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IP/10/1590

Brussels, 24 November 2010

Consumers: Commission urges Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden to transpose the Consumer Credit Directive

The European Commission has asked Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden to notify national implementing measures as required by the Consumer Credit Directive 2008/48/EC. The request takes the form of a "reasoned opinion" under EU infringement procedures. In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may decide to refer these Member States to the EU's Court of Justice.

Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden have not communicated the measures implementing the Consumer Credit Directive (2008/48/EC).

Member States were supposed to implement the Consumer Credit Directive before 11 June 2010, but Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden have failed to do so.

The Commission initiated the infringement procedure, described in Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), earlier this year by sending a letter of formal notice to the seven Member States. By sending a reasoned opinion, the Commission formally requests those Member States to take action to comply with EU law within a period of two months. Subsequently, the Commission may decide to refer the Member States to the Court of Justice of the European Union if action to ensure compliance is not taken.

Background

Developing a more transparent and efficient credit market is vital for EU consumers who need to be able to compare credit offers available on the Single Market, including cross-border in other EU countries. The Consumer Credit Directive (2008/48/EC) is a piece of forward-looking EU legislation which takes into account the continuously developing market in consumer credit and the increasing mobility of European citizens. The Directive can be adapted to future forms of credit and allows Member States the appropriate degree of flexibility in their implementation. It should thus help to establish a modern body of law on consumer credit.

The Directive aims to harmonise certain aspects of the national laws and regulations concerning credit for consumers, and to offer a sufficient degree of consumer protection to ensure consumer confidence. It allows for the free movement of credit offers to take place under optimum conditions for both those who offer credit and those who require it, with due regard to specific national situations.

The objective is to provide for a harmonised EU framework in a number of core areas. One of these core areas is the calculation of the Annual Percentage Rate of Charge (APR). The provisions in this area are intended to guarantee a high and equivalent level of consumer protection throughout the European Union.

For more information on the infringement procedure, please see: MEMO/10/605

For more information on consumer financial services, please visit:

http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/rights/fin_serv_en.htm


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