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Consumer Policy in the EU

Latest news on the consumer policies of the European Union.

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.

Ending unjustified Geoblocking: a short guide for online traders
On 3 December 2018, new rules on geoblocking will enter into force. These measures part of a wider packet of measures under the Digital Single Market Strategy, aimed at boosting cross-border e-commerce in the European Union. These rules will ensure better access to goods and services offered online, create greater certainty for business and build trust amongst consumers and reduce transaction costs and the administrative burden for businesses.

E-commerce in the EU: How you can make the most out of it as a consumer
The Internet has transformed the way we shop. However, persistent online barriers prevent us from enjoying the full access to the goods and services being offered by businesses in the EU. Since the launch of the Digital Single Market Strategy in May 2015, the European Union has been working to break down these barriers. This factsheet summarises what the EU has been doing to boost e-commerce and to create new opportunities for consumers, turning the Digital Single Market into a reality.

EU Parliament approves ban on single-use plastics
Single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks or cotton buds, will be banned from the EU market from 2021, under plans approved by the European Parliament on Wednesday.

31m fake goods seized at EU borders in 2017
Customs authorities detained over 31 million fake and counterfeit products at the EU's external border with a street value of over EUR 580m, according to figures released Thursday by the EU Commission.

September switch-off for halogen light bulbs in EU
Energy intensive and inefficient halogen light bulbs can no longer be sold across the EU as of 1 September, helping consumers save on energy bills and helping the EU to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

New Ecodesign rules for light bulbs, applicable from September 2018
As of 1 September 2018 energy intensive and inefficient halogen light bulbs can no longer be sold across the European Union.

Digital rights open up for holidaymakers across EU
Following the end of roaming charges across the European Union last year, holidaymakers are now able to travel with their online TV, film, sports, music or e-book subscriptions at no extra cost.

VW yet to guarantee post-dieselgate emissions repairs
VW is yet to guarantee its emissions repairs do not affect its cars' performance, the EU Commission said Tuesday in its conclusions on the 8.5 million car recalls made after the 'dieselgate' scandal.

Online markeplaces sign EU pledge on product safety
Four major online marketplaces, Alibaba (for AliExpress), Amazon, eBay and Rakuten - France signed a commitment Monday for faster removal of dangerous products sold on their online marketplaces.

Telecoms sites misleading customers, EU sweep shows
Sites offering telecoms services could be infringing EU consumer law, according to results of an EU-wide screening of websites offering fixed/mobile phone, internet, audio and video streaming services.

EU raises recycling targets for circular economy
The European Parliament backed ambitious targets for recycling Wednesday under legislation on waste and the circular economy intended to benefit the environment, climate, and human health.

European consumers offered right to collective redress
The EU Commission proposed Wednesday a European collective redress right as part of a 'New Deal for Consumers' to ensure that all European consumers fully benefit from their rights under Union law.

New Deal for Consumers
The European Commission proposed on 11 April a New Deal for Consumers to ensure that all European consumers fully benefit from their rights under Union law.

Cheap euro transfers to be extended to non-euro states
The European Commission proposed Wednesday to make cross-border payments in euro cheaper across the entire EU, instead of only for transactions between Member States of the eurozone.

Cross-border payments
The European Commission proposed on 28 March to make cross-border payments in euro cheaper across the entire EU.

Digital subscriptions portable from 1 April
From 1 April 2018 onwards, Europeans will be able to access the online content that they have subscribed to at home, wherever they are in the EU, EU institutions made clear in a joint statement Tuesday.

Portability of online content services
From 1 April 2018 onwards, Europeans will be able to access the online content that they have subscribed to at home, wherever they are in the EU.

New EU rules against geoblocking come into force
New EU rules against unjustified geoblocking - a discriminatory practice that prevents online customers from buying products from a website based in another member state, entered into force Thursday.

New EU rules promote competition in cross-border parcel delivery services
New rules to provide clearer information on Europe-wide prices of parcel delivery services and boost consumer confidence in cross-border shopping and shipping were approved Tuesday by MEPs.

China still tops EU dangerous products report
53 per cent of dangerous consumer goods reported to the EU originate in China, Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Vera Jourova said Monday as she presented the 2017 annual report on dangerous goods.