EU’s directive on unfair commercial practices lobbied for change

An alliance of three global business organisations has called for widespread changes to the EU’s proposed directive on unfair commercial practices, saying the current draft “undermines legal certainty and confidence in cross-border trade”.

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Eurocommerce and EU organisation Unice have called on the European Parliament to substantially amend the directive . They say changes already made by EU ministers would hinder trade.

The ICC is particularly concerned about the deletion of a country of origin principle, guaranteeing businesses that their own national law would apply in disputes with foreign EU consumers. “Business deeply regrets the political decision to remove [this], which was critical to companies,” said the ICC.

Eurocommerce opposes ministers insisting that businesses must ensure they do not cause difficulties for “vulnerable consumers”, rather than the “average consumer” written into the original European Commission proposal. It said: “Given the wide definition of ‘vulnerable’ to include the aged and children, this will also lead to wide differences in interpretation, with divergence between those countries that interpret what can be done.”