Consumer sales and guarantees in europe
par David Guitton
University of Exeter - LLM in International Business Law 2010
Consumer Sales and Guarantees in Europe
University of Exeter - School of Law - LLM in International Business Law Supervised by Professor A. Garde
In sales contracts, consumers are protected on a multilevel basis. Indeed, European rules, in particular the Directive of 1999 on certain aspect of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantee, stand alongside the provisions of Member States themselves.
At the national level, the form and the content of consumer protection vary greatly. In France, the system of latent defect and «garantie des vices caches» appears to be complicated and is not designed for consumers' use. Conversely, in the UK, consumers are granted with a right to reject faulty goods on which they can efficiently rely. As a matter of fact, these differences have not been lessened by the Directive of 1999 which provides for minimal harmonisation.
The Commission observes that this practice of minimal harmonisation has led to the fragmentation of the regulatory framework in Europe. This is contrary to its goals to strengthen the internal market by increasing cross-border transactions and reinforcing consumer confidence. This is why it has launched on 2008 a Proposal on consumer rights providing for a full harmonisation Directive. However, both this method and the Proposal's content itself appear to lead to a great decrease in consumer protection. In addition, the Proposal fails in achieving the other objectives it has been assigned.
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