As part of its duties, the MPC is responsible for the negotiation of European documents and draft laws, transposing them into national legislation and, more specifically, into the Consumption Code.
Here, the following elements are noteworthy:
The introduction of a collective recourse mechanism
The introduction of a collective recourse mechanism aims to make consumer rights easier to protect.
Collective recourse contributes to greater justice for all by allowing joint recourse for a large number of consumers having been harmed in the same or a similar way.
It is also useful for the professionals under attack because it prevents the proliferation of individual cases.
To note that the draft legislation gives great weight to out-of-court settlements by means of mediation.
The draft law shall be amended once the proposal for the Directive concerning representative actions that the MPC has negotiated for Luxembourg is passed.
Application of legislation on consumer protection
Along with other competent authorities, the MPC has been entrusted with the protection of consumers’ collective interests.
With the draft law on the application of consumer protection legislation, the existing rules will be adjusted to bring them in line with Regulation (EU) 2017/2394, which replaces the provisions adopted in 2004.
Transposition of European Directives
- Sale of Goods Directive (SGD) (EU) 2019/771 and Digital Content Directive (DCD) 2019/770
The transposition of Directives 2019/771 and 2019/770 into Luxembourgish law will update the rights of consumers concerning compliance guarantees for new consumer goods, e.g. connected goods (such as smartphones, smartwatches etc.).
Consumers will also be protected within the framework of contracts to supply digital content and services (e.g. smartphone applications, online services, etc.).
- Among other changes, the transposition of Directive 2019/2161 (known as the Omnibus Directive) will introduce rules allowing the Luxembourgish authorities to impose more efficient sanctions against professionals.
Depending on the case, professionals who do not respect consumer rights may incur a fine totalling up to 4% of their turnover, or 2 million euros
Moreover, the MPC performs a number of activities to ensure consumer rights are respected.
The main activities are:
The MPC constantly monitors the pricing of products and services.
Every year, in addition to routine checks in stores, two to three sectoral surveys are carried out. The choice of the surveys depends on the complaints from consumers or on the development of a specific branch.
As a member of the international Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) network, the MPC responds to requests for information and implementation from the other CPC member states within the framework of investigations into infractions on Luxembourgish territory and in relation to professionals located in the country.
Every year, the MPC participates in the joint “Sweep” survey, which is coordinated by the European Commission.
The MPC is also responsible for the list of consumer credit intermediaries.
Protection of air passenger rights
In Luxembourg, the MPC acts as the national enforcement body (NEB) in the field of air passenger rights for flights departing from and landing in Luxembourg, provided the flights are operated by an EU company.
It is responsible for checking that airlines respect passenger rights as set forth in the respective European regulation.
If passengers are unsuccessful in settling a dispute with a given airline, they can contact the NEB. This body then analyses the case and, if applicable, takes the necessary measures to ensure that air passenger rights are complied with, as set forth by the European regulation.
The new Luxembourg Consumer Protection Association (ULC) and the European Consumer Centre (ECC)
The aim of the financial aid is to support these bodies in their mission to inform and assist individual consumers.
The Consumer Council is a tripartite consultative body.
It is composed of representatives from various ministries, professional bodies and consumer protection associations.
It is presided by a representative from the MPC.