On 17 January, the Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation (2017/2394) has entered into application. The new rules replace an old CPC Regulation from 2006. The regulation focuses on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws. It establishes a cooperation framework to allow national authorities from all countries in the European Economic Area to address breaches of consumer rules together in cases where the trader and the consumer are based in different countries. The new CPC Regulation aims to increase the level of public enforcement of consumer rules, making sure consumers in Europe are better protected. The regulation already entered into force on 16 January 2018 and applies from 17 January 2020.
Together, all the national authorities form a new European enforcement network, the “CPC Network”. The network was already set up in 2007 to enable authorities to share best practices and provide a mutual assistance mechanism. In 2014, the network was expanded when the involved authorities agreed on coordinated positions in areas where they had shared interests. According to the European Commission, this has forced traders involved in cross-border problematic practices to change them, for instance in case of malpractices in car rentals and ‘in-app’ purchases in online games.
The CPC network cooperates on consumer rules in areas such as:
- unfair commercial practices
- comparative advertising
- package holidays
- online selling
- passenger rights.
The new Regulation that has now become applicable, will further improve the existing framework by ensuring stronger coordinated mechanisms to investigate and tackle widespread infringements and allowing cooperation on infringements of short duration, such as misleading advertising campaigns.