EU adopts new rules on sales contracts for goods and digital content

The EU is introducing new rules to make it easier and safer for consumers to buy and companies to sell both goods and digital content cross-border.

The Council today adopted a package comprising a directive on contracts for the supply of digital content and services (Digital content directive), and a directive on contracts the sales of goods (Sales of goods directive). This formal adoption marks the end of the legislative procedure.

The objective is to provide a high level of protection and legal certainty for European consumers, in particular when buying across borders as well as to make it easier for businesses, especially SMEs, to sell EU-wide.

  • The European Union is boosting consumer rights for Europeans and creating new business opportunities for EU companies. Companies will be able to cut red tape when they want to expand and start selling across the Union. This will help in particular SMEs to extend their operations in other EU countries.

          Niculae Bădălău, Minister of Economy of Romania

  • Consumers will benefit from a higher level of protection thanks to the EU. They will be entitled to remedies when they buy anything from clothes to complex goods, such as smart watches, or when they purchase cloud services, antivirus software or e-books.

          Tudorel Toader, Minister of justice of Romania

The digital content directive introduces a high level of protection for consumers paying for a service but also for those providing data in exchange for such service. The new rules foresee in particular that, if it is not possible to fix defects within a reasonable amount of time, the consumer is entitled to a price reduction or full reimbursement. Moreover, the guarantee period cannot be shorter than two years.

The sale of goods directive will apply to all goods, including those products with a digital element (e.g. smart fridges).  The new rules introduce a two years minimum guarantee period (from the time the consumer receives the good) and  a one year period for the reversed burden of proof in favour of the consumer. Countries can go beyond those times to maintain their current level of consumer protection.

Next steps

The texts will now be formally signed and publish in the Official journal. Member states will have two years to transpose the new rules into their national law.

Background

The "digital content directive" concerns the supply of digital content and covers: data produced and supplied in digital form (e.g. music, online video, etc.), services allowing for the creation, processing or storage of data in digital form (e.g. cloud storage), services allowing for the sharing of data (e.g. Facebook, YouTube, etc.) and any durable medium used exclusively as a carrier of digital content (e.g. DVDs). 'Over the top' interpersonal communication services (OTTs), bundle contracts and the processing of personal data are included within the scope of the DCD directive.

The "sales of goods directive" concerns all sales of goods, whether than happens physically (in shops), online or in any distance sale. Goods with a digital component (e.g. smart fridge or intelligent watch) are covered by this directive.

Both directives are based on the principle of maximum harmonisation, which means member states cannot deviate from the requirements. However, on some aspects, some room is foreseen for EU countries to go beyond the requirements in order in particular to maintain the level of consumer protection already applied at national level.

Source: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019/04/15/eu-adopts-new-rules-on-sales-contracts-for-goods-and-digital-content

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The National Conference on Social Assistance in Penitentiaries – The participation of Tudorel TOADER, Minister of Justice

The Psychosocial Assistance Service of the Iasi Penitenciary, in partnership with the Sociology and Social Assistance Department, Faculty of Philosophy and Socio-Political Sciences, University “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” from Iasi, organized the first edition of the National Conference on Social Assistance in Penitentiaries, on March 14-16, 2019, in Iasi.

The Conference had the role to respond to the needs of continuous professional training of specialists that are involved in the process of social reintegration of inmates. The conference was attended by specialists and practitioners from the National Administration of Penitentiaries, lectors from the Universities of Iasi, Cluj, Bucharest, Timisoara, Romanian Academy members, representatives of the Municipality and the Iași County Council, numerous public institutions and NGOs, as well as distinguished guests from the Kingdom of Sweden, from Republic of Moldova and from the Italian Republic.

During the Conference sessions, topics regarding the origins and typology of criminal behaviors, theoretical and practical elements regarding the role of social assistance for the social reinsertion of inmates, the mechanism and the importance of the institutional cooperation in the process of social reinsertion and the prevention of reoffending were discussed.

In this context, Tudorel TOADER, Minister of Justice, emphasized the importance and the role of interinstitutional cooperation in view of the successive phases of the social reintegration process, as they are mentioned in the National Strategy for the social reintegration of inmates.

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In the context of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Ministry of Justice, in collaboration with the Council of Europe (Cybercrime Programme Office of the Council of Europe in Bucharest) organised the Conference on „Criminal Justice in Cyberspace”, between February 26-27, 2019, in Bucharest.

The working sessions benefited from the participation of representatives and experts in cybercrime from the EU member states, from the european institutions, from the Eastern Partnership states, from the states that signed the Budapest Convention and from service providers.

While cyberthreats and their impact are increasing and touching upon core values of societies in Europe and worldwide, criminal justice authorities are faced with complex challenges.

At the same time, solutions are in place or are being developed. Examples are the e-evidence proposals at the European Union or the preparation of an additional Protocol to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime at the Council of Europe.

Both organisations have been supporting capacity building on cybercrime worldwide.

In this context, in the opening speech, the minister of justice emphasized the following: „This conference purpose is to offer a dialogue framework for the experts from many different states, not only from the EU member states, and the experts in personal data protection and from the private sector regarding the ways through which the cyberspace will become a space of freedom and safety, where the law is respected.”

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In the context of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Ministry of Justice, in collaboration with the Council of Europe (Cybercrime Programme Office of the Council of Europe in Bucharest), organizes the Conference on „Criminal Justice in Cyberspace”

On February 26th, 2019, the Minister of Justice, Tudorel TOADER, had a meeting with Mrs. Gabriella BATTAINI – DRAGONI, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

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The meeting represented a great opportunity for strengthening the mutual relations between the participants.

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The meeting of Mr. Tudorel TOADER, Minister of Justice, with Mr. Łukasz PIEBIAK, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Justice of Poland

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