Some online purchases turn out to be flops, and occasionally, they are even dangerous. To strengthen consumer rights, the European Parliament and the EU states agreed on a compromise: online retailers and other supply chain companies will bear more responsibility for consumer protection of the products they sell. This was decided in a settlement on the night of 29/11/2022. Above all, recalling dangerous products from the market more quickly was the aim of this agreement.
This mainly concerns goods purchased from online retailers like Amazon or eBay and delivered from non-EU territories. “As a result, products that do not meet our safety standards end up in the internal market,” said Anna Cavazzini (Greens), Chair of the Internal Market Committee in the EU Parliament. Moreover, Cavazzini stressed that the adjustment to online shopping requirements was overdue.
“Under certain circumstances, this person would also have to be liable for damages caused by defective products,” said SPD MEP René Repasi. The aim is to get responsible companies to inform their customers better and, above all, more quickly in future, for example, in the event of recalls. Customers will also have an extended warranty period during which they will be entitled to have dangerous products replaced, repaired, or even refund the purchase price.
Potential savings of about one billion euros expected
When the new rules come into force, EU consumers are expected to save about one billion euros in the first year – up to 5.5 billion over the next ten years, according to the European Parliament. The compromise is considered almost accepted, but formal adoption is still pending. The new rules will come into force with a transitional period of 18 months.
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