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Consumers in the European Union

09/18/2009
 

Consumers in the European Union

ECC: Enhancing the consumers’ protection on the common European Market

Have you encountered problems related to complaints in another EU Member State? Aren’t you aware of your consumers’ rights when purchasing on the common European Market? Refer to the European Consumer Centre (ECC) for the CR. Its lawyers are ready to provide you with advice or help you with your particular problem with a foreign seller.
  • helps consumers with solving complaints and disputes with sellers of products and services in the Member States of the European Union, Norway and Iceland,
  • provides counselling and information on consumers’ rights on the common European market and on enforcement of such rights,
  • arranges alternative dispute resolutions related to cross-border consumers disputes (ADR; link to ADR is available here - in Czech langauge only),
  • helps consumers from the EU countries, Norway and Iceland with disputes with Czech sellers.

High success rate of cross-border dispute resolutions with sellers is based on the co-operation of 29 members within the European Consumers Centres network in EU countries, Norway and Iceland. The ECC lawyers assess justification of the demands of damaged consumers on the basis of documents on the purchase of the product or service, and existing communication with the foreign seller. The case is subsequently forwarded to the colleagues in the country concerned who contact the seller. The seller mostly remedies his illegal conduct upon their request.
ECC deals with cases (complaints) in any amount. They are mostly unresolved cases of complaints related to electronics purchased via the Internet, cases when goods were not delivered, unpaid reimbursement for damaged luggage within air transportation, complaints about services in travel industry, etc. That is to say that goods and services purchased in the EU countries, Norway and Iceland are concerned.

Contacts:

European Consumer Centre
within the Czech Trade Inspection Authority
Štěpánská 15
120 00 Prague 2

e-mail: esczavinac.gifcoi.cz
web: www.coi.cz/esc
phone: +420 296 366 155

History of the ECC in the CR:

By the end of 2004, the European Commission approved the application of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIP), which is responsible for the area of consumers’ protection in the CR. Since 1st January 2005, the European Consumer Centre was established. ECC was co-financed by the EU which covered 70% of costs during the first two years of operation. The remaining part was covered by MIP, within which ECC was established. Since 2007, the EC and the EU Member State have been taking equal parts in funding, thus each covers 50 % of the costs. Since 1st January 2009, the ECC has been operating within the Czech Trade Inspection Authority.

Source: Europan Consumer Centre