken: een eerste commentaar, Mechelen, Kluwer, 2011, 185, nr. 296; A. DE BOECK, "De nieuwe bepalingen in de Wet Handelspraktijken en hun relevantie voor de contractuele relatie en de algemene voorwaarden in het bijzonder", in A. DE BOECK and Y. MONTAGNIE (ed.), De nieuwe bepalingen in de Handelspraktijkenwet, Brugge, Vanden Broele, 2008, (19) 26, nr. 16). 54 F. LONGEFILS, "Propos sur les instruments financiers dans l'offre conjointe et sur la directive CE 2005/29 relative aux pratiques commerciales déloyales" (note Comm. Brussels 5 March 2008), DBF 2008, issue 4, (232) 238, n 22; J. STUYCK, E. TERRYN and T. VAN DYCK, "Confidence through fairness? The new directive on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market", C.M.L. Rev. 2006, issue 43, (107) COM (2003) 356, final, 13, n 53; EM Act of 5 June 2007, Parl. Ch. Sess. Ord , n 2983/001, 14. See also L. DE BROUWER and G. SORREAUX, "La nouvelle loi sur les pratiques du commerce et la protection du consommateur: une occasion manquée", TBH 2008, issue 5, (371) 385, 53; G. STRAETMANS, "Recente tendensen in handelspraktijken", CBR-Jaarboek , Antwerpen, Maklu, 2006, (163) ; J. STUYCK, E. TERRYN and T. VAN DYCK, "Confidence through fairness? The new directive on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market", C.M.L. Rev. 2006, issue 43, (107) B. DE GROOTTE and K. DE VULDER, "European Framework for Unfair Commercial Practices: Analysis of Directive 2005/29", JBL 2007, (16) J. STUYCK, E. TERRYN and T. VAN DYCK, "Confidence through fairness? The new directive on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market", C.M.L. Rev. 2006, issue 43, (107) C. BAEKELAND, "Het gezamenlijk aanbod van art. 71 WMPC en het Europese recht: conformiteit of diversiteit?", DAOR 2011, issue 97, (59) 69, n 18. 8

10 11. CAUSING A TRANSACTIONAL DECISION THAT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN TAKEN OTHERWISE A second element requires that the consumer had to take or was at least likely to take, as a consequence of the impairment, a transactional decision concerning the product that he would not have taken otherwise. This phrase involves two elements. First and foremost, it is important that the (likely) change of behaviour was caused by the impairment of the consumer. Thus, the causality between both events is an absolute requirement. 59 BELGIUM - The President of the Commercial Court of Brussels decided that the plaintiff had not demonstrated the causality between the advertisement 'washes as clean as a brilliant, both at 15 C and at 40 C' and the average consumer's decision to purchase. 60 Furthermore the pivotal point is that the consumer's decision to purchase - in its most wide sense (Infra nr. 12) - is or can be influenced. 61 Without influence, a commercial practice can in no way be considered as unfair TRANSACTIONAL DECISION - A 'transactional decision' is any decision taken by a consumer concerning whether, how and on what terms to purchase, make payment in whole or in part for, retain or dispose of a product or to exercise a contractual right in relation to the product, whether the consumer decides to act or to refrain from acting (art. 2, k) UCPD art. I.8, 28 CEL art. 6:193a, e) DCC - Reg. 2(1) CPR). It is important to mention that the interests of the consumer are limited to the economic sphere. The impairment of or the damage to the general interest is not in view. 63 However, the scope of the provision is very wide within the economic sphere. Because of the broad formulation of the definition of 'a transactional decision' many decisions made by a consumer in relation to a certain product or service can be considered as transactional decisions. 64 From the moment a consumer is exposed to the marketing of a product or service, he may take transactional decisions. 65 There is no doubt that a decision to purchase a product or to contract for a service is a transactional decision. 66 The same holds for the decision to place an order, make a reservation or accept a commercial offer. 67 Even the decision whether or not to go to a shop, or to enter a shop is a transactional decision. 68 In the Guidance on the implementation and application of the UCPD this kind of decision is called a 'pre-purchase decision'. 69 Not only decisions made in the pre-contractual phase, but also decisions made during the execution of the contract, might be transactional decisions. 70 Postpurchase decisions are mainly taken as part of the exercise of contractual rights and can also be considered as transactional decisions. 71 Some examples are: the right of withdrawal, the cancellation 59 COM (2003) 356, final, 13, n Pres. Comm. Brussels 17 July 2009, Jb.Hand.Med. 2009, (144) G. STRAETMANS, "Recente tendensen in handelspraktijken", CBR-Jaarboek , Antwerpen, Maklu, 2006, (163) EM Act of 5 June 2007, Parl.Ch. Sess. Ord , n 2983/001, H. DE BAUW, "De algemene verbodsbepalingen in de relatie verkoper-consument" in G. STRAETMANS, J. STUYCK and E. TERRYN (ed.), De wet handelspraktijken anno 2008, Mechelen, Kluwer, 2008, (107) 117, n Guidance Commission UCPD, 22 and Guidance Commission UCPD, H. DE BAUW, "De algemene verbodsbepalingen in de relatie verkoper-consument" in G. STRAETMANS, J. STUYCK and E. TERRYN (ed.), De wet handelspraktijken anno 2008, Mechelen, Kluwer, 2008, (107) 117, n Guidance Commission UCPD, Guidance Commission UCPD, Guidance Commission UCPD, P. CAMBIE, Onrechtmatige bedingen in Bibliotheek handelsrecht larcier. Mededinging, handelspraktijken en intellectuele rechten, 9, Gent, Larcier, 2009, 84, nr. 101; L. DE BROUWER and G. SORREAUX, "La nouvelle loi sur les pratiques du commerce et la protection du consommateur: une occasion manquée", TBH 2008, issue 5, (371) 385, 52; I. FERRANT, Les pratiques du marché (depuis les lois du 6 avril 2010) in Pratique du droit, 49, Waterloo, Kluwer, 2011, 133, n Guidance Commission UCPD, 23; B. DE GROOTTE and K. DE VULDER, "European Framework for Unfair Commercial Practices: Analysis of Directive 2005/29", JBL 2007, (16) 30. 9

11 of the contract, the right to terminate a service contract, the right to change the product or to switch to another business. 72 Moreover, the choice not to make a transactional decision is also a transactional decision. 73 A transactional decision thus does not necessarily lead to the conclusion of a valid contract between a business and a consumer or to the creation of one or more legal consequences under national contract law. 74 Finally, the change in the economic behaviour also concerns the decision to contract merely under other conditions. 75 BELGIUM - Under the TPA of 1991, proof of potential damage to the interests of the consumer was a minimum prerequisite. An actual damage for the consumer was not required. 76 In that option the 'likelihood' which article 94 TPA contained, still exists with regard to article VI.93 CEL. 77 Whereas earlier the (likelihood of) damage needed to be proved, today it has to be demonstrated that the undertaking behaved contrary to the requirements of professional diligence and that an appreciable impairment of the economic behaviour of the average consumer occurred / was likely to occur. Consequently the question is raised whether the different formulation of the provision, as a result of the implementation of the UCPD, makes it more difficult for the plaintiff to prove an unfair commercial practice. 78 The condition of the (potential) material distortion excludes in any case the scenario that an infringement of a legal provision, which (possibly) damages the interest of consumers, is automatically considered as an unfair commercial practice. 79 As a result, the new legislation seems to be more stringent. Belgian jurisprudence confirms that it is not obvious to prove that both conditions of the general unfairness test have been met. Especially the proof of the (potential) material distortion seems to be an obstacle. In the past, courts have decided more than once that certain combined offers did not infringe the general provision of ex-article 84 MPCPA (now art. VI.93 CEL). 80 For example, the Court of Appeal of Brussels decided that it was not proved in the circumstances of the case that the combined offer of the publication of a small advertisement in the printed edition of the newspaper and on its webpage, was able to affect the economic behaviour of the average consumer as required. 81 Nor was the combined offer of a flight and free transport to the airport, unfair in the opinion of the President of the Commercial Court of Turnhout. 82 He agreed a detailed quotation about the several parts of the package had not been drawn up by the agency, but added that the consumer had not requested it either. Furthermore, he reasoned that this case concerned a mere personal request with a mere personal answer from the agency. Finally, the judge stated that the consumer ultimately did not respond to the offer, so that an actual impairment of his behaviour was not 72 Guidance Commission UCPD, 23; L. DE BROUWER and G. SORREAUX, "La nouvelle loi sur les pratiques du commerce et la protection du consommateur: une occasion manquée", TBH 2008, issue 5, (371) 385, 52; B. DE GROOTTE and K. DE VULDER, "European Framework for Unfair Commercial Practices: Analysis of Directive 2005/29", JBL 2007, (16) 30; I. FERRANT, Les pratiques du marché (depuis les lois du 6 avril 2010) in Pratique du droit, 49, Waterloo, Kluwer, 2011, 133, n 364; J. STUYCK, E. TERRYN and T. VAN DYCK, "Confidence through fairness? The new directive on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market", C.M.L. Rev. 2006, issue 43, (107) Guidance Commission UCPD, 22; H. DE BAUW, "De algemene verbodsbepalingen in de relatie verkoper-consument" in G. STRAETMANS, J. STUYCK and E. TERRYN (ed.), De wet handelspraktijken anno 2008, Mechelen, Kluwer, 2008, (107) 115, n 15; M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, Guidance Commission UCPD, L. DE BROUWER and G. SORREAUX, "La nouvelle loi sur les pratiques du commerce et la protection du consommateur: une occasion manquée", TBH 2008, issue 5, (371) 385, Brussels 4 May 2010, NJW 2011, issue 238, (182) L. DE BROUWER, "Richtlijn 2005/29/EG van 11 mei 2005 betreffende oneerlijke handelspraktijken", TBH 2005, issue 7, (790) J. STUYCK and E. TERRYN, "Recente ontwikkelingen inzake handelspraktijken" in H. COUSY and J. STUYCK (ed.), Handels- en Economisch recht in Themis. School voor postacademische juridische vorming, 51, , Brugge, Die Keure, (51) 56, n J. STUYCK and E. TERRYN, "Recente ontwikkelingen inzake handelspraktijken" in H. COUSY and J. STUYCK (ed.), Handels- en Economisch recht in Themis. School voor postacademische juridische vorming, 51, , Brugge, Die Keure, (51) 57, n B. KEIRSBILCK, "Koppelverkoop is niet langer per se verboden, maar kan wel nog in concreto oneerlijk blijken" (note Brussels 4 May 2010), DCCR 2011, issue 90, (115) 126, n Brussels 4 February 2010, JT 2010, issue 6387, Comm. Turnhout 8 July 2009, Jb.Hand.Med. 2009, (303)

12 demonstrated. 83 In our opinion, the judge overlooked that only a potential impairment is required for the infringement of the then article 94/5 TPA and the present article VI.93, b) MPCPA. By contrast, the second condition was held to be met in a case in which a consumer, as part of a certain marketing practice, was enticed by a deposit account with an exceptional high interest rate (7%) in order to invest in a relatively high risk financial service, because the consumer would not have taken that transactional decision otherwise. 84 His ability to make an informed decision was without doubt appreciably impaired. 85 The fact that the advertisement mentioned that the offer was 'under certain conditions', was considered irrelevant. That announcement only told the consumer that there were certain conditions to be satisfied. As KEIRSBILCK points out, the consumer had no idea that he had to invest in unfamiliar, risky products, which resulted in the consumer's incapability to assess the concrete advantages of the offer. 86 The same Court of Appeal took the view that the imitation of a package for, in casu, the sale of tea was contrary to the prohibition to commit unfair commercial practices as prescribed in article 94/5 TPA (ex-article 93 TPA of 1991). The court decided that the practice of imitating packages confused the consumer and was likely to appreciably impair the consumer's economic behaviour. 87 The consumer was driven to purchase the products of a competitor THE AVERAGE CONSUMER The definition of the average consumer stems from the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice. In various cases, the European Court has made clear that the average consumer is the consumer who is reasonably well-informed as well as reasonably observant and circumspect. 89 The European legislator omitted the definition of 'the average consumer' in the final text of the UCPD 90, although the Proposal contained this definition in article 2, b). 91 This omission allows the concept of the average consumer to evolve together with the interpretation given by the European Court of Justice. 92 Yet, the European legislator chose not to delete the definition completely and decided to insert it into the considerations of the Directive, more precisely in recital Although it was found appropriate initially to protect all consumers from unfair commercial practices, the directive clearly chose to protect the average consumer as a general rule, in line with the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice and the principle of proportionality Comm. Turnhout 8 July 2009, Jb.Hand.Med. 2009, (303) Brussels 4 May 2010, NJW 2011, issue 238, (182) Brussels 4 May 2010, NJW 2011, issue 238, (182) 184. See also Comm. Brussels 5 March 2008; B. KEIRSBILCK, "Koppelverkoop is niet langer per se verboden, maar kan wel nog in concreto oneerlijk blijken" (note Brussels 4 May 2010), DCCR 2011, issue 90, (115) 132, n B. KEIRSBILCK, "Koppelverkoop is niet langer per se verboden, maar kan wel nog in concreto oneerlijk blijken" (note Brussels 4 May 2010), DCCR 2011, issue 90, (115) 129, n Brussels 5 May 2009, IRDI 2009, (266) Brussels 5 May 2009, IRDI 2009, (266) Guidance Commission UCPD, 27; Case C-373/90, X. (Nissan) [1992] ECR I-00131; Case C-470/93, Verein gegen Unwesen in Handel und Gewerbe Köln ev v. Mars GmbH [1995] ECR I-01923; Case C-210/96, Gut Springenheide GmbH v. R. Tusky [1998] ECR I-04657; Case C-303/97, Verbraucherschutzverein ev v. Sektkellerei G.C. Kessler GmbH & Co [1999] ECR I ; Case C-220/98, Estée Lauder Consmetics GmbH & Co. OHG v. Lancaster Group GmbH [2000] ECR I-00117; Case C- 99/01, Gottfried Linhart v. Hans Biffl [2002] ECR I-09375; C. DELFORGE, "Les pratiques commerciales déloyales des entreprises à l'égard des consommateurs" in N. THIRION, Actualités en matière de pratiques du marché et protection du consommateur, Luik, Anthemis, 2010, (7) 37, n 28; M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, 187; G. STRAETMANS, "Recente tendensen in handelspraktijken", CBR- Jaarboek , Antwerpen, Maklu, 2006, (163) L. DE BROUWER and G. SORREAUX, "La nouvelle loi sur les pratiques du commerce et la protection du consommateur: une occasion manquée", TBH 2008, issue 5, (371) 386, n 55; W. DE MEESTER, "De omzetting van de Richtlijn oneerlijke handelspraktijken. Hoeveel vrijheid heeft België nog?", Jura Falconis , volume 45, issue 1, (49) 67; I. FERRANT, Les pratiques du marché (depuis les lois du 6 avril 2010) in Pratique du droit, 49, Waterloo, Kluwer, 2011, 133, n COM (2003) 356, final, L. DE BROUWER and G. SORREAUX, "La nouvelle loi sur les pratiques du commerce et la protection du consommateur: une occasion manquée", TBH 2008, issue 5, (371) 386, n 55; M. RADEIDEH, The principle of fair trading in the EC law, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Groningen, 2004, C. DESMECHT, "Le consommateur moyen: origine et portée d'une notion clé", Jb.Hand.Med. 2011, (182) , n Guidance Commission UCPD, 24; B. DE GROOTTE and K. DE VULDER, "European Framework for Unfair Commercial Practices: Analysis of Directive 2005/29", JBL 2007, (16) 29; C. DESMECHT, "Le consommateur moyen: origine et portée d'une notion clé", Jb.Hand.Med. 2011, (182) 185, n 9. 11

13 BELGIUM - In the TPA of 1991, article 94 referred to the interests of consumers in its unfairness test. Since the UCPD referred to the average consumer as the benchmark consumer for the unfairness test of commercial practices, one could have thought that the Act of 2007, which implemented the provisions of the UCPD in the Belgian legislation, would adopt the terminology of 'average consumer' into the new article 94/5 TPA. That was not the case. 95 In the opinion of the Belgian legislator, it was clear that the consumer mentioned in the TPA was the average consumer, as meant in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice. 96 Different national case-law, preceding the implementation of the directive existed, however. In 2000 the Court of Cassation held that, although the TPA did not define its benchmark consumer, it was clear that the TPA had always aimed to protect the least informed consumer. 97 This consumer was characterized by a lack of a critical thought and was susceptible to pitfalls and exaggerated and deceptive statements. 98 This judgement seemed to be contrary to the concept of the average consumer, the benchmark of the European Court of Justice. Several lower courts, however, defined the average consumer as the consumer who is reasonably well-informed and reasonably observant and circumspect, is critical and has a minimum of common sense. 99 The Court of Appeal of Brussels judged in the same way, saying that the assessment of the danger of confusion caused by the selling of tea in imitated packages had to take place from the perspective of the consumer displaying an average attentiveness, which means that he is neither a specialist, nor an uninterested party. 100 As a consequence of the replacement of the TPA by the MPCPA in 2010, the current general clause and the related definitions became identical to these in the UCPD. The wording 'average consumer' is now still explicitly present in the Belgian Book VI of the CEL L. DE BROUWER and G. SORREAUX, "La nouvelle loi sur les pratiques du commerce et la protection du consommateur: une occasion manquée", TBH 2008, issue 5, (371) 385, n 54; W. DE MEESTER, "De omzetting van de Richtlijn oneerlijke handelspraktijken. Hoeveel vrijheid heeft België nog?", Jura Falconis , volume 45, issue 1, (49) 68; I. FERRANT, Les pratiques du marché (depuis les lois du 6 avril 2010) in Pratique du droit, 49, Waterloo, Kluwer, 2011, 133, n 365; H. JACQUEMIN, "Les pratiques déloyales à l'égard des consommateurs et des entreprises" in L. DE BROUWER (ed.), Les pratiques du marché: une loi pour le consommateur, le concurrent et le juge in Collection de la Conférence du Jeune Barreau de Bruxelles, Brussel, Larcier, 2011, (71) 80, n 10; J. STUYCK and E. TERRYN, "Recente ontwikkelingen inzake handelspraktijken" in H. COUSY and J. STUYCK (ed.), Handels- en Economisch recht in Themis. School voor postacademische juridische vorming, 51, , Brugge, Die Keure, (51) 56, n J. STUYCK and E. TERRYN, "Recente ontwikkelingen inzake handelspraktijken" in H. COUSY and J. STUYCK (ed.), Handels- en Economisch recht in Themis. School voor postacademische juridische vorming, 51, , Brugge, Die Keure, (51) 56, n 11. See, by analogy with the jurisprudence of misleading publicity (art. 94/2 TPA): Pres. Comm. Nivelles 20 December 2007 (259) Cass. 12 October 2000, Saint Brice v. Belgium. See also about this jurisprudence: L. DE BROUWER and G. SORREAUX, "La nouvelle loi sur les pratiques du commerce et la protection du consommateur: une occasion manquée", TBH 2008, issue 5, (371) 386, n 54; C. DELFORGE, "Les pratiques commerciales déloyales des entreprises à l'égard des consommateurs" in N. THIRION, Actualités en matière de pratiques du marché et protection du consommateur, Luik, Anthemis, 2010, (7) 37, n 28; P. DE VROEDE and H. DE WULF, "Overzicht van rechtspraak: algemeen handelsrecht en handelspraktijken ( )", TPR 2005, (111) 264, n 280; M. DUPONT, "La Cour européenne de justice sonne le glas de l interdiction des offres conjointes", J.T , 423; H. JACQUEMIN, "Les pratiques déloyales à l'égard des consommateurs et des entreprises" in L. DE BROUWER (ed.), Les pratiques du marché: une loi pour le consommateur, le concurrent et le juge in Collection de la Conférence du Jeune Barreau de Bruxelles, Brussel, Larcier, 2011, (71) 80, n 10; J. STUYCK, "De nieuwe richtlijn oneerlijke handelspraktijken. Gevolgen voor de wet op de handelspraktijken", TBH 2005, issue 9, (901) 911; J. STUYCK, E. TERRYN and P. WYTINCK, "Actuele vraagstukken van het recht inzake handelspraktijken" in H. COUSY and J. STUYCK (ed.), Handels- en Economisch recht in Themis. School voor postacademische juridische vorming, 15, , Brugge, Die Keure (53) 74, n Cass. 12 October 2000, Saint Brice v. Belgium. 99 Pres. Comm. Nivelles 18 February 2009, Jb.Hand.Med. 2009, (132) Brussels 5 May 2009, IRDI 2009, (266) E. BALATE and M. GOUVERNEUR, "La loi du 6 avril 2010 relative aux pratiques du marché et à la protection du consommateur: premiers éléments et analyse", DCCR 2010, issue 88, (3) 73; C. DELFORGE, "Les pratiques commerciales déloyales des entreprises à l'égard des consommateurs" in N. THIRION, Actualités en matière de pratiques du marché et protection du consommateur, Luik, Anthemis, 2010, (7) 36, n 28; I. FERRANT, Les loi du 6 avril 2010 relatives aux pratiques du marché et à la protection du consommateur, Waterloo, Wolters Kluwer Belgium, 2010, 37, n 28 and 75, n 91; A. HALLEMANS, "Hoofdstuk 4: Verboden praktijken - Afdeling 1 Oneerlijke handelspraktijken jegens consumenten" in T. HEREMANS (ed.), Nieuwe wet marktpraktijken en consumentenbescherming. Alles over oud en nieuw - La nouvelle loi relative aux pratiques du marché et à la protection du consommateur. Tout sur l'ancien et le nouveau régime, Brussel, Larcier, 2010, (120) 121, n 246; H. JACQUEMIN, "La loi du 6 avril 2010 relative aux pratiques du marché et à la protection du consommateur", JT 2010, (545) 556, n 32; H. JACQUEMIN, "Les pratiques déloyales à l'égard des consommateurs et des entreprises" in L. DE BROUWER (ed.), Les pratiques du marché: une loi pour le consommateur, le concurrent et le juge in Collection de la Conférence du Jeune Barreau de Bruxelles, Brussel, Larcier, 2011, (71) 80, n 10; B. KEIRSBILCK, "Koppelverkoop is niet langer per se verboden, maar kan wel nog in concreto oneerlijk blijken" (note Brussels 4 May 2010), DCCR 2011, issue 90, (115) 128, n 16; J. STUYCK and E. TERRYN, 12

14 The average consumer benchmark still allows for social, cultural and linguistic factors to be taken into account when assessing the unfairness of a commercial practice. 102 Those factors differ in each member state and may justify a different interpretation of a commercial practice, or of the message the business wanted to communicate by the use of the commercial practice. 103 It is for the national judge to assess those elements in the concrete circumstances of the case. 104 The Estée Lauder-case can illustrate this. 105 The European Court of Justice decided in this case that it was for the national authority to determine whether social, cultural or linguistic factors may justify that the word 'lifting', as a feature of a cosmetic product, is interpreted differently by German consumers as opposed to consumers in other member states; or whether the instructions for the use of the product are in themselves sufficient to make it clear that the effects are short-lived, thus neutralising any conclusion to the contrary that might be derived from the word 'lifting'. 106 Even when an average consumer ought not to expect the cosmetic product to produce enduring 'lifting' effects, the national court has to investigate whether that is the position in the concrete circumstances. 107 As a second example, an older Estée Lauder-case can be mentioned. 108 The European Court of Justice decided in that case that the fact that a commercial practice was ordinarily employed in other countries without causing consumer protection concerns, had to be an element in assessing whether such a practice was unfair or not. 109 Other relevant factors must also be taken into account. These other factors include the circumstances in which the undertaking sold the product or service, (the clarity of) the information that was given to the consumer, the presentation of the product or service, the content of the advertising material and, finally, also the risk of error that exists in relation to the group of consumers concerned. 110 In line with this remark, reference can be made to the Koipe-case. 111 In this case the European Court of Justice decided that the average consumer who buys products in a supermarket, is the consumer who does not analyse the packages thoroughly or compares them to other products, but who rapidly, easily skims the products he purchases. 112 "Recente ontwikkelingen inzake handelspraktijken" in H. COUSY and J. STUYCK (ed.), Handels- en Economisch recht in Themis. School voor postacademische juridische vorming, 51, , Brugge, Die Keure, (51) 56, n Case C-220/98, Estée Lauder Consmetics GmbH & Co. OHG v. Lancaster Group GmbH [2000] ECR I-00117; W. DE MEESTER, "De omzetting van de Richtlijn oneerlijke handelspraktijken. Hoeveel vrijheid heeft België nog?", Jura Falconis , volume 45, issue 1, (49) 68; M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, ; G. STRAETMANS, "Recente tendensen in handelspraktijken", CBR-Jaarboek , Antwerpen, Maklu, 2006, (163) Guidance Commission UCPD, M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, Case C-220/98, Estée Lauder Consmetics GmbH & Co. OHG v. Lancaster Group GmbH [2000] ECR I See also C. DESMECHT, "Le consommateur moyen: origine et portée d'une notion clé", Jb.Hand.Med. 2011, (182) 186, n Case C-220/98, Estée Lauder Consmetics GmbH & Co. OHG v. Lancaster Group GmbH [2000] ECR I-00117, para Case C-220/98, Estée Lauder Consmetics GmbH & Co. OHG v. Lancaster Group GmbH [2000] ECR I-00117, para Case C-315/92, Verband Sozialer Wettbewerb ev v. Clinique Laboratories SNC and Estée Lauder Cosmetics GmbH [1994] ECR I Case C-315/92, Verband Sozialer Wettbewerb ev v. Clinique Laboratories SNC and Estée Lauder Cosmetics GmbH [1994] ECR I-00317, para Guidance Commission UCPD, 27; Case C-313/94, Fratelli Graffione SNC v. Ditta Fransa, [1996] ECR I-06039, para. 26; A. HALLEMANS, "Hoofdstuk 4: Verboden praktijken - Afdeling 1 Oneerlijke handelspraktijken jegens consumenten" in T. HEREMANS (ed.), Nieuwe wet marktpraktijken en consumentenbescherming. Alles over oud en nieuw - La nouvelle loi relative aux pratiques du marché et à la protection du consommateur. Tout sur l'ancien et le nouveau régime, Brussel, Larcier, 2010, (120) 121, n Case C-498/07, Aceites del Sur-Coosur, SA v. Koipe Corporación and OHIM [2009] ECR I Case C-498/07, Aceites del Sur-Coosur, SA v. Koipe Corporación and OHIM [2009] ECR I-07371; A. HALLEMANS, "Hoofdstuk 4: Verboden praktijken - Afdeling 1 Oneerlijke handelspraktijken jegens consumenten" in T. HEREMANS (ed.), Nieuwe wet marktpraktijken en consumentenbescherming. Alles over oud en nieuw - La nouvelle loi relative aux pratiques du marché et à la protection du consommateur. Tout sur l'ancien et le nouveau régime, Brussel, Larcier, 2010, (120) 122, n

15 BELGIUM - The Court of Appeal of Ghent takes the view that the average consumer's degree of attention depends on the category of service which is involved. In the Court's opinion, a consumer is more attentive during the visitation of a website, as opposed to other means of communication. 113 The average consumer is without any doubt a very wide and open concept. The average consumer test is, as a result, not a statistical test. 114 It is thus important to bear in mind that the concept of the average consumer is still receptive to the diversity of consumers. 115 In addition, an important role is reserved for the national authorities or courts. 116 These will have to exercise their own faculty of judgement to determine the typical reaction of the average consumer in a given case. 117 When investigating whether the average consumer was impaired by a commercial practice, the national judge will have to investigate the facts and circumstances of the particular case that has been brought before court (in concreto), but will also have to assess whether an appreciable impact on the decision of the average consumer did occur (in abstracto). 118 In this context, he will have to take into account the case-law of the European Court of Justice. BELGIUM It should be noted that article VI.93, b) CEL prescribes that the benchmark consumer whose behaviour must be materially distorted or likely to be distorted is not only the average consumer who is addressed, but also the average consumer who was reached by the commercial practice. This means that, although a commercial practice might not have been addressed to certain consumers, they are nevertheless protected by the general unfairness clause when the commercial practice has reached them. 119 A Belgian judgement of 12 January 2011 illustrates the concept 'average consumer who is addressed or reached' in a case which revolved around the selling of dishwashing liquids. Whereas the plaintiff considered that the dishwashing liquid of the defendant was able to affect the consumer in general, the judge determined that, even though the dishwashing liquid was sold large-scale, it merely reached the interested consumer. Since especially the ecological features were emphasized during the marketing of the product, the consumer in view was the consumer who is receptive to ecological products, i.e. 'the green consumer' THE AVERAGE MEMBER OF A GROUP OF CONSUMERS AND THE VULNERABLE CONSUMER The European Court of Justice has accepted that a particular group of consumers may be in need of extra protection because they are weaker compared to the average consumer. The Court has indeed abandoned the standard interpretation of the average consumer in certain cases. 121 According to the European Commission, these divergences need to be seen in the light of article 114 TFEU which provides for a high level of consumer protection. 122 As a result, the European legislator attenuates the average consumer concept in two specific provisions. 123 Article 5, par. 2, b) UCPD contains a 113 Ghent 29 June 2009, IRDI 2010, (72) Recital 18 UCPD; C. DESMECHT, "Le consommateur moyen: origine et portée d'une notion clé", Jb.Hand.Med. 2011, (182) 185, n Case 382/87, R. Buet and SARL Educational Business Services [1989] ECR I-01235; Case C-373/90, X. (Nissan) [1992] ECR I-00131; M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, Guidance Commission UCPD, 24; B. DE GROOTTE and K. DE VULDER, "European Framework for Unfair Commercial Practices: Analysis of Directive 2005/29", JBL 2007, (16) 30; W. DE MEESTER, "De omzetting van de Richtlijn oneerlijke handelspraktijken. Hoeveel vrijheid heeft België nog?", Jura Falconis , volume 45, issue 1, (49) Recital 18 UCPD; Guidance Commission UCPD, Guidance Commission UCPD, 24; Pres. Comm. Brussels 17 July 2009, Jb.Hand.Med. 2009, (144) M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, 262 and Pres. Comm. Nivelles, 12 January 2011, Jb.Hand.Med. 2011, (162) ; C. DESMECHT, "Le consommateur moyen: origine et portée d'une notion clé", Jb.Hand.Med. 2011, (182) 183, n A. GARDE and M. HAVARON, "La directive européenne sur les pratiques commerciales déloyales: vers un renversement de la protection des consommateurs en Europe, RDTI 2007, (171) Guidance Commission UCPD, C. DELFORGE, "Les pratiques commerciales déloyales des entreprises à l'égard des consommateurs" in N. THIRION, Actualités en matière de pratiques du marché et protection du consommateur, Luik, Anthemis, 2010, (7) 37, n 29; H. JACQUEMIN, "Les pratiques déloyales à l'égard des consommateurs et des entreprises" in L. DE BROUWER (ed.), Les pratiques du 14

16 particular rule which addresses the average member of the group in case a group of consumers is targeted. Article 5, par. 3 UCPD addresses the vulnerable consumer. BELGIUM Article 5, par. 2, b) UCPD was implemented in article 94/5 TPA, now article VI.93, b) CEL. Article 5, paragraph 3 UCPD was implemented in article 94/5 TPA, now article VI.93, last par. CEL. 15. (A) THE AVERAGE MEMBER OF A GROUP OF CONSUMERS Article 5, par. 2, b) UCPD states that in case a commercial practice is directed to a particular group of consumers, the benchmark consumer is the average member of the relevant group. 124 As such, the differing capacity to process information is taken into account. 125 Particular groups that may fall within the scope of this provision, are 'children', 'housewives' and 'students'. 126 To assess the presence of an unfair commercial practice, it is sufficient - at least for the second condition of the general unfairness test - to demonstrate that the practice was likely to impair the economic behaviour of the average member of the group. 127 BELGIUM - A particular example of this provision, can be found in article VI.103, 5 CEL. This article provides a prohibition in all circumstances (black list) of advertisements which are directed to children and which incite the children or their parents to purchase a certain product (B) THE VULNERABLE CONSUMER In case a commercial practice is likely to materially distort the economic behaviour only of a clearly identifiable group of consumers who are particularly vulnerable to the practice or the underlying product because of their mental or physical infirmity, age or credulity in a way which the trader could reasonably be expected to foresee, the practice must be assessed from the perspective of the average member of that group. 129 In the Guidance on the UCPD, the example of an advertisement for a ringtone for teenagers is given. In this case the expectations and the likely reaction of the average teenager of the targeted group has to be taken into account, whereas the expectations of an exceptionally immature or mature teenager belonging to the same group, are not relevant. 130 marché: une loi pour le consommateur, le concurrent et le juge in Collection de la Conférence du Jeune Barreau de Bruxelles, Brussel, Larcier, 2011, (71) 95, n Art. 5, par. 2, b) UCPD; COM (2003) 356, final, 9, n 35; Guidance Commission UCPD, 28; Case C-313/94, Fratelli Graffione SNC v. Ditta Fransa, [1996] ECR I-06039; B. DE GROOTTE and K. DE VULDER, "European Framework for Unfair Commercial Practices: Analysis of Directive 2005/29", JBL 2007, (16) 30; A. HALLEMANS, "Hoofdstuk 4: Verboden praktijken - Afdeling 1 Oneerlijke handelspraktijken jegens consumenten" in T. HEREMANS (ed.), Nieuwe wet marktpraktijken en consumentenbescherming. Alles over oud en nieuw - La nouvelle loi relative aux pratiques du marché et à la protection du consommateur. Tout sur l'ancien et le nouveau régime, Brussel, Larcier, 2010, (120) 120, n 246; M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, 188 and COM (2003) 356, final, 9, n Recital 18 UCPD; EM Act of 5 June 2007, Parl.Ch. Sess. Ord , n 2983/001, L. DE BROUWER and G. SORREAUX, "La nouvelle loi sur les pratiques du commerce et la protection du consommateur: une occasion manquée", TBH 2008, issue 5, (371) 386, n 56; J. STUYCK and E. TERRYN, "Recente ontwikkelingen inzake handelspraktijken" in H. COUSY and J. STUYCK (ed.), Handels- en Economisch recht in Themis. School voor postacademische juridische vorming, 51, , Brugge, Die Keure, (51) 56, n A. GARDE and M. HAVARON, "La directive européenne sur les pratiques commerciales déloyales: vers un renversement de la protection des consommateurs en Europe, RDTI 2007, (171) 174; A. HALLEMANS, "Hoofdstuk 4: Verboden praktijken - Afdeling 1 Oneerlijke handelspraktijken jegens consumenten" in T. HEREMANS (ed.), Nieuwe wet marktpraktijken en consumentenbescherming. Alles over oud en nieuw - La nouvelle loi relative aux pratiques du marché et à la protection du consommateur. Tout sur l'ancien et le nouveau régime, Brussel, Larcier, 2010, (120) 122, n Art. 5, par. 3 UCPD; M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, 264; R. STEENNOT, in cooperation with S. DEJONGHE, Handboek consumentenbescherming en handelspraktijken, Antwerpen, Intersentia, 2007, 86, n 142; G. STRAETMANS, "Recente tendensen in handelspraktijken", CBR-Jaarboek , Antwerpen, Maklu, 2006, (163) 258; J. STUYCK, "De nieuwe richtlijn oneerlijke handelspraktijken. Gevolgen voor de wet op de handelspraktijken", TBH 2005, issue 9, (901) 911; J. STUYCK, E. TERRYN and P. WYTINCK, "Actuele vraagstukken van het recht inzake handelspraktijken" in H. COUSY and J. STUYCK (ed.), Handels- en Economisch recht in Themis. School voor postacademische juridische vorming, 15, , Brugge, Die Keure (53) 70, n Guidance Commission UCPD,

17 The reasons mentioned by article 5, from which the vulnerability or weakness might be deduced, are listed indicatively and cover a wide range of situations. 131 STEENNOT mentions that some authors regret the absence of other reasons in the list such as the degree of education, income and race. 132 Since the list is indicative, there is no obstacle to consider those elements as reasons for the weakness or vulnerability of the consumer. It is also possible to consider the unemployed as especially prone to subscribe for easy loans or credits. 133 Firstly, the mental or physical infirmity is mentioned in the provision. According to the Guidance, this includes sensory impairment, limited mobility and other disabilities. 134 Examples given include consumers who need to use a wheelchair as a vulnerable group in relation to advertising claims about ease of access to a holiday destination or entertainment venue, or consumers with a hearing impairment in relation to advertising claims about hearing aid compatibility in a telephone advertisement. 135 Secondly, vulnerability might be inferred from age. Elderly people might be more susceptible to aggressive door-to-door selling, the selling of burglar alarms and certain bus trips, organised by a business only to merchandise their products during the trip. 136 Children, on the other hand, are perceived as more susceptible to the marketing of videogames and the possible confusion concerning the compatibility of the product with a specific device. 137 Furthermore, teenagers are also considered to be vulnerable. Because of their lack of attention and reflection due to immaturity, they are often targeted by rogue businesses. 138 A striking example is the offer of a mobile phone service with the message that, by subscribing to a particular loyalty plan, the consumer can easily make and maintain friends. 139 Finally, credulity is mentioned as an indication of vulnerability. This concept covers those consumers who may more readily believe particular claims by businesses. It is doubtless that this category causes difficulties as regards the delimitation. For example, reference can be made to a dishonest business who sells the winning lottery number on its website which is open to the general public, although he knows that only the credulous consumers will be attracted to his site and be the victim of his scam. 140 Last but not least, it is necessary to pay attention to the condition that the impairment of the vulnerable consumer had to be reasonably foreseeable by the business. 141 This condition makes clear that businesses do not have to do more than can be reasonably expected, in line with the principle of proportionality, 142 both in considering whether the practice would have an unfair impact on a clearly identifiable group of vulnerable consumers, and in attempting to mitigate such influence. It is doubtless that some consumers are extremely naïve or ignorant, or just act very irrationally in response to an 131 Guidance Commission UCPD, 29; G. STRAETMANS, "Recente tendensen in handelspraktijken", CBR-Jaarboek , Antwerpen, Maklu, 2006, (163) R. STEENNOT refers to J. STUYCK, E. TERRYN and T. VAN DYCK, "Confidence through fairness? The new directive on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market", C.M.L. Rev. 2006, issue 43, (107) 122 (R. STEENNOT, in cooperation with S. DEJONGHE, Handboek consumentenbescherming en handelspraktijken, Antwerpen, Intersentia, 2007, 86, n 142, footnote 310). 133 G. STRAETMANS, "Recente tendensen in handelspraktijken", CBR-Jaarboek , Antwerpen, Maklu, 2006, (163) Guidance Commission UCPD, Guidance Commission UCPD, Guidance Commission UCPD, Guidance Commission UCPD, Guidance Commission UCPD, Guidance Commission UCPD, Guidance Commission UCPD, G. STRAETMANS, "Recente tendensen in handelspraktijken", CBR-Jaarboek , Antwerpen, Maklu, 2006, (163) Guidance Commission UCPD,

18 absolutely fair commercial practice. 143 In that case, the commercial practice will not be considered as unfair and thus the business will not be held liable. RADEIDEH points out that the above-mentioned provision might be interpreted in such a manner that the benchmark consumer is the vulnerable consumer, as it will always be likely that the vulnerable consumer will be affected in his capacity to make an informed choice. 144 Such a reasoning implies the acceptation of the vulnerable consumer as the benchmark consumer of the UCPD, which is absolutely contrary to the aim of the legislator, 145 who decided to reject the 'weak and vulnerable' consumer as the benchmark consumer. 146 The difference between paragraphs 2, b) and 3 of article 5 UCPD is subtle. Article 5, par. 2, b) UCPD only applies when a commercial practice is directed at a particular group. If the commercial practice was directed towards the generality of consumers, article 5, par. 3 UCPD is applicable. 147 This division can, however, be put into perspective by to following reasoning: when commercial practices are likely to materially distort the economic behaviour only of a group of consumers, the practices were typically directed to that particular group. As a consequence, article 5, par. 2, b) would apply anyway TWO-STAGE TEST Summarizing, it can be stated that the research into the interpretation of the 'average consumer', is a two-stage test. 149 First and foremost, the consumer in a given case is in principle considered to be reasonably well informed, reasonably observant and circumspect. The consumer has a reasonable understanding of reality and is able to carefully process the acquired information. Deception can hardly take place. This is the so called, objective ex-ante approach which takes place. 150 In the second stage of the test, the judge will investigate whether some consumers belong to a particular group of consumers or are specifically vulnerable. Especially particular circumstances are taken into account at this stage of the test. Among others, the cultural, linguistic or social factors will play a part in this phase of the assessment. C. Exaggerated statements and statements which are not meant to be taken literally 18. EXCEPTION: EXAGGERATED STATEMENTS, NOT MEANT TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY The UCPD inserted a special safeguard for common and legitimate advertising practices in which exaggerated statements or statements which are not meant to be taken literally are used. BELGIUM - A similar provision was unknown in the Belgian legislation before the implementation of the UCPD-provision in article 94/5, par. 2, in fine TPA, by the Act of , now article VI.93, b) last section CEL. 143 Guidance Commission UCPD, M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, Guidance Commission UCPD, 29; L. DE BROUWER and G. SORREAUX, "La nouvelle loi sur les pratiques du commerce et la protection du consommateur: une occasion manquée", TBH 2008, issue 5, (371) 385, n 54; B. DE GROOTTE and K. DE VULDER, "European Framework for Unfair Commercial Practices: Analysis of Directive 2005/29", JBL 2007, (16) G. STRAETMANS, "Recente tendensen in handelspraktijken", CBR-Jaarboek , Antwerpen, Maklu, 2006, (163) M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, M. RADEIDEH, Fair Trading in EC Law. Information and consumer choice in the internal market, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing, 2005, Notwithstanding the absence of such a particular provision, the jurisprudence referred to the hyperbolic character of some advertisements to conclude they were not unfair. 17

19 THE NETHERLANDS Also the DCC provides a similar provision in article 193b, par.4 DCC. Some advertisements make subjective or exaggerated statements about the qualities of a particular product, the so called 'puffery', which is not meant to be taken literally. 152 These statements may even contain information that does not correspond to reality at all. 153 On the condition that the average consumer easily recognises the exaggeration or the striking falsehood, those advertisements are legitimate. 154 Most authors confirm the obviousness of this provision, since clearly exaggerated statements do not mislead the consumer. 155 Moreover, it would be contrary to the principle of proportionality to prohibit advertisements that might deceive only the very naïve, credulous or cursory consumer, given the general purpose of the legislation and the prohibition to create unjustifiable barriers to trade. 156 It is however important to keep the requirement of the easy recognition of the exaggeration by the average consumer in mind. Some jurisprudence and some authors seem to consider the average consumer to be always fully aware that publicity contains exaggerations. They base their reasoning on the single fact that the average consumer is showered each day with advertisements and is consequently able to put all hyperbolic advertisements into perspective. 157 In our opinion, that is jumping to conclusions because not every exaggeration is easily recognisable for the average consumer. The more concrete the advertisement, the more difficult it will be for the consumer to recognise the exaggeration. 158 In addition, WELLENS states that the reference to E.g. Pres. Comm. Brussels 19 September 1994, Jb.Hand.Med. 1994, 109 where the Court decided that the slogan "no other washing-powder in the world washes better" was superlative advertising; Pres. Comm. Brussels 28 October 2002, Jb.Hand.Med. 2002, 240 where the same was concluded about advertisements which contain slogans as "the best" and "the widest choice". The same was judged about the slogans "indispensable" and "nothing is that useful and advantageous" (Pres. Comm. Mechelen 12 June 2001, Jb.Hand.Med. 2001, 194) and the advertisement "Did you know that Dixan is preferred to the most sold washing-powder?" (Pres. Comm. Brussels 12 September 2005, Jb.Hand.Med. 2005, (304) 308 and DCCR 2007, issue 73, (141) 145). Contra: Brussels 26 June 1998, Jb.Hand.Med. 1998, (127) 130; Brussels 29 January 2004, Jb.Hand.Med. 2004, (115) where the judge decided that the superlatives "the best" and "the number one of the feed veterinarians give to their dogs and cats" could not be considered as to be interpreted as mere subjective, hyperbolical and without any objective value because the consumer might interpret them as true and real due to the scientific tests referred to in the advertisement. 152 Guidance Commission UCPD, 25, footnote 37. See also Pres. Comm. Brussels 20 September 2002, Jb.Hand.Med. 2002, (226) H. DE BAUW, "Misleidende reclame en superlatiefreclame", (note Pres. Comm. Brussels 17 July 2009) Jb.Hand.Med. 2009, (152) 156, n H. DE BAUW, "Misleidende reclame en superlatiefreclame", (note Pres. Comm. Brussels 17 July 2009) Jb.Hand.Med. 2009, (152) 156, n 11. See also Pres. Comm. Brussels 20 September 2002, Jb.Hand.Med. 2002, (226) 236. Reference to this condition was already made in jurisprudence before the implementation of the UCPD-provision into the TPA. E.g. Brussels 17 May 2005, DCCR 2007, issue 73, (129) 138 where the court decided that the slogan "You want to save more money? Discover our discount programs and fixed sums on the back side" preceded by a comparative chart of prices from which, in reality, no saving could be deduced, had a weak hyperbolic character through which it was impossible for the consumer to recognise the exaggeration. Also the slogan "N 1 in Europe with regard to the processing and administration of coupons" did, in the court's opinion, not contain a manifest lie which the public could recognise immediately (Brussels 19 December 2006, Jb.Hand.Med (193) 200. In the framework of an alleged infringement of article 94/2, 3 and 4 and 94/3 TPA the President of the Commercial Court of Antwerp decided that exaggerations are inherent in advertisements, but added that hyperbolic publicity is only legitimate when the consumer can easily identify the exaggerations (Pres. Comm. Antwerp 8 January 2009, (117) 121). 155 H. DE BAUW, "Misleidende reclame en superlatiefreclame", (note Pres. Comm. Brussels 17 July 2009) Jb.Hand.Med. 2009, (152) 156, n 12; F. DE PATOUL, "Livre 1 Les pratiques de commerce (Volume I)" in M. COIPEL and P. WERY (ed.), Les pratiques du commerce l'information et la protection du consommateur. Commentaire de la loi du 14 juillet 1991 et de la loi du 2 aoüt 2002, Waterloo,Wolters Kluwer Belgium, 2006, (1) 21, n 290; I. FERRANT, Les pratiques du marché (depuis les lois du 6 avril 2010) in Pratique du droit, 49, Waterloo, Kluwer, 2011, 134, n 369; H. JACQUEMIN, "Les pratiques déloyales à l'égard des consommateurs et des entreprises" in L. DE BROUWER (ed.), Les pratiques du marché: une loi pour le consommateur, le concurrent et le juge in Collection de la Conférence du Jeune Barreau de Bruxelles, Brussel, Larcier, 2011, (71) 95, n 27; R. STEENNOT, in cooperation with S. DEJONGHE, Handboek consumentenbescherming en handelspraktijken, Antwerpen, Intersentia, 2007, 86, n 142; V. WELLENS, "Verwijzing in reclame naar testresultaten", DCCR 2007, issue 76, (211) Guidance Commission UCPD, 25. See also C. DESMECHT, "Le consommateur moyen: origine et portée d'une notion clé", Jb.Hand.Med. 2011, (182) 187, n E.g. Pres. Comm. Nivelles 18 July 2003, Jb. Hand.Med (213) 220; Pres. Comm. Nivelles 25 May 2005, Jb.Hand.Med (260) 265; Pres. Comm. Brussels 12 September 2005, Jb.Hand.Med. 2005, (304) 308 and DCCR 2007, issue 73, (141) G. STRAETMANS, "Over hyperbolen, misleiding en vergelijkende reclame", DCCR 2007, issue 73, (146)

20 (scientific) tests excludes the qualification of hyperbolical advertisement. 159 Finally, it is also possible that an advertisement contains several exaggerations which are without doubt easily recognisable for the average consumer, but that the overall picture of the advertisement is nonetheless misleading to the average consumer. 160 BELGIUM - Examples of hyperbolical advertisements that are mentioned in literature and the explanatory memorandum are advertisings such as "the most beautiful", "it gives you wings" or "washes whiter than white". 161 In the jurisprudence, the slogan "Washes as clean as a brilliant" was found a legitimate exaggerated advertisement, not meant to be taken literally by the consumer. 162 In the Court's opinion, exaggerated advertisements are typical of the sector of washing products and have been generally adopted so that consumers cannot be misled anymore. 163 D. Burden of proof and assessment for UCP s under the grand general provision 19. BURDEN OF PROOF AND ASSESSMENT IN CONCRETO When an undertaking is claimed to have infringed the grand general provision, it is for the plaintiff to prove that both conditions of the general unfairness test are met. 164 The national authority or court has to assess whether both conditions are indeed fulfilled. 165 A judge will have to make an in concreto assessment, taking into account all the above-mentioned circumstances. 166 He will have to decide how an average consumer, a member of a particular group consumers or a vulnerable consumer behaves in view of a certain commercial practice. 167 The assessment is nevertheless still partially in abstracto, since the judge does not have to 159 V. WELLENS, "Verwijzing in reclame naar testresultaten", DCCR 2007, issue 76, (211) Brussels 9 February 2010, Jb.Hand.Med (81) EM Act of 5 June 2007, Parl.Ch. Sess. Ord , n 2983/001, 26; C. DELFORGE, "Les pratiques commerciales déloyales des entreprises à l'égard des consommateurs" in N. THIRION, Actualités en matière de pratiques du marché et protection du consommateur, Luik, Anthemis, 2010, (7) 38, n 30; L. DE BROUWER and G. SORREAUX, "La nouvelle loi sur les pratiques du commerce et la protection du consommateur: une occasion manquée", TBH 2008, issue 5, (371) 386, n 57; J. STUYCK, "De nieuwe richtlijn oneerlijke handelspraktijken. Gevolgen voor de wet op de handelspraktijken", TBH 2005, issue 9, (901) Pres. Comm. Brussels 17 July 2009, Jb.Hand.Med. 2009, (144) 151; H. DE BAUW, "Misleidende reclame en superlatiefreclame", (note Pres. Comm. Brussels 17 July 2009) Jb.Hand.Med. 2009, (152) 156, n Pres. Comm. Brussels 17 July 2009, Jb.Hand.Med. 2009, (144) 151. See also Pres. Comm. Brussels 19 September 1994, Jb.Hand.Med. 1994, 109; Pres. Comm. Brussels 12 September 2005, Jb.Hand.Med. 2005, (304) 308 and DCCR 2007, issue 73, (141) 145. In our opinion, reference can also be made to following jurisprudence which dates from before 2007: Considered as legitimate advertisements: Pres. Comm. Brussels 19 September 1994, Jb.Hand.Med. 1994, 109 where the Court decided that the slogan "no other washing-powder in the world washes better" was superlative advertising; Pres. Comm. Brussels 28 October 2002, Jb.Hand.Med. 2002, 240 where the same was concluded about advertisements which contain slogans like "the best" and "the biggest choice". The same was judged about the slogans "indispensable" and "nothing is that useful and advantageous" (Pres. Comm. Mechelen 12 June 2001, Jb.Hand.Med. 2001, 194) and the advertisement "Did you know that Dixan is preferred to the most sold washing-powder?" (Pres. Comm. Brussels 12 September 2005, Jb.Hand.Med. 2005, (304) 308 and DCCR 2007, issue 73, (141) 145). Contra: Brussels 26 June 1998, Jb.Hand.Med. 1998, (127) 130; Brussels 29 January 2004, Jb.Hand.Med. 2004, (115) where the judge decided that the superlatives "the best" and "the number one feed veterinarians give to their dogs and cats" could not be considered as to be interpreted as merely subjective, hyperbolical and without any objective value because the consumer might interpret them as true and real due to the scientific tests referred to in the advertisement. 164 COM (2003) 356, final, 12, n 51; L. DE BROUWER and G. SORREAUX, "La nouvelle loi sur les pratiques du commerce et la protection du consommateur: une occasion manquée", TBH 2008, issue 5, (371) 384, n 48; C. DELFORGE, "Les pratiques commerciales déloyales des entreprises à l'égard des consommateurs" in N. THIRION, Actualités en matière de pratiques du marché et protection du consommateur, Luik, Anthemis, 2010, (7) 35, n 25; R. STEENNOT, "Overzicht van rechtspraak consumentenbescherming ", TPR 2009, issue 1, (229) 393, n 211; R. STEENNOT, F. BOGAERT, D. BRULOOT and D. GOENS, Wet Marktpraktijken, Antwerpen, Intersentia, 2010, 62, n C. DELFORGE, "Les pratiques commerciales déloyales des entreprises à l'égard des consommateurs" in N. THIRION, Actualités en matière de pratiques du marché et protection du consommateur, Luik, Anthemis, 2010, (7) 35, n H. DE BAUW, "De algemene verbodsbepalingen in de relatie verkoper-consument" in G. STRAETMANS, J. STUYCK and E. TERRYN (ed.), De wet handelspraktijken anno 2008, Mechelen, Kluwer, 2008, (107) 117, n J. STUYCK, E. TERRYN and T. VAN DYCK, "Confidence through fairness? The new directive on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market", C.M.L. Rev. 2006, issue 43, (107)

The Belgian Civil Remedy in Case of an Unfair Commercial Practice Towards a Consumer: an effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanction?

The Belgian Civil Remedy in Case of an Unfair Commercial Practice Towards a Consumer: an effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanction? The Belgian Civil Remedy in Case of an Unfair Commercial Practice Towards a Consumer: an effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanction? REINHARD STEENNOT Economic Law Ghent University Universiteitstraat

More information

Consumer Participation in Dispute Settlement on Unfair Commercial Practices and Commercial Communications

Consumer Participation in Dispute Settlement on Unfair Commercial Practices and Commercial Communications Consumer Participation in Dispute Settlement on Unfair Commercial Practices and Commercial Communications Prof. Dr Madeleine de Cock Buning 1 The EC Unfair Commercial Practices Directive: context, goals

More information

CCBE POSITION ON THE PROPOSAL FOR A DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL

CCBE POSITION ON THE PROPOSAL FOR A DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL CCBE POSITION ON THE PROPOSAL FOR A DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL ON CONSUMER RIGHTS DIRECTIVE COM(2008) 614/3 CCBE position on The Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament

More information

Act XLVIII of 2008 on Essential Conditions of and Certain Limitations to Business Advertising Activity

Act XLVIII of 2008 on Essential Conditions of and Certain Limitations to Business Advertising Activity Act XLVIII of 2008 on Essential Conditions of and Certain Limitations to Business Advertising Activity /competition law related provisions of the Act/ In order to protect the health of citizens, in particular

More information

DOES EU ECONOMIC LAW PRECLUDE NATIONAL PROHIBITIONS OF SALES BELOW COST?

DOES EU ECONOMIC LAW PRECLUDE NATIONAL PROHIBITIONS OF SALES BELOW COST? DOES EU ECONOMIC LAW PRECLUDE NATIONAL PROHIBITIONS OF SALES BELOW COST? Bert Keirsbilck * Abstract This article discusses whether EU economic law precludes national prohibitions of sales below cost. Following

More information

Distance selling: sale of consumer goods over the internet or telephone etc

Distance selling: sale of consumer goods over the internet or telephone etc Distance selling: sale of consumer goods over the internet or telephone etc Standard Note: SN/HA/5761 Last updated: 23 February 2012 Author: Section Lorraine Conway Home Affairs Section Many people shop

More information

CHRISTOPHE RONSE. Christophe is a partner in the IP & litigation department of ALTIUS and leads the firm s life sciences and patents practice.

CHRISTOPHE RONSE. Christophe is a partner in the IP & litigation department of ALTIUS and leads the firm s life sciences and patents practice. CURRICULUM VITAE CHRISTOPHE RONSE PARTNER AT THE LAW FIRM ALTIUS HEAD OF THE COMMERCIAL LITIGATION AND IP DEPARTMENT - Avenue du Port 86 C B414, 1000 Brussels Belgium - Telephone : +32 2 426 14 14, Fax

More information

COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION. Towards a European Charter on the Rights of Energy Consumers

COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION. Towards a European Charter on the Rights of Energy Consumers COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES Brussels, 5.7.2007 COM(2007)386 final COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION Towards a European Charter on the Rights of Energy Consumers EN EN 1. INTRODUCTION In the

More information

Protection for Insurance Customer Under Turkish Laws

Protection for Insurance Customer Under Turkish Laws Protection for Insurance Customer Under Turkish Laws Presentation to the AIDA_Turkish Insurance Law Association Ahmet Karayazgan, Karayazgan Law Firm Istanbul, May 3, 2012 1 Part 1 Definition of Insurance

More information

CONSUMER PROTECTION IN THE HUNGARIAN COMPETITION LAW

CONSUMER PROTECTION IN THE HUNGARIAN COMPETITION LAW CONSUMER PROTECTION IN THE HUNGARIAN COMPETITION LAW ZSÓFIA HORVÁTH Commercial Law Department, Institute for Civil Law, Faculty of Law, University of Miskolc Abstract This contribution analyses the legal

More information

Eurofinas reply to the Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) Consultation Paper on guidelines for cross-selling practices

Eurofinas reply to the Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) Consultation Paper on guidelines for cross-selling practices Eurofinas reply to the Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) Consultation Paper on guidelines for cross-selling practices 20 March 2015 Eurofinas is entered into the European Transparency

More information

THE CONSUMER PROTECTION FROM UNFAIR TRADING REGULATIONS 2008

THE CONSUMER PROTECTION FROM UNFAIR TRADING REGULATIONS 2008 THE CONSUMER PROTECTION FROM UNFAIR TRADING REGULATIONS 2008 A guide for businesses about the requirements of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. This leaflet is intended as a

More information

The Dutch Health Insurance Sector and EU Competition Law

The Dutch Health Insurance Sector and EU Competition Law The Dutch Health Insurance Sector and EU Competition Law Henriette E. AKYUREK-KIEVITS Netherlands Comptetion Authority (Nma) Den Haag, The Netherlands Please do not quote or publish without the permission

More information

THE PROMO OF MEDICAL DEVICES IN THE EUROPEAN UNION. February 2010 SPECIAL REPRINT. By Elisabethann Wright, oussanov

THE PROMO OF MEDICAL DEVICES IN THE EUROPEAN UNION. February 2010 SPECIAL REPRINT. By Elisabethann Wright, oussanov February 2010 SPECIAL REPRINT UNDERSTANDING THE PROMO OMOTION OF MEDICAL DEVICES IN THE EUROPEAN UNION By Elisabethann Wright, Fabien Roy and Alexander Roussano oussanov Reproduced with the kind permission

More information

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT. on the existing EU legal framework applicable to lifestyle and wellbeing apps. Accompanying the document

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT. on the existing EU legal framework applicable to lifestyle and wellbeing apps. Accompanying the document EUROPEAN COMMISSION Brussels, 10.4.2014 SWD(2014) 135 final COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT on the existing EU legal framework applicable to lifestyle and wellbeing apps Accompanying the document GREEN

More information

Conflicts of Interest MiFID and the General Law

Conflicts of Interest MiFID and the General Law slaughter and may Companies Briefing Paper Act 2006 September 2008 Conflicts of Interest MiFID and the General Law Much has been said and written in recent years about the conflicts of interest that can

More information

Advertising Law. Chapter I General Provisions

Advertising Law. Chapter I General Provisions Disclaimer: The English language text below is provided by the Translation and Terminology Centre for information only; it confers no rights and imposes no obligations separate from those conferred or

More information

Parasitic copying is unfair play

Parasitic copying is unfair play Parasitic copying is unfair play Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) has developed this document following the European Commission s call for comments on its retail market monitoring report, Towards more efficient

More information

Comments on Discussion Paper 2: Differences in Insurance Contract Laws and the Existing EU Legal Framework

Comments on Discussion Paper 2: Differences in Insurance Contract Laws and the Existing EU Legal Framework Jürgen Basedow Expert Group on European Insurance Contract Law Comments on Discussion Paper 2: Differences in Insurance Contract Laws and the Existing EU Legal Framework 1. General Observations The discussion

More information

Under European law teleradiology is both a health service and an information society service.

Under European law teleradiology is both a health service and an information society service. ESR statement on the European Commission Staff Working Document on the applicability of the existing EU legal framework to telemedicine services (SWD 2012/413). The European Society of Radiology (ESR)

More information

CONSUMER RIGHTS ACT 2015:

CONSUMER RIGHTS ACT 2015: BRIEFING CONSUMER RIGHTS ACT 2015: COMPLIANCE GUIDE FOR BUSINESSES DEALING WITH CONSUMERS SEPTEMBER 2015 THE CONSUMER RIGHTS ACT 2015 WILL TAKE EFFECT FROM 1ST OCTOBER. THIS BRIEFING OFFERS A COMPLIANCE

More information

GENERAL LOGISTICS CONDITIONS

GENERAL LOGISTICS CONDITIONS GENERAL LOGISTICS CONDITIONS (a free translation of the official Dutch wording) 1 DEFINITIONS Hereinafter the following conditions shall mean: 1.1 G.L. Conditions: General Logistics Conditions. 1.2. CC:

More information

THE EUROPEAN UNION AND FRANCHISING

THE EUROPEAN UNION AND FRANCHISING THE EUROPEAN UNION AND FRANCHISING (A) HISTORY The European Union has to date limited its activities in relation to franchising to the field of competition law. (i) Pronuptia The examination of franchising

More information

QUESTIONNAIRE ON CONTRACT RULES FOR ONLINE PURCHASES OF DIGITAL CONTENT AND TANGIBLE GOODS

QUESTIONNAIRE ON CONTRACT RULES FOR ONLINE PURCHASES OF DIGITAL CONTENT AND TANGIBLE GOODS QUESTIONNAIRE ON CONTRACT RULES FOR ONLINE PURCHASES OF DIGITAL CONTENT AND TANGIBLE GOODS Information about the respondent 1. Please enter your full name OR the name of the organisation / company / institution

More information

Summary of Advisory Report: Consumer rights in the internal market

Summary of Advisory Report: Consumer rights in the internal market Summary of Advisory Report: Consumer rights in the internal market Foreword In June 2009, the Committee for Consumer Affairs (CCA) of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands presented an advisory

More information

PUBLIC COU CIL OF THE EUROPEA U IO. Brussels, 30 June 2005 (05.07) (OR. fr) 10748/05 LIMITE JUR 291 JUSTCIV 130 CODEC 579

PUBLIC COU CIL OF THE EUROPEA U IO. Brussels, 30 June 2005 (05.07) (OR. fr) 10748/05 LIMITE JUR 291 JUSTCIV 130 CODEC 579 Conseil UE COU CIL OF THE EUROPEA U IO Brussels, 30 June 2005 (05.07) (OR. fr) PUBLIC 10748/05 LIMITE 291 JUSTCIV 130 CODEC 579 OPI IO OF THE LEGAL SERVICE Subject : Proposal for a Regulation of the European

More information

Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts: Advice to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills SUMMARY

Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts: Advice to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills SUMMARY Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts: Advice to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills SUMMARY March 2013 THE LAW COMMISSION AND THE SCOTTISH LAW COMMISSION UNFAIR TERMS IN CONSUMER CONTRACTS:

More information

ROADMAP FOR THE REFIT OF THE CONSUMER LAW ACQUIS 2016

ROADMAP FOR THE REFIT OF THE CONSUMER LAW ACQUIS 2016 The Consumer Voice in Europe ROADMAP FOR THE REFIT OF THE CONSUMER LAW ACQUIS 2016 Comments to the European Commission Contact: Christoph Schmon consumerrights@beuc.eu BUREAU EUROPEEN DES UNIONS DE CONSOMMATEURS

More information

Introduction to the legal framework. COM(2011) 656 final (hereinafter MiFID II).

Introduction to the legal framework. COM(2011) 656 final (hereinafter MiFID II). Baker & McKenzie Belgium Client Alert 10 March 2014 For more information, please contact Pierre Berger Partner pierre.berger@bakermckenzie.com Laura Anckaert Associate laura.anckaert@bakermckenzie.com

More information

EBF preliminary position on the European Commission proposal for an insurance mediation directive (Recast)

EBF preliminary position on the European Commission proposal for an insurance mediation directive (Recast) EBF Ref.: D2142F 10.01.13 Launched in 1960, the European Banking Federation is the voice of the European banking sector from the European Union and European Free Trade Association countries. The EBF represents

More information

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS EUROPEAN COMMISSION Brussels, 27.11.2012 COM(2012) 702 final COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE

More information

Chapter 4 BELGIUM. In Belgium, three sets of rules can apply to the recognition and enforcement of foreign insolvency proceedings.

Chapter 4 BELGIUM. In Belgium, three sets of rules can apply to the recognition and enforcement of foreign insolvency proceedings. CROSS-BORDER INSOLVENCY Chapter 4 BELGIUM 1. Under general law In Belgium, three sets of rules can apply to the recognition and enforcement of foreign insolvency proceedings. First, on European level,

More information

CCBE response to the consultation paper on the European Patent Litigation Certificate Proposals

CCBE response to the consultation paper on the European Patent Litigation Certificate Proposals Conseil des barreaux européens Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe Association internationale sans but lucratif Rue Joseph II, 40 /8 1000 Bruxelles T. : +32 (0)2 234 65 10 F. : +32 (0)2 234 65

More information

Cable Television Networks in Europe. Dr. N.A.N.M. Eijk Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam

Cable Television Networks in Europe. Dr. N.A.N.M. Eijk Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam Cable Television Networks in Europe Dr. N.A.N.M. Eijk Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam The European Commission adopted in October 1995 a directive to allow the carriage of all liberalised

More information

ARTICLE 29 Data Protection Working Party

ARTICLE 29 Data Protection Working Party ARTICLE 29 Data Protection Working Party 11601/EN WP 90 Opinion 5/2004 on unsolicited communications for marketing purposes under Article 13 of Directive 2002/58/EC Adopted on 27 February 2004 This Working

More information

To B2C or Not to B2C. Some Reflections on the Regulation of Unfair Commercial Practices from a Polish Perspective

To B2C or Not to B2C. Some Reflections on the Regulation of Unfair Commercial Practices from a Polish Perspective J Consum Policy (2013) 36:329 342 DOI 10.1007/s10603-013-9229-x ORIGINAL PAPER To B2C or Not to B2C. Some Reflections on the Regulation of Unfair Commercial Practices from a Polish Perspective Monika Namysłowska

More information

Cortés, Sonia and Marquilles, Roger. The European Legal Forum (E) 6-2002, 328-331. 2002 IPR Verlag GmbH München

Cortés, Sonia and Marquilles, Roger. The European Legal Forum (E) 6-2002, 328-331. 2002 IPR Verlag GmbH München Cortés, Sonia and Marquilles, Roger Sales promotion in the EU - The proposed Community Regulation The European Legal Forum (E) 6-2002, 328-331 2002 IPR Verlag GmbH München The European Legal Forum - Internet

More information

Consumer protection from unfair trading

Consumer protection from unfair trading Consumer protection from unfair trading The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (known as the CPRs) cover commercial practices between traders and consumers and introduce a general

More information

Behavioral Targeting Legal Developments in Europe and the Netherlands

Behavioral Targeting Legal Developments in Europe and the Netherlands 1 Behavioral Targeting Legal Developments in Europe and the Netherlands Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius Ph.D researcher, focusing on behavioral targeting and privacy law Institute for Information Law, University

More information

Law 103(I) of 2007 THE UNFAIR BUSINESS-TO-CONSUMER COMMERCIAL PRACTICES LAW. The House of Representatives hereby enacts the following provisions:

Law 103(I) of 2007 THE UNFAIR BUSINESS-TO-CONSUMER COMMERCIAL PRACTICES LAW. The House of Representatives hereby enacts the following provisions: Government Gazette Supplement 1(1) No. 4135, 18.7.2007 Law 103(1)/2007 The Unfair Business-To-Consumer Commercial Practices Law of 2007 is promulgated by publication in the Government Gazette of the Republic

More information

http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/gettext.pl?lang=en&num=79929784c19050239&...

http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/gettext.pl?lang=en&num=79929784c19050239&... Page 1 of 9 IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE - The information on this site is subject to a disclaimer and a copyright notice. JUDGMENT OF THE COURT (Second Chamber) 15 February 2007 (*) (Trade marks Directive 89/104/EEC

More information

CCBE POSITION WITH RESPECT TO THE FREE CHOICE OF A LAWYER IN RELATION TO LEGAL EXPENSES INSURANCE

CCBE POSITION WITH RESPECT TO THE FREE CHOICE OF A LAWYER IN RELATION TO LEGAL EXPENSES INSURANCE CCBE POSITION WITH RESPECT TO THE FREE CHOICE OF A LAWYER IN RELATION TO LEGAL EXPENSES INSURANCE CCBE position with respect to the free choice of a lawyer in relation to legal expenses insurance The Council

More information

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL EUROPEAN COMMISSION Brussels, 25.9.2014 COM(2014) 592 final REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL on the implementation in the period from 4 December 2011 until 31 December

More information

Communication for undertakings that distribute nonmainstream financial products (such as CFD s, binary options, etc.) online

Communication for undertakings that distribute nonmainstream financial products (such as CFD s, binary options, etc.) online Communication FSMA_2014_05 of 25/07/2014 Communication for undertakings that distribute nonmainstream financial products (such as CFD s, binary options, etc.) online Scope: This Communication is addressed

More information

CODE OF ETHICS OF THE PATENT ATTORNEY PROFESSION

CODE OF ETHICS OF THE PATENT ATTORNEY PROFESSION CODE OF ETHICS OF THE PATENT ATTORNEY PROFESSION Pursuant to Article 33, paragraph 2 of the Act No. XXXII of 1995 on Patent Attorneys, as amended, the Hungarian Chamber of Patent Attorneys (hereinafter

More information

Number 28 of 1991 LIABILITY FOR DEFECTIVE PRODUCTS ACT 1991 REVISED. Updated to 10 July 2013

Number 28 of 1991 LIABILITY FOR DEFECTIVE PRODUCTS ACT 1991 REVISED. Updated to 10 July 2013 Number 28 of 1991 LIABILITY FOR DEFECTIVE PRODUCTS ACT 1991 REVISED Updated to 10 July 2013 This Revised Act is an administrative consolidation of the. It is prepared by the Law Reform Commission in accordance

More information

Proposed Code of Ethical Principles for Professional Valuers

Proposed Code of Ethical Principles for Professional Valuers INTERNATIONAL VALUATION STANDARDS COUNCIL Second Exposure Draft Proposed Code of Ethical Principles for Professional Valuers Comments to be received by 31 August 2011 Copyright 2011 International Valuation

More information

Criminality and Gambling: Some Thoughts on the Placanica Ruling of the European Court of Justice

Criminality and Gambling: Some Thoughts on the Placanica Ruling of the European Court of Justice Criminality and Gambling: Some Thoughts on the Placanica Ruling of the European Court of Justice 7th European Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy Issues Putting all the pieces together European Associaton

More information

COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION. of 12.3.2014. on a new approach to business failure and insolvency. (Text with EEA relevance) {SWD(2014) 61} {SWD(2014) 62}

COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION. of 12.3.2014. on a new approach to business failure and insolvency. (Text with EEA relevance) {SWD(2014) 61} {SWD(2014) 62} EUROPEAN COMMISSION Brussels, 12.3.2014 C(2014) 1500 final COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION of 12.3.2014 on a new approach to business failure and insolvency (Text with EEA relevance) {SWD(2014) 61} {SWD(2014)

More information

Broad specifications and use requirements: competition and bad faith considerations

Broad specifications and use requirements: competition and bad faith considerations Broad specifications and use requirements: competition and bad faith considerations Professor Spyros Maniatis Director, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London Consultant, Edwards

More information

COST AND FEE ALLOCATION IN CIVIL PROCEDURE

COST AND FEE ALLOCATION IN CIVIL PROCEDURE International Academy of Comparative Law 18th World Congress Washington D.C. July 21-31, 2010 Topic II.C.1 COST AND FEE ALLOCATION IN CIVIL PROCEDURE National Reporter - Slovenia: Nina Betetto Supreme

More information

Quantitative restrictions on imports and all measures having equivalent effect shall be prohibited between Member States.

Quantitative restrictions on imports and all measures having equivalent effect shall be prohibited between Member States. The Legal Helpdesk Support Schemes and Free Movement Law An overview over the latest developments Dr. Dörte Fouquet, Rechtsanwältin, Partner, BBH Jana Viktoria Nysten, LL.M., Advocaat, Attorney at law,

More information

Quick House Sales. Market Study Annexe A: What are the main laws that may apply to quick house sales? August 2013 OFT1499A

Quick House Sales. Market Study Annexe A: What are the main laws that may apply to quick house sales? August 2013 OFT1499A Quick House Sales Market Study Annexe A: What are the main laws that may apply to quick house sales? August 2013 OFT1499A Crown copyright 2013 You may reuse this information (not including logos) free

More information

REVOCABILITY. Contact: Lars MEINHARDT, Telephone:(32-2) 298.45.87, lars.meinhardt@cec.eu.int

REVOCABILITY. Contact: Lars MEINHARDT, Telephone:(32-2) 298.45.87, lars.meinhardt@cec.eu.int EUROPEAN COMMISSION Internal Market DG FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS Retail issues and payment systems Brussels, 24 September 2003 MARKT/4010/2003 Final Draft A POSSIBLE LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE SINGLE PAYMENT

More information

The New Misleading Marketing Regime May 2008

The New Misleading Marketing Regime May 2008 The New Misleading Marketing Regime May 2008 www.olswang.com 1 On 26 May 2008 two new sets of regulations will come into force in the UK, the first of which protects consumers from unfair, misleading and

More information

CCBE POSITION ON THE PROPOSED ELECTRONIC IDENTITY AND

CCBE POSITION ON THE PROPOSED ELECTRONIC IDENTITY AND CCBE POSITION ON THE PROPOSED ELECTRONIC IDENTITY AND TRUST SERVICES REGULATION (COM(2012) 238/2) CCBE Position on the proposed electronic identity and trust services regulation (COM(2012) 238/2) The Council

More information

Market withdrawal and suspension of marketing authorisation of medicinal product due to good manufacturing practice noncompliance in India

Market withdrawal and suspension of marketing authorisation of medicinal product due to good manufacturing practice noncompliance in India Market withdrawal and suspension of marketing authorisation of medicinal product due to good manufacturing practice noncompliance in India C-269/13 Acino AG vs. European Commission, LS&R 885 Citeersuggestie:

More information

BIS guidance for foreign exchange providers: compliance with consumer protection legislation SEPTEMBER 2012

BIS guidance for foreign exchange providers: compliance with consumer protection legislation SEPTEMBER 2012 BIS guidance for foreign exchange providers: compliance with consumer protection legislation SEPTEMBER 2012 Contents BIS GUIDANCE FOR FOREIGN EXCHANGE PROVIDERS: COMPLIANCE WITH CONSUMER PROTECTION LEGISLATION...

More information

Kristina Koldinská Faculty of Law, Charles University

Kristina Koldinská Faculty of Law, Charles University Kristina Koldinská Faculty of Law, Charles University Directive 2004/113 Scope Definitions Actuarial factors Art. 5 Defence of rights Short evaluation of the Directive Test-Achats case A.G. Kokott opinion

More information

1 Data Protection Principles

1 Data Protection Principles Today, our personal information is being collected, shared, stored and analysed everywhere. Whether you are browsing the internet, talking to a friend or making an online purchase, personal data collection

More information

Client Alert 11 June 2014

Client Alert 11 June 2014 Baker & McKenzie Belgium Client Alert 11 June 2014 For more information, please contact Pierre Berger Partner pierre.berger@bakermckenzie.com Isabelle Van Biesen Associate isabelle.vanbiesen@bakermckenzie.com

More information

E U R O P E A N E C O N O M I C A R E A

E U R O P E A N E C O N O M I C A R E A E U R O P E A N E C O N O M I C A R E A S T A N D I N G C O M M I T T E E O F T H E E F T A S T A T E S Distribution: EEA EFTA 20 March 2012 SUBCOMMITTEE I ON THE FREE MOVEMENT OF GOODS EEA EFTA Comment

More information

Business to business promotions and comparative advertisements. A quick guide to the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008

Business to business promotions and comparative advertisements. A quick guide to the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 Business to business promotions and comparative advertisements A quick guide to the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 This guidance provides an overview of the Business Protection

More information

1. CURRENT TRENDS 2. THE ROLE OF E-COMMERCE IN PROMOTING ACCESS TO FINANCIAL SERVICES 3. OBSTACLES TO E-COMMERCE FOR CREDIT PROVIDERS

1. CURRENT TRENDS 2. THE ROLE OF E-COMMERCE IN PROMOTING ACCESS TO FINANCIAL SERVICES 3. OBSTACLES TO E-COMMERCE FOR CREDIT PROVIDERS Consultation response on the future of Electronic Commerce in the Internal Market and the implementation of the Directive on Electronic Commerce (2000/31/EC) October 2010 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1. CURRENT TRENDS

More information

Some remarks on the material scope of an optional instrument for contract law 1

Some remarks on the material scope of an optional instrument for contract law 1 Matthias E. Storme Some remarks on the material scope of an optional instrument for contract law 1 My contribution is limited to questions concerning the objective or material scope of an optional instrument.

More information

PAYMENT SERVICES AND SYSTEMS ACT (ZPlaSS) CHAPTER 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS SUBCHAPTER 1 CONTENT OF THE ACT. Article 1. (scope)

PAYMENT SERVICES AND SYSTEMS ACT (ZPlaSS) CHAPTER 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS SUBCHAPTER 1 CONTENT OF THE ACT. Article 1. (scope) Legal notice All effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this translation, which is based on the original Slovenian text. All translations of this kind may, nevertheless, be subject to a certain

More information

The Role of the Wettbewerbszentrale in the Enforcement System. against Unfair Commercial Practices in Germany

The Role of the Wettbewerbszentrale in the Enforcement System. against Unfair Commercial Practices in Germany The Role of the Wettbewerbszentrale in the Enforcement System against Unfair Commercial Practices in Germany 1. Introduction Unfair commercial practices, directed either towards consumers or competitors,

More information

Message 791 Communication from the Commission - SG(2012) D/50777 Directive 98/34/EC Notification: 2011/0188/D

Message 791 Communication from the Commission - SG(2012) D/50777 Directive 98/34/EC Notification: 2011/0188/D Message 791 Communication from the Commission - SG(2012) D/50777 Directive 98/34/EC Notification: 2011/0188/D Reaction of the Commission to the response of a Member State notifying a draft regarding a

More information

PRINCIPLES OF THE TRANSFER OF PERSONAL DATA TO A THIRD COUNTRY. Introduction

PRINCIPLES OF THE TRANSFER OF PERSONAL DATA TO A THIRD COUNTRY. Introduction PRINCIPLES OF THE TRANSFER OF PERSONAL DATA TO A THIRD COUNTRY Introduction The continuous globalization of the world economy influences the international transfer of personal data. The transfer of personal

More information

Application of Data Protection Concepts to Cloud Computing

Application of Data Protection Concepts to Cloud Computing Application of Data Protection Concepts to Cloud Computing By Denitza Toptchiyska Abstract: The fast technological development and growing use of cloud computing services require implementation of effective

More information

Adopted by. the Assembly of the Paris Union for the Protection of Industrial Property. and

Adopted by. the Assembly of the Paris Union for the Protection of Industrial Property. and 845(E) Joint Recommendation Concerning Provisions on the Protection of Marks, and Other Industrial Property Rights in Signs, on the Internet (with Explanatory Notes) Adopted by the Assembly of the Paris

More information

A quick guide to competition and consumer protection laws that affect your business

A quick guide to competition and consumer protection laws that affect your business A quick guide to competition and consumer protection laws that affect your business A quick guide to competition and consumer protection laws that affect your business 1 A quick guide to competition and

More information

The Århus Convention by Jens Hamer, ERA

The Århus Convention by Jens Hamer, ERA The Århus Convention by Jens Hamer, ERA I. Introduction This dossier deals with the so called Århus Convention, an international environmental treaty aiming at involving citizens in the environmental decision

More information

Insurance Europe response to Joint Committee consultation on guidelines for cross-selling practices

Insurance Europe response to Joint Committee consultation on guidelines for cross-selling practices Insurance Europe response to Joint Committee consultation on guidelines for cross-selling practices Our reference: COB-DIS-15-038 Date: 20 March 2015 Contact person: Arthur Hilliard, Policy Advisor, Conduct

More information

Peter van Gemert 2. Wouter Pors 3. 1. The Unified Patent Court and the issue of Article 83

Peter van Gemert 2. Wouter Pors 3. 1. The Unified Patent Court and the issue of Article 83 THE EFFECT OF AN OPT OUT UNDER ARTICLE 83 OF THE AGREEMENT ON A UNI- FIED PATENT COURT ON JURISDICTION FOR DECISIONS ON THE MERITS AND PRE- LIMINARY INJUNCTIONS 1 Peter van Gemert 2 Wouter Pors 3 1. The

More information

Proposal for a COUNCIL REGULATION (EU) implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the law applicable to divorce and legal separation

Proposal for a COUNCIL REGULATION (EU) implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the law applicable to divorce and legal separation EUROPEAN COMMISSION Proposal for a Brussels, 24.3.2010 COM(2010) 105 final 2010/0067 (CNS) C7-0315/10 COUNCIL REGULATION (EU) implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the law applicable to divorce

More information

STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS. S.I. No. 281 of 2010 EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (CONSUMER CREDIT AGREEMENTS) REGULATIONS 2010

STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS. S.I. No. 281 of 2010 EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (CONSUMER CREDIT AGREEMENTS) REGULATIONS 2010 STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS. S.I. No. 281 of 2010 EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (CONSUMER CREDIT AGREEMENTS) REGULATIONS 2010 (Prn. A10/0843) 2 [281] S.I. No. 281 of 2010 EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (CONSUMER CREDIT AGREEMENTS)

More information

BUSINESS OCR LEVEL 3 CAMBRIDGE TECHNICAL. Cambridge TECHNICALS ASPECTS OF CONTRACT AND BUSINESS LAW CERTIFICATE/DIPLOMA IN F/502/5452 LEVEL 3 UNIT 16

BUSINESS OCR LEVEL 3 CAMBRIDGE TECHNICAL. Cambridge TECHNICALS ASPECTS OF CONTRACT AND BUSINESS LAW CERTIFICATE/DIPLOMA IN F/502/5452 LEVEL 3 UNIT 16 Cambridge TECHNICALS OCR LEVEL 3 CAMBRIDGE TECHNICAL CERTIFICATE/DIPLOMA IN BUSINESS ASPECTS OF CONTRACT AND BUSINESS LAW F/502/5452 LEVEL 3 UNIT 16 GUIDED LEARNING HOURS: 60 UNIT CREDIT VALUE: 10 ASPECTS

More information

PRINCIPLES OF EU ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

PRINCIPLES OF EU ENVIRONMENTAL LAW COOPERATION WITH NATIONAL JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS IN THE FIELD OF EU ENVIRONMENTAL LAW WORKSHOP ON EU LEGISLATION PRINCIPLES OF EU ENVIRONMENTAL LAW European Commission, European Environment Agency EU environmental

More information

Main characteristics of EU Law Relations between EU Law and National Legal Systems

Main characteristics of EU Law Relations between EU Law and National Legal Systems European Institute of Public Administration - Institut européen d administration publique Main characteristics of EU Law Relations between EU Law and National Legal Systems Tomasz KRAMER Lecturer European

More information

The European Guide to Data Law

The European Guide to Data Law The European Guide to Data Law European Data Law 1.0 Introduction & Definitions 1.1 Introduction Recent legislation in the European Parliament related to data protection and privacy, and its various implementations

More information

INTERNAL MARKET SCOREBOARD

INTERNAL MARKET SCOREBOARD Annual Report 2012 EFTA Surveillance Authority INTERNAL MARKET SCOREBOARD No. 31 32 EEA EFTA STATES of the EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA July 2013 Event No: 374279 INTERNAL MARKET SCOREBOARD No. 32 EEA EFTA STATES

More information

In electronic form on the EUR-Lex website under document number 32011M6389

In electronic form on the EUR-Lex website under document number 32011M6389 EN Case No COMP/M.6389 - ENI / NUON BELGIUM / NUON WIND BELGIUM / NUON POWER GENERATION Only the English text is available and authentic. REGULATION (EC) No 139/2004 MERGER PROCEDURE Article 6(1)(b) NON-OPPOSITION

More information

SALES AND MARKETING OF MOBILE CONTENT SERVICES

SALES AND MARKETING OF MOBILE CONTENT SERVICES SALES AND MARKETING OF MOBILE CONTENT SERVICES These guidelines incorporate the laws governing mobile content services and explain the sales and marketing requirements for these services set down in the

More information

1999 No. 2083 CONSUMER PROTECTION. The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999

1999 No. 2083 CONSUMER PROTECTION. The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS 1999 No. 2083 CONSUMER PROTECTION The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 Made - - - - 22nd July 1999 Laid before Parliament 22nd July 1999 Coming into force 1st October

More information

MARKETING LAW and UNFAIR COMPETITION

MARKETING LAW and UNFAIR COMPETITION MARKETING LAW and UNFAIR COMPETITION April 27, 2015 Stojan Arnerstål stojan.arnerstal@jur.uu.se Marketing Need to consider various legal areas: Marketing law Intellectual property rights Competition law

More information

DRAFT GUIDANCE DOCUMENT ON THE LOW VOLTAGE DIRECTIVE TRANSITION

DRAFT GUIDANCE DOCUMENT ON THE LOW VOLTAGE DIRECTIVE TRANSITION EUROPEAN COMMISSION Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Industrial Transformation and Advanced Value Chains Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing Systems DRAFT

More information

REPORT FOR THE HEARING in Case E-1/97

REPORT FOR THE HEARING in Case E-1/97 E-1/97/34 REPORT FOR THE HEARING in Case E-1/97 REQUEST to the Court under Article 34 of the Agreement between the EFTA States on the Establishment of a Surveillance Authority and a Court of Justice by

More information

Working Document 02/2013 providing guidance on obtaining consent for cookies

Working Document 02/2013 providing guidance on obtaining consent for cookies ARTICLE 29 DATA PROTECTION WORKING PARTY 1676/13/EN WP 208 Working Document 02/2013 providing guidance on obtaining consent for cookies Adopted on 2 October 2013 This Working Party was set up under Article

More information

INTERNAL MARKET SCOREBOARD. No. 34

INTERNAL MARKET SCOREBOARD. No. 34 Event No: 374279 INTERNAL MARKET SCOREBOARD No. 34 EFTA STATES of the EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA July 2014 EFTA SURVEILLANCE AUTHORITY Event No: 374279 MAIN FINDINGS 34th INTERNAL MARKET SCOREBOARD of the

More information

Position of the Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen on social media marketing of 3 May 2012

Position of the Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen on social media marketing of 3 May 2012 Position of the Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen on social media marketing of 3 May 2012 Contents Introduction 1. General information 2. Marketing messages must be identifiable as marketing 3. Unsolicited electronic

More information

CONSULTATION RESPONSE BY THOMPSONS SOLICITORS SCOTLAND

CONSULTATION RESPONSE BY THOMPSONS SOLICITORS SCOTLAND CONSULTATION RESPONSE BY THOMPSONS SOLICITORS SCOTLAND SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT CONSULTATION ON THE DRAFT ORDER IN COUNCIL FOR THE TRANSFER OF SPECIFIED FUNCTIONS OF THE EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL TO THE FIRST TIER

More information

Joint Recommendation Concerning Provisions on the Protection of Well-Known Marks. adopted by

Joint Recommendation Concerning Provisions on the Protection of Well-Known Marks. adopted by 833(E) Joint Recommendation Concerning Provisions on the Protection of Well-Known Marks adopted by the Assembly of the Paris Union for the Protection of Industrial Property and the General Assembly of

More information

Data protection at the cost of economic growth?

Data protection at the cost of economic growth? Data protection at the cost of economic growth? Elina Pyykkö* ECRI Commentary No. 11/November 2012 The Data Protection Regulation proposed by the European Commission contains important elements to facilitate

More information

Codes of Conduct for Direct Selling

Codes of Conduct for Direct Selling European Codes of Conduct for Direct Selling European Codes of Conduct for Direct Selling 1 European Codes of Conduct for Direct Selling Adopted in 1995 Amended in June 1999, November 2000, May 2004 and

More information

The reform of the EU Data Protection framework - Building trust in a digital and global world. 9/10 October 2012

The reform of the EU Data Protection framework - Building trust in a digital and global world. 9/10 October 2012 The reform of the EU Data Protection framework - Building trust in a digital and global world 9/10 October 2012 Questionnaire addressed to national Parliaments Please, find attached a number of questions

More information

PROPOSAL FOR A DIRECTIVE ON CONTRACTS FOR THE

PROPOSAL FOR A DIRECTIVE ON CONTRACTS FOR THE The Consumer Voice in Europe PROPOSAL FOR A DIRECTIVE ON CONTRACTS FOR THE SUPPLY OF DIGITAL CONTENT BEUC preliminary position Contact: Agustín Reyna - digital@beuc.eu BUREAU EUROPÉEN DES UNIONS DE CONSOMMATEURS

More information

The Danish Bar and Law Society

The Danish Bar and Law Society The Danish Bar and Law Society 1 Law Practicing in Denmark 1.1 History and Views on Law Practicing in Denmark 1.1.1 The development of the societal status of law practicing in Denmark In Denmark the Profession

More information

Official Journal of the European Communities

Official Journal of the European Communities 11. 6. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities L 166/45 DIRECTIVE 98/26/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 19 May 1998 on settlement finality in payment and securities settlement

More information

GUIDANCE NOTE ON THE CONCEPT OF RELIANCE

GUIDANCE NOTE ON THE CONCEPT OF RELIANCE Final version of 23/02/2009 COCOF 09/0002/01-EN EUROPEAN COMMISSION DIRECTORATE-GENERAL REGIONAL POLICY GUIDANCE NOTE ON THE CONCEPT OF RELIANCE ON THE WORK OF OTHER AUDITORS DISCLAIMER This is a Working

More information