Ref. Ares(2018)280952 - 17/01/2018
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL JUSTICE and CONSUMERS
Directorate E: Consumers
Unit E.2 : Consumer and Marketing Law
Mr Peter Teffer
Rue Montoyer 18B
Your access to documents request on penalties notifications - GESTDEM
Dear Mr Teffer,
I refer to the access to documents request of 8 January 2018 in which you ask for
Member States' notifications on the implementation of the provisions on penalties
referred to in Article 13 of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive 2005/29/EC.
Actually, Directive 2005/29/EC does not provide for a specific notification on penalties,
but only the general obligation of Member States to inform the Commission about their
national transposition measures according to Article 19. Those notifications concern the
overall transposition of Directive 2005/29/EC which was due in 2007 so that most
notifications date back to that year. Those Member States that subsequently amended
their transposition laws should have notified also their new transposition measures.
However, this is not specifically related to penalties either.
The national transposition measures concerning Directive 2005/29/EC are available in
the UCPD database which is available under the following link: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/ucp/public/index.cfm?event=public.home.show
However, the UCPD database has not been updated since 2012 as its content is currently
being merged into the Consumer Law Database which will go online within the coming
weeks as part of the e-justice portal.
There has not been any specific communication from the European Commission to
Member States about the provisions on penalties referred to in Article 13 of the Unfair
Commercial Practices Directive 2005/29/EC.
In its Communication of 14 March 2013 to the European Parliament and the Council on
the application of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, COM(2013)138, the
Commission pointed out the following in chapter 2.3.: "Member States and stakeholders
appear to consider national enforcement of the Directive, in general terms, adequate and
effective but signal that the lack of resources, the complexity or length of internal
procedures and the lack of deterrent sanctions threaten to undermine its proper
." You can access the Communication under the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/consumer-marketing/files/ucpd_communication_en.pdf
Commission européenne/Europese Commissie, 1049 Bruxelles/Brussel, BELGIQUE/BELGIË - Tel. +32 22991111
The issue of penalties is also addressed in the Commission's first report of 14 March
2013 on the application of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, COM(2013)139,
under chapter 4 (Enforcement), see http://ec.europa.eu/justice/consumer-marketing/files/ucpd_report_en.pdf
I seize the opportunity to draw your attention to the European Commission's Inception
Impact Assessment (IIA) of 30 June 2017 and the subsequent online public consultation
concerning a targeted revision of EU consumer law directives, among others the Unfair
Commercial Practices Directive. IIA and consultation documents are available under the
following links: http://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/initiatives/ares-2017-3287178_en
Both IIA and the consultation documents raise the question whether Member States
should have available more proportionate, effective and deterrent financial penalties to
tackle breaches of consumer laws. The European Commission is currently assessing the
appropriateness of strengthening the financial penalties in EU consumer law directives as
one of the aspects possibly being addressed in the New Deal for Consumers package
listed in Annex II, point 8 of the Commission Work Programme 2018.
I hope that you find the above information useful.
Head of Unit
Electronically signed on 16/01/2018 18:20 (UTC+01) in accordance with article 4.2 (Validity of electronic documents) of Commission Decision 2004/563