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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


European Parliament seals two deals to increase consumer protection and strengthen rules on food labelling

18 August 2011

Within the space of two weeks, the European Parliament voted through two important pieces of legislation for the consumer goods and retail sector that have been the subject of negotiations since 2008; one in relation to consumer rights generally, and the other in relation to food labelling. While the latter is logical in its approach, the former is a messy legal act that covers everything from buying music online to ordering tailor made curtains by mail order and - as a result - requires all manner of exceptions and caveats, the most amusing of which is a recital dealing with the situation where a wedding dress is delivered after the wedding day. The new rules in particular on withdrawal from a distance contract are heavily weighted in favour of consumers. However, harmonisation of consumer rights will also facilitate internationalisation of online retailing within the EU.

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