Changes to how consumers are protected online and the high street

Seventy-one per cent of people in the EU shop online. Image: Shutterstock

The EU has proposed changes to how consumers are protected online on and the high street.

Online sales have increased steadily in the last 20 years and in 2020 and boomed during the pandemic.

Seventy-one per cent of consumers shopped online, often buying new technology products. From wireless earplugs and air purifiers to gaming consoles, the market for technological gadgets is vast.

The EU’s General Product Safety Regulation will address risks related to these new technology products, such as cybersecurity risks, and to online shopping by, introducing product safety rules for online marketplaces.

It will ensure that all products reaching consumers, through online marketplaces or from the neighbourhood shop, are safe, whether coming from within the EU or from outside. The new Regulation will also make certain that marketplaces fulfil their duties so that consumers do not end up with dangerous products in their hands.

Vera Jourova, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, said, “Consumers face many challenges, especially in the digital world which revolutionised shopping, services or financial markets. This is why we are stepping up consumer protection on two fronts: we are making it easier for consumers to avoid risks related to having a credit and we are putting even stronger rules for product safety in place. It will also put more responsibility on market players and make it more difficult for bad actors to hide behind complicated legal jargon.”

The revision of the Consumer Credit Directive provides that information related to credits must be presented in a clear way, adapted to the digital devices so that consumers understand what they are signing up for.

Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice, added, “The Covid-19 crisis has impacted consumers in multiple ways and many have faced financial difficulties. The digitalisation that has been accelerated by the pandemic, leads to a surge of online shopping and is profoundly changing the financial sector. It is our duty to safeguard consumers, in particular, the most vulnerable ones. With our revision of the existing EU rules on consumer credit and general product safety, that’s exactly what we do!”

The Commission’s proposals will be discussed by Council and Parliament.

Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to check The Euro Weekly News for all your up-to-date local and international news stories.


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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.


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