UK Government Publishes Brexit ‘No Deal’ Guidance Notices on Consumer Rights
The UK Government recently published Brexit ‘no deal’ guidance notices outlining the consequences of Brexit in case of no deal for the consumer protection and describe the plan of UK in this area.
The notice discusses several areas of consumer protection, among others:
- consumer protection and cross-border protection
- alternative dispute resolution and online dispute resolution;
- package travel
- textile labeling
- footwear labeling
Of particular interest to C2P users are the following areas:
- Consumer protection and cross-border enforcement
- Alternative Dispute Resolution and Online Dispute Resolution
- Textile labeling
- Footwear labeling
Consumer protection and cross-border enforcement
The implications of no-deal Brexit:
- The UK government is taking steps to ensure that after exit UK consumers will retain the protections they currently have when buying from UK businesses.
- UK consumers will no longer be able to use the UK courts effectively to seek redress from EU based traders, and if a UK court does make a judgment, the enforcement of that judgment will be more difficult as we will no longer be part of the EU. In addition, there will no longer be reciprocal obligations on the UK or EU Member States to investigate breaches of consumer laws or take forward enforcement actions.
- UK consumers would need to seek redress through the courts of that state rather than UK courts.
Alternative Dispute Resolution and Online Dispute Resolution
Consumers perspectives in case of no-deal Brexit:
- The UK will no longer have access to the Online Dispute Resolution platform is run by the European Commission for the Member States
- UK-based Alternative Dispute Resolution organizations will no longer be required to act in cross-border disputes. UK competent authorities, who approve Alternative Dispute Resolution providers, will no longer be required to report to the European Commission on the status of their Alternative Dispute Resolution activity.
- Consumers may no longer be able to use Alternative Dispute Resolution organizations to resolve their cross-border disputes.
Consequences of no deal Brexit in area of textile labeling:
Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011 on textile fiber names and related labeling and marking of textile products. will be retained into UK law through the EU Withdrawal Act.
The requirements the retained regulation sets out will only apply to textile products when these are placed or made available in the UK market, rather than the EU.
The Secretary of State will be responsible for approving a new textile name or manufacturing tolerance for the UK market.
UK Secretary of State will be able to modify, through secondary legislation, the same requirements of the regulation that the European Commission is currently able to modify through delegated acts. These requirements are as follows:
the list of approved textile fibre names
minimum requirements for the technical file submitted when a manufacturer applies for a new textile fibre name
special provisions for the labeling and marketing of certain textile products such as corsets and embroidered textiles
the list of textile products for which labeling or marking is not mandatory.
the list of textile products for which inclusive labeling is sufficient to set out in Annex VI of Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011 as retained into UK law.
the list of items not to be taken into account for the determination of fiber composition
the methods for the quantitative analysis of binary and ternary textile fibre mixtures
the agreed allowances (testing tolerances) used to calculate the mass of fibres contained in a textile product
The economic operator (usually a business or retailer) placing textile products on the UK market will be responsible for complying with the existing requirements to label or mark textile products with their fibre composition and as such should consider taking steps to ensure compliance.
Businesses wishing to introduce a new textile name or manufacturing tolerance should make their application to the Secretary of State.
The definition of a ‘responsible person’ in relation to footwear products included in the 1995 Regulations (The 1995 Regulations implement an EU Directive: Directive 94/11/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 March 1994 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to labeling of the materials used in the main components of footwear for sale to the consumer)will be changed to the following:
- The manufacturer (this has not changed from the 1995 Regulations);
- The manufacturer’s authorized agent established in the UK (instead of the EU)
- The person who first places the footwear on the UK market (instead of the EU market)
More information is available on the website of UK Government.