The German government has presented a bill to strengthen consumer protection in competition and trade law. This is intended to bring German law into line with European developments.
As part of a comprehensive fitness check of consumer and marketing law in the European Union by the European Commission, it was determined that several legal acts of the European Union that protect consumers are in need of modernization and, in addition, that the possibilities for enforcing consumer protection law must be improved. To this end, Directive (EU) 2019/2161 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 amending Council Directive 93/13/EEC and Directives 98/6/EC, 2005/29/EC and 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council to improve the enforcement and modernization of Union consumer protection laws was adopted.
It requires the Member States of the European Union in its Article 7(1), first subparagraph, to adopt and publish by 28 November 2021 the measures necessary to comply with Directive (EU) 2019/2161.
Directive (EU) 2019/2161 provides, inter alia, for amendments to Directive 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2005 concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market and amending Council Directive 84/450/EEC, Directives 97/7/EC, 98/27/EC and 2002/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EC) No. 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council (Unfair Commercial Practices Directive), as amended by Directive (EU) 2019/2161 (OJ L 328, 18.12.2019, p. 7). The aim of these amendments is, in particular, more effective sanctioning of cross-border violations of consumer protection regulations, access for consumers to adequate and effective
remedies and improving transparency in online commerce.
In addition, Directive (EU) 2019/2161 allows the member states of the European Union to provide for regulations to combat abusive practices in connection with sales journeys via an opening clause in the fully harmonizing Directive 2005/29/EC.
The Bundestag will discuss the bill in its first reading on March 26, 2021, after which it will be referred to the lead committee for legal affairs and consumer protection for further discussion.