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Injunctions for the protection of consumers

Injunctions should be effective enough to terminate infringements which are harmful to the collective interests of consumers. The harmonisation of national laws in this field aims at fostering the smooth functioning of the internal market.

ACT

Directive 2009/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on injunctions for the protection of consumers’ interests (Codified version) (Text with EEA relevance).

SUMMARY

Injunctions aim at terminating or prohibiting infringements which are contrary to the collective interests of consumers. The approximation of legislation performed by this Directive allows the effectiveness of these injunctions to be increased and the internal market to function more smoothly.

The infringements at issue cover in particular consumer credit, package travel, unfair terms in contracts concluded with consumers, distance contracts and unfair commercial practices. The directives concerned are listed in Annex I.

Recourse to injunctions may result in:

  • enjoining the cessation or prohibition of an infringement, where appropriate by way of summary procedure;
  • eliminating the continuing effects of an infringement, particularly through the publication of the decision;
  • sentencing defendants to comply with a decision by constraining them to pay a fine.

Without prejudice to the rules of private international law, the applicable law is normally either that of the Member State where the infringement was committed, or the State in which it produces its effects.

Entities qualified to bring an action have a legitimate interest in ensuring that the collective interests of consumers and the smooth running of the internal market are complied with. This is the case for independent public bodies, specifically responsible for protecting the collective interests of consumers, or consumer protection organisations.

A list of the qualified authorities that may bring action in the event of intra-Community infringements is established by the Commission and published in the Official Journal of the European Union. In this case, the qualified entities included in the list should have the capacity to bring an action before the legal or administrative authorities of the Member State where the infringement took place.

The Member State in which an action is to be brought may decide whether there should be prior consultation between the parties, in the presence or not of a qualified entity from that Member State. If the infringement continues for more than two weeks after the request for consultation has been received, the action for an injunction may be brought immediately.

Context

Directive 98/27/EC was repealed on 29 December 2009 by Directive 2009/22/EC. The latter codifies the successive amendments to Directive 98/27/EC.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 2009/22/EC

29.12.2009

1.1.2001

OJ L 110 of 1.5.2009

RELATED ACTS

Commission communication concerning Article 4(3) of Directive 2009/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on injunctions for the protection of consumers' interests,which codifies Directive 98/27/EC, concerning the entities qualified to bring an action under Article 2 of this Directive [Official Journal C of 31.3.2012].

Last updated: 22.03.2013
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