Consumer protection forms an integral part of the EEA law. It seeks to provide consumers with adequate protection against providers of the goods and services.
EEA legislation in the field of consumer protection generally provides for minimum levels of protection. This means that EEA States are allowed to maintain or introduce national provisions that ensure a higher level of consumer protection than EEA rules. Examples of legislation introducing minimum levels of protection include:
- Rules on the prohibition of misleading advertising
- Consumer credit
- Unfair terms in consumer contracts
- Package travel
- Time-sharing contracts
- Distance selling contracts
In 2007, the Commission launched a process to review all EU consumer legislation, with a view to simplifying and completing existing legislation and adapting it to new market developments. As a result, a wide number of rules on consumer protection have been or are in the process of being replaced.
In order to strengthen consumer law enforcement, a network – the CPC Network – has been set up for co-ordinated action against cross-border breaches of EEA consumer rules. The CPC Network, in which the EFTA States participate, carries out joint market surveillance and enforcement exercises. In 2007, for example, an EEA-wide sweep on airline ticket selling websites was carried out, resulting in more transparency and improved compliance with EEA consumer protection rules in that sector.
- Annex XIX (PDF)
- All acts listed in Annex XIX are available on EUR-Lex
- Website of the European Commission, DG SANCO, Consumer Affairs
- Commission web-pages on cross-border enforcement and cooperation