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Consumer Policy in the EU

Latest news on the consumer policies of the European Union.

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.

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.