The EU Consumer Rights Directive

The following Commercial practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The EU Consumer Rights Directive
  • Scope of the EU CRD
  • Goods, services or digital content supplied for free
  • Key definitions
  • Consumer and trader
  • Distance contract
  • Off-premises contract
  • Business premises
  • Contracts other than off-premises and distance contracts (on-premises contracts)
  • Sales contract
  • More...

The EU Consumer Rights Directive

This Practice Note provides an overview of Directive 2011/83/EU (OJ L 304/64), the EU Consumer Rights Directive (EU CRD). It explains the scope of the EU CRD, key definitions including the differences between distance, off-premises and other contracts, what information must be provided to the consumer, and the consumer’s cancellation rights.

It also considers the rules on additional payments, payment surcharges, help-lines, and delivery and passing of risk, as well as the impact of the EU CRD on UK legislation and upcoming developments.

The European Commission issued guidance on the EU CRD (DG Justice Guidance) to facilitate its application, which may assist lawyers advising clients on the EU CRD.

Scope of the EU CRD

The aim of the EU CRD was to encourage growth and consumer confidence by harmonising various rules applicable to traders and consumers when selling or buying in the EU. It repealed Directive 85/577/EEC (OJ L 372/31), the EU Doorstep Selling Directive and Directive 97/7/EC (OJ L 144/19), the EU Distance Selling Directive as of 13 June 2014.

The EU CRD applies to contracts between a trader and a consumer, falling within the following categories:

  1. off-premises contracts—concluded outside of a trader’s business premises (eg at the consumer’s home or workplace)

  2. distance contracts—concluded using distance communication (eg via telephone, internet, mail order, fax etc)

  3. contracts other than off-premises or distance contracts (eg contracts

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