Last night, 'trilogue' negotiations between the European Commission, Council and Parliament were concluded on changes to the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, part of the new deal for consumers released by the Commission last year, aimed at tackling among others the unfair practice of so-called “dual quality” by companies operating across different Member States. In September, the European Parliament called for the first time to put an end to the practice of companies producing different quality products for different parts of Europe without the consumer being clearly informed of such a difference.
Julia Reda Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur on the file comments:
"Last night's outcome is a wasted opportunity to stop companies from selling different quality products in different countries under the same brand. Not only does this practice undermine the notion of the Single Market, but the status quo allows companies to treat citizens from certain countries as second class. It's bad for people's health and consumer rights to allow companies to market same-branded products of differing qualities.
"This deal creates loopholes that will force authorities to investigate complaints on a case-by-case basis, which will leave it up to consumers to prove they have been misled when buying a product of a specific brand with a different composition from one country to another."