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 ...

Summary of the initiative

The Directive 2005/29/EC aims to clarify consumers' rights and boost cross-border trading by harmonising EU rules on business-to-consumer commercial practices. The Directive fully harmonises the laws of the Member States relating to unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices. Annex I of the Directive contains a list of commercial practices which shall in all circumstances be regarded as unfair and which are prohibited throughout the EU. Whether commercial practices that are not included in Annex I are unfair and thus prohibited, must be assessed on a case-by-case basis in the light of the criteria laid down in Articles 5 to 9 of the Directive. Certain rules on advertising to children are also set out. The Directive recognises codes of conduct as a way to promote fair business practices. According to Article 10 of the Directive, "The Directive does not exclude the control, which Member States may encourage, of unfair commercial practices by code owners and recourse to such bodies by the persons or organisations referred to in Article 11 if proceedings before such bodies are in addition to the court or administrative proceedings referred to in that Article. Recourse to such control bodies shall never be deemed the equivalent of foregoing a means of judicial or administrative recourse as provided for in Article 11." (Article 11 concerns the enforcement at MS level).

Description of the Initiative

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