Common European Sales Law: does it have any future?

Common European Sales Law: does it have any future?

What does the future hold?

Tricky to say really. When I was a wee child we were supposed to be living on the moon by now wearing metallic jumpsuits.

That didn't quite happen.

I also recall the episode of Tomorrow's World where they said that CDs were scratch proof.

Ha! That didn't quite happen either.

So what about the proposed Common European Sales Law (CESL)? This proposal has gone through so many iterations we may indeed be living on the moon polishing our jumpsuits and listening to scratchless CDs by the time it comes into force. 

That said, the CESL did recently receive strong backing for its implementation by the European Parliament.

So what is it and why should you care?

This optional EU-wide contract law is designed to promote the 'Digital Single Market' by providing a single set of rules for the marketing of digital products and related services, if traders and consumers decide to opt for it instead of the 28 sets of national rules from member states.

In theory, the CESL should cut transaction costs for small businesses, while giving consumers greater choice at cheaper prices when shopping across borders.

So what will the impact of the optional CESL be on UK sellers and those further abroad? Here's our interview with Beverley Flynn of Stevens & Bolton (published in our Lexis®PSL Commercial service late last month) where she comments on the possible implications of the proposals.

How will the proposed law affect transactions?

UK seller to UK customer

If implemented, the CESL will apply to cross-border distance and online transactions, therefore domestic sales will continue to be governed by UK sales legislation. Member states would have the option to make this law applicable to domestic contracts, however given the UK’s stance on the CESL to date this may not be exercised.

UK seller to other EU based customer

A UK business selling to another consum

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