18 avril 2019
Directives on the sale of goods and the sale of digital content and services to consumers, near the end of a lengthy legislative process.
As the Junker presidency of the European Commission nears its end, the ambitious Digital Single Market project has come a surprisingly long way.
Two consumer protection proposals which have stumbled since their original publication in 2015 are now nearing the final stages.
The European Parliament has adopted its first reading positions on the draft consumer protection proposals under the Digital Single Market initiative, namely:
The adopted versions take account of the trilogues concluded at the end of January 2019. The Council is expected to adopt the Directives at its next meeting. There will be up to a two and a half year implementation period following publication in the Official Journal.
The Directives introduce new categories of contracts for digital services and goods with digital elements. This is to ensure that smart goods and ongoing digital supplies are covered.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Digital Content and Digital Services Directive is that it applies not only to paid for content, but to content which is supplied in exchange for personal data, other than personal data required in order to supply the content or to fulfil the trader's legal obligations.
This is a recognition of the increasing value of personal data to businesses and a move to protect consumers where they receive ostensibly free digital content and services while in reality providing something of value to the trader.
Both Directives diverge from the UK's Consumer Rights Act 2013. It is currently unclear to what extent, if any, changes will be made to UK law, or whether the legislation will be passed before the UK exits the EU.
The changes will be relevant to any business trading with consumers in the EU.
The draft Digital Content and Digital Services Directive provides (among other things) that:
The draft Sale of Goods Directive applies to distance and on-premises consumer contracts for the sale of goods. It covers rules on remedies, guarantee periods the burden of proof and traders' obligations and provides that:
par plusieurs auteurs
par plusieurs auteurs