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Consumer Policy in the EU

Latest news on the consumer policies of the European Union.

GDPR working, but not well enough: EU report
While most EU Member States have set up the legal framework for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), more is needed if the new data protection regime is to be fully effective, says a new report.

Airbnb decides to conform to EU consumer rules
Following its negotiations with Airbnb, the EU Commission announced Thursday that the accommodation platform had improved and 'fully clarified' the way it presents offers to consumers.

EU approves unprecedented cuts to single-use plastics
EU ministers gave final approval Tuesday to new laws to tackle marine litter coming from single-use plastic products found on European beaches, as well as abandoned fishing gear and oxo-degradable plastics.

Systems for tobacco traceability and security features
Articles 15 and 16 of the Tobacco Products Directive 2014/40/EU (TPD) provide for EU-wide systems of traceability and security features for tobacco products to address the issue of illicit trade.

Tobacco traceability and security features
The European systems of tobacco traceability and security features became operational on 20 May 2019. The markings will enable national authorities to track and trace the movements of these packs across the legal supply chain in the EU.

Track & trace system bolsters EU fight against illicit tobacco trade
A new system of tobacco traceability became operational in Europe Monday, with the first EU producers requesting and receiving traceability markings for cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco products.

Price caps introduced on international calls within the EU
A new maximum price for all international calls and SMS within the EU applies from 15 May, when consumers calling another EU country will pay a maximum amount of 19 cents per minute (+VAT).

Caps on international calls and SMS within the EU
As of 15 May, a new maximum price will apply for all international calls and SMS within the EU.

EU sets out guidelines for ethical articial intelligence
Based on work of a group of independent experts, the EU Commission launched Monday a pilot phase to ensure that ethical guidelines for Artificial Intelligence (AI) development and use can be implemented in practice.

Half dangerous goods coming to EU made in China: report
More than half of all dangerous products detected by the EU's 'Safety Gate for dangerous products' came from China, according to the European Commission's 2018 report released Friday.

Safety Gate: the rapid alert system for dangerous non-food products
The Safety Gate rapid alert system enables quick exchange of information between 31 European countries and the European Commission about dangerous non-food products posing a risk to health and safety of consumers.

Safety Gate for dangerous products 2018
The European Commission released on 5 April its 2018 report on the Safety Gate for dangerous products, the former Rapid Alert System.

EU ecodesign and energy labels under auditors' scrutiny
The European Court of Auditors said Wednesday it is assessing the contribution EU measures for ecodesign and the energy labelling of products make to EU energy efficiency and environmental objectives.

Consumer goods to get simpler EU energy labels
New energy efficiency labels for lighting, fridges, TV screens, dishwashers and washing machines, adopted Monday by the EU Commission, will enable consumers to better understand how much energy their appliances consume.

Amazon not obliged to provide phone no for consumers: EU Court Opinion
Amazon and other e-commerce platforms are not obliged to make a telephone number available for consumers on their web pages, the EU top Court's Advocate General stated in an Opinion on Thursday.

EU lawmakers vote to tighten checks on unsafe products
EU lawmakers gave their approval Thursday to better enforcement of rules on products, tighter checks on the safety of goods sold in the EU, and improving the coordination of market surveillance.

EU agrees provisional deal to strengthen consumer rights online
The EU institutions reached a draft deal Tuesday on new rules to make it easier and safer to buy and sell both goods and digital content across borders - including software, streaming or game downloads.

EU fines Mastercard EUR 570m for breaking antitrust rules
The EU Commission fined Mastercard EUR 570 million Tuesday for breaching EU antitrust rules, by preventing merchants finding better conditions with by banks established elsewhere in the Single Market.

EU plastics law will put thousands out of work
The business of serving food and drinks in the EU is worth about €450 billion today, about 5% of EU GDP, and growing 5% annually.

EU agrees new rules for spirit drinks
EU institutions reached a political agreement Tuesday on new rules for the production and labelling of spirit drinks and for the registration and protection of spirit drinks registered as geographical indications.

EU Parliament votes to upgrade rail passenger rights
Updated rules to EU rail passengers' rights should include higher compensation rates for delays and better assistance to people with reduced mobility, the EU Parliament said in a vote Thursday.

Brussels sets out strategy on hormone disrupting chemicals
The EU Commission unveiled a long-awaited strategy on endocrine disrupting chemicals Wednesday, with the aim of protecting consumers against harmful chemicals which change our hormonal system.

Council clarifies position on EU plastics ban
EU Member States agreed their position Wednesday on a proposal to ban single-use plastics, clarifying the products covered and proposing that producers of plastic items cover the costs of litter clean-up.

European banks offer fees transparency from 31 Oct
New EU rules for banks and financial services providers, in force from 31 October, require them to be more transparent and open about the fees they charge related to opening and maintaining bank accounts.

Access to bank accounts
EU rules allow consumers to open and change bank accounts anywhere in the EU. The directive on payment accounts gives people in the EU the right to a basic payment account regardless of a person's place of residence or financial situation. The directive also improves the transparency of bank account fees and makes it easier to switch banks.