Commission publishes updated guidance documents on the Omnibus Directive

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On 17 December, the European Commission published the updated guidance documents on the interpretation and application of the Omnibus Directive. The Commission previously announced in its New Consumer Agenda that the existing guidance documents would be updated to take into account the changes made in the New Deal for Consumer’s Directive on better enforcement and modernization of EU consumer protection (Omnibus Directive).

In particular, the updated guidance documents aim to better explain the application of EU consumer law in light of the accelerated digital and green transition. With regards to digital, a new notice was adopted on the application of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, providing additional legal interpretation on, for instance, obligations of online platforms and marketplaces, influencer marketing, consumer reviews, data-driven personalisation and so called ‘dark patterns’. Additionally, the notice on the Consumer Rights Directive addresses questions regarding contracts where the consumer provides personal data, obligations of online marketplaces, personalised prices, and the consumer’s right of withdrawal from contracts. Furthermore, the notice on the Price indication Directive provides guidance on the scope of application of the Article 6a, referring to price reductions and ‘prior’ price.

On sustainability, the notice on the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive also provided additional information on environmental claims and how they should be presented to consumers, as well as on practices such as  environmental claims and planned obsolescence.

New proposals on consumer law are expected to be published to complement and amend the existing legislations mentioned above. For example, the European Commission intends to further amend the CRD and the UCPD through its proposal on empowering consumers in the green transition (expected on 30 March 2022).

Member States had to transpose the new rules from the Omnibus Directive in their national laws by 28 November 2021 and have to apply these new national laws from 28 May 2022. These updated notices add to the guidance on the Unfair Contract Terms Directive from 2019.

You can read Ecommerce Europe’s position on the price reduction rules under the Omnibus Directive here. If you would like to receive more information on this topic and on upcoming developments, please reach out to info@ecommerce-europe.eu

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