News item

Victory for UK consumers

The Trading Standards Institute is delighted to see its opposition vindicated as plans for a full harmonisation of consumer rights across the EU are abandoned.

TSI set out its concerns of the negative impact resulting on UK consumers in its response to the Consumer Rights Directive consultation in February 2009 and subsequently to a House of Lords select committee.

TSI’s chairman David Sanders said: ‘The Consumer Rights Directive had the potential to set back the consumer cause in the UK almost a century.  One consequence of full harmonisation for a UK consumer would be the loss of four years – or three in Scotland – in which to pursue a remedy for faulty goods.
‘In our view a two-year regime would not be sufficient for life’s more expensive purchases where the product is expected to give good service perhaps for decades.
‘This change of heart is a victory for our existing high standards that can continue to benefits consumers and businesses alike.’

An amended version of the Directive, which is expected to use the principle of ‘targeted harmonisation’ instead of ‘maximum harmonisation’, is due to be presented in April.