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Trade within the EU

ECC Sweden works, among other things, on informing consumers about their rights in cross-border trade in another EU country, Iceland, Norway or the UK. We also assist in individual event of problems that can arise.

Do you want help with a consumer question?

Legal guarantees

Regardless of whether purchasing locally or by e-commerce, you have the right of redress in case of a faulty and often receive additional commercial guarantees. The ECC Network has prepared a report on legal guarantees. It also sheds light on commercial warranties. This report was updated in 2019.

Commercial warranties – Are they worth the money

Summary – Commercial warranties – Are they worth the money

Car purchases

Buying a car is among the major investments in life. Better prices and a broader range on the pre-owned market often entice consumers to buy a car abroad. Here, it is good to be familiar with the consumer rights and to be prepared. It is also good to have a grasp of other rules, such as those concerning registration and insurance.

The ECC Network has prepared a report on buying a car and practical advice to consumers. There is also specific information on car purchase and car registration for each country gathered at the ECC France website.

The ECC France website information on car purchase

E-commerce

ECC Sweden has the assignment as the contact point for e-commerce. This means that we not only address consumers, but also inform traders about consumer rights in e-commerce.

Contact point assignments

Reports for traders and consumers about e-commerce

E-commerce is continuously growing. It is therefore enticing for companies to offer their goods and services in other countries. However, it can be difficult to keep track of all rights and obligations a trader has in relation to a consumer in cross-border trade.

In 2014, the ECC Network published a report for traders with practical checklists and a knowledge test. A report addressed to consumers was also published. The ECC Network also published practical checklists for consumers on e-commerce in general and on specific topics, such as dating, unsolicited goods and sample packages. The topics were chosen based on the ECC Network’s statistics on complaints from consumers.

E-commerce report – Highlights for traders

E-commerce report – Highlights for consumers

Checklist for consumers – General e-commerce

Checklist for consumers – Dating Websites

Checklist for consumers – Unsolicited products

Checklist for consumers – Free package samples

Unfair business practices

There are some misleading and aggressive methods where companies entice consumers with free offers or other "too-good-to-be-true-offers" attracting the consumers' interest. ECC Sweden informs consumers about their rights and assists with their problems by handling individual cases. We also work together with other supervisory authorities to make consumers aware of these selling. The ECC Network has mapped misleading methods that occur in e-commerce in a report from 2013 on online fraud. At the same time, ECC Sweden together with Austria, Belgium, France and Germany investigated whether or not one can rely on “trustmarks”. Trustmarks indicate that a web shop is certified and complies with certain rules. That same year, the ECC Network prepared an overview of information on trustmarks in Europe.

Fraud in cross-border E-Commerce

Trust marks information to consumers

Trust marks report 2013 – “Can I trust the trustmark?”

Counterfeit products

When consumers shop online, it is not always clear what they are buying and from whom. The European Consumer Centres receive cases where consumers bought forgeries and copies without realising it. The consumer often believes that the web shop is located within the EU, but in actuality it is located in Asia, for example. In 2016, ECC Sweden participated in a joint network project on pirate copies. The project was led by ECC Belgium. ECC Croatia and ECC Italy also participated. The project was aimed at informing consumers to be cautious and think critically about price, among other aspects, and if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. The report also resulted in a brochure with tips on how to avoid purchases of counterfeit products online.

Report – The impact of counterfeiting on online consumer rights in Europe

Brochure – Is it safe to buy counterfeit goods

ECC Sweden is part of a national network against counterfeit products, together with six other government agencies.

National collaboration

Subscription traps

Subscription traps are offers of free or inexpensive products that lead to expensive subscriptions for the person who provides consent. The consumer usually needs to pay with his or her bank card to receive the offer or to pay for the shipping of the gift. In 2017, ECC Sweden led a project on subscription traps. The European Consumer Centres in Denmark, Finland, Norway and France participated.

Subscription traps in 6 EU countries

ECC Sweden discussed the problems of subscription traps in the stakeholder group Pan-Nordic, which also discusses problems with card payments.

National collaboration

Card complaints

The ECC Network has mapped the situation for card complaints in the various EU/EEA countries. The mapping concerns the possibility to get assistance with repayment by the bank through a chargeback. It shows that most of the countries in the EU, Iceland and Norway have similar routines for chargebacks and that there is a possibility to have a dispute addressed in an alternative dispute resolution body (ADR). It is also possible to turn to FIN-NET for guidance on where cross-border financial disputes can be addressed. FIN-NET is a network of alternative dispute resolution bodies and organisations for the resolution of financial disputes.

About Fin-Net on the European Commission's website

When paying with a credit card, the consumer has a legal right to get his or her money back with the help of the bank if the seller does not respect the consumer's rights. When paying with a debit card, there is not a legal right to get help from the bank. However, there are internal rules in the card systems that give the bank a possibility, under certain conditions, to help the consumer even if the payment was made with a debit card.

The consumer should first try to solve the problem directly with the seller before they can ask the bank for help. This is regardless of whether the payment was made by credit card or debit card.

Chargeback in the EU/EEA

Relevant EU legislation

Source: ECC Sweden

Proofread: 2 November 2020