On 28.05.2022, amendments to the CPA came into force, which concern all online retailers.
We remind you and recommend that you contact your lawyer to interpret the changes in the context of your business and take appropriate action in a timely manner.
The amendment to the CPA introduces new rules and obligations of traders regarding the protection of consumer rights - sanctions imposed for violations, online trading and trading through online platforms, unfair trading practices, price reductions and more.
The new requirements are accompanied by property sanctions and fines in significant amounts.
The main changes in the CPA are the following:
1. New hypotheses of unfair commercial practices or misleading practices
The following are treated as unfair commercial practices:
providing search results in response to an online consumer search without clearly notifying the user of any paid advertising or any payment made in order to achieve a better ranking of products in the search results;
resale of event tickets to consumers if the merchant has acquired them by using an automated means to circumvent any restrictions on the number of tickets a person can purchase or any other requirements applicable to the purchase of tickets;
statements that product reviews have been sent by users who have actually used or purchased the product without reasonable and proportionate measures to verify that the reviews have been made by those users;
publishing / providing false consumer reviews or recommendations or assigning a natural or legal person to provide false reviews or consumer recommendations, or falsifying consumer feedback or public recommendations in order to promote the sale of products.
It is a misleading practice to offer a product in one EU Member State as identical to a product marketed in another EU Member State where that product has significant differences in composition or characteristics. An exception is allowed only if it is justified by lawful and objective factors.
2. Additional obligations for the trader
Additional obligations for the trader have been introduced as follows:
Each announcement of a price reduction should indicate the previous price applied by the trader for a certain period of time before the introduction of the price reduction. According to European law, "previous price" means the lowest price applied by the trader for a period of not less than 30 days before the introduction of the price reduction. The obligation does not apply to food and other perishable goods, but the period must be no less than 7 days before the date of the price reduction. In case of progressive price reduction, the previous price is the price without reduction before the first price reduction.
3. The meaning of some of the concepts is changed and new ones are added:
'Product' shall mean any good or service, including immovable property, digital service and digital content, and rights and obligations;
'Online trading venue' means a service which, through the use of software, including a website, part of a website or application, operated by or on behalf of a merchant, allows users to enter into distance contracts with other merchants or users;
'Contract of sale' means any contract by virtue of which the trader transfers or undertakes to transfer ownership of the goods to the consumer, including any contract having as its object both goods and services;
"Service contract" means any contract, other than a sales contract, under which the trader provides or undertakes to provide the consumer with a service, including a digital service.
4. Consumer protection
compensation for damages suffered by the consumer and, where appropriate, until the price is reduced or the contract is terminated.
5. Additional specific requirements for the provision of information by the provider for contracts concluded in online trading venues
We advise all online store retailers with us, regardless of the platform used, to be aware of the changes and to consult with their lawyers in case they have doubts about whether their store meets the requirements.