Act on Market Practices
and Consumer Protection
new Act on Market Practices and Consumer Protection has been published
and comes into force today. This act replaces the Trade Practices Act of
14 July 1991.
The most important innovations of
this new law are briefly discussed below:
1. The new act gives
new definitions on enterprise, consumer and product with important
2. Price reductions
The condition that the
seller must have continuously applied the same higher price during the
month prior to the price reduction has been abolished. However, in such a
case, the seller must always refer to the lowest prices applied for the
product during the month prior to the reduction of the price.
Furthermore a seller is free to announce a price reduction in the manner
he likes, only the announcement may not be misleading and the buyer
must be informed of the old price or able to easily calculate the old
3. Seasonal sales
Sales of all kind of products are
The waiting period is only mandatory for clothing, shoes
and leather products and it will be shorter.
that a seasonal sale must take place in a physical premise has been
abolished. From now on seasonal sales can be held on the Internet.
The prohibition to request a payment prior to
the end of the cancellation period is abolished. This cancellation
period is extended from 7 into 14 days.
5. Combined offers
the Trade Practices Act of 14 July 1991 provided for a general
prohibition of combined offers, the new act expressly allows such
orders. Only combined offers which constitute an unfair commercial
practice are prohibited. However, the prohibition of combined offers
remains in force for financial services.
6. Prohibition of
selling at a loss.
The prohibition of selling at loss remains in
force, but the prohibition of selling with an extremely limited profit
margin is abolished.
7. The act introduces a prohibition of
opt-out options for internet-sales.
8. Use of languages
information required by law, user instructions and commercial
warranties no longer need to be in the languages of the regions where
the goods or services are sold to the consumer.