Q&As

What are the changes for distance selling under the Consumer Rights Directive?

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Published on LexisPSL on 06/03/2014

The following Commercial Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What are the changes for distance selling under the Consumer Rights Directive?
  • I sell goods online, what is the Consumer Rights Directive?
  • How will the Consumer Rights Directive be implemented in the UK?
  • How does it affect me, what's different about it?
  • What should I do now?

I sell goods online, what is the Consumer Rights Directive?

The Consumer Rights Directive 2011/83/EU aims to consolidate and update the law on distance (and doorstep) selling and is intended to be implemented in Member States by 13 June 2014. Currently, if you sell online, your activities are covered by the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000, SI 2000/2334 as amended.

How will the Consumer Rights Directive be implemented in the UK?

The Government published the draft regulations in August 2013 for consultation and in December 2013 published its response  to that consultation, along with the final version of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, SI 2013/3134 and accompanying guidance. The new laws take effect from 13 June 2013. For information about them, see Practice Note: Consumer Rights Directive—summary.

How does it affect me, what's different about it?

Many of the provisions on what information you must give to consumers are already required by existing legislation and will be familiar to traders. However, you must now provide a model cancellation form to consumers (previously this was only required for doorstep sales) although they do not have to use it when they cancel as long as they tell you clearly that they wish to cancel.

Another point to note for your website is that it must be absolutely clear to the consumer that when they press 'submit', that

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