Consumer Law Developments

Over the past 5 years, the EU has launched several legislative initiatives aimed at revamping EU consumers protection laws.  One such initiative was the “New Deal for Consumers” adopted by the European Commission on April 11, 2018.  The New Deal for Consumers amends existing EU consumer legislation in order to, on the one hand, strengthen the enforcement of the rules in light of a growing risk of EU-wide infringements and, on the other hand, modernize these rules to address more recent market developments (see here).  Among other things, this update included changes to the enforcement regime, to ensure greater harmonization and allow for the possibility of higher fines (i.e., up to 4% of a trader’s annual turnover in the Member State(s) where the breach occurred).

On November 13, 2020, the European Commission launched another initiative in this space – the so-called “New Consumer Agenda” (see here) – that sets out an updated strategic framework for EU consumer policy.  Similar to the New Deal for Consumers, the New Consumer Agenda aims to not only modernize and strengthen the enforcement of existing EU consumer law, but also at tackle new challenges to consumer rights brought about by the EU’s green and digital strategies, the COVID pandemic, and plans for post-COVID recovery.

Finally, the European Commission has also launched several other consumer-related legislative initiatives, such as a new proposal to repeal and replace the 2008 Consumer Credit Directive (see here).

Consumer Law Webinars

On December 7, 2021, Covington hosted the third and final webinar in its series dedicated to the latest EU policy developments in the area of consumer law.  This final webinar in the series focused on conformity standards and safety requirements for certain products and services, namely the:

  • Sales of Goods Directive (2019, replaced previous Directive from 1999);
  • Digital Content and Services Directive (2019);
  • Liability for Defective Products Directive (1985, amended in 1999, and under review);
  • Upcoming New EU Product Safety Regulation; and
  • Market Surveillance and Compliance of Products Regulation (2019).

You can access the webinar here.  The first and second part of the series are also available on demand, here and here.  They focus on the EU’s New Deal for Consumers and the enforcement of consumer law in Europe, respectively.

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Photo of Kristof Van Quathem Kristof Van Quathem

Kristof Van Quathem advises clients on information technology matters and policy, with a focus on data protection, cybercrime and various EU data-related initiatives, such as the Data Act, the AI Act and EHDS.

Kristof has been specializing in this area for over twenty…

Kristof Van Quathem advises clients on information technology matters and policy, with a focus on data protection, cybercrime and various EU data-related initiatives, such as the Data Act, the AI Act and EHDS.

Kristof has been specializing in this area for over twenty years and developed particular experience in the life science and information technology sectors. He counsels clients on government affairs strategies concerning EU lawmaking and their compliance with applicable regulatory frameworks, and has represented clients in non-contentious and contentious matters before data protection authorities, national courts and the Court of the Justice of the EU.

Kristof is admitted to practice in Belgium.

Photo of Moritz Hüsch Moritz Hüsch

Moritz Hüsch is partner in Covington’s Frankfurt office and co-chair of Covington’s Technology Industry Group and Covington’s Internet of Things (IoT) Group. His practice focuses on complex technology- and data-driven licensing deals and cooperations, outsourcing, commercial contracts, e-commerce, m-commerce, as well as privacy…

Moritz Hüsch is partner in Covington’s Frankfurt office and co-chair of Covington’s Technology Industry Group and Covington’s Internet of Things (IoT) Group. His practice focuses on complex technology- and data-driven licensing deals and cooperations, outsourcing, commercial contracts, e-commerce, m-commerce, as well as privacy and cybersecurity.

Moritz is regularly advising on issues and contracts with respect to IoT, AV, big data, digital health, and cloud-related subject matters. In addition, he regularly advises on all IP/IT-related questions in connection with M&A transactions. A particular focus of Moritz’s practice is on advising companies in the pharmaceutical, life sciences and healthcare sectors, where he regularly advises on complex licensing, data protection and IT law issues.

Moritz is regularly listed as one of the best lawyers in the areas of IT and data protection, among others by Best Lawyers in cooperation with Handelsblatt, Wirtschaftswoche and Legal 500.

Photo of Cándido García Molyneux Cándido García Molyneux

Cándido García Molyneux provides clients with regulatory, policy and strategic advice on EU environmental and product safety legislation. He helps clients influence EU legislation and guidance and comply with requirements in an efficient manner, representing them before the EU Courts and institutions.

Cándido…

Cándido García Molyneux provides clients with regulatory, policy and strategic advice on EU environmental and product safety legislation. He helps clients influence EU legislation and guidance and comply with requirements in an efficient manner, representing them before the EU Courts and institutions.

Cándido co-chairs the firm’s Environmental Practice Group.

Cándido has a deep knowledge of EU requirements on chemicals, circular economy and waste management, climate change, energy efficiency, renewable energies as well as their interrelationship with specific product categories and industries, such as electronics, cosmetics, healthcare products, and more general consumer products.

In addition, Cándido has particular expertise on EU institutional and trade law, and the import of food products into the EU. Cándido also regularly advises clients on Spanish food and drug law.

Cándido is described by Chambers Europe as being “creative and frighteningly smart.” His clients note that “he has a very measured, considered, deliberative manner,” and that “he has superb analytical and writing skills.”

Photo of Anna Oberschelp de Meneses Anna Oberschelp de Meneses

Anna Sophia Oberschelp de Meneses is an associate in the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group.  Anna is a qualified Portuguese lawyer, but is both a native Portuguese and German speaker.  Anna advises companies on European data protection law and helps clients coordinate…

Anna Sophia Oberschelp de Meneses is an associate in the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group.  Anna is a qualified Portuguese lawyer, but is both a native Portuguese and German speaker.  Anna advises companies on European data protection law and helps clients coordinate international data protection law projects.  She has obtained a certificate for “corporate data protection officer” by the German Association for Data Protection and Data Security (“Gesellschaft für Datenschutz und Datensicherheit e.V.”). She is also Certified Information Privacy Professional Europe (CIPPE/EU) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).  Anna also advises companies in the field of EU consumer law and has been closely tracking the developments in this area.  Her extensive language skills allow her to monitor developments and help clients tackle EU Data Privacy, Cybersecurity and Consumer Law issues in various EU and ROW jurisdictions.