Article 186: Action by the Commission to Provide Support in the Promotion of Consumer Welfare and Protection of Consumer Interests

  1.         The Commission shall, for the purpose of providing support to the Member States in the enhancement of consumer education and consumer welfare:

(a) promote in the Community the elaboration, publication and adoption of fair contract terms between suppliers and consumers of goods and services produced or traded in the CSME;

(b) take such measures as it considers necessary to ensure that the Member States discourage and eliminate unfair trading practices, including misleading or deceptive conduct, false advertising, bait advertising, referral selling and pyramid selling;

(c) promote in the Member States product safety standards as part of a programme of consumer education in order to assist the consumer to make informed choices concerning the purchase of consumer goods;

(d) keep under review the carrying on of commercial activities in the Member States which relate to goods supplied to consumers in such States or produced with a view to their being so supplied, or which relate to services supplied for consumers with a view to identifying practices which may adversely affect the interests of consumers;

(e) educate and guide consumers generally in the practical resolution of their problems and in the best use of their income and credit, using such techniques and means of communications as are available;

(f) confer, on request, with consumer organisations of the Member States and offer such advice and information as may be appropriate for the resolution of their consumer problems;

(g) establish  the  necessary co-ordination with  government agencies and departments for the effective education and guidance of consumers having regard to the programmes, activities and resources of each agency  or department;

(h) conduct research and collect and collate information in respect of matters affecting the interests of consumers;

(i) compile, evaluate and publicise enactments for the protection of consumers in such States and recommend to COTED the enactment of legislation considered necessary or desirable for the protection of consumers;

(j) promote, after consultation with the competent standardising agency and other public and private agencies or organisations, the establishment of quality standards for consumer products;

(k) promote  and  monitor,  after  consultation  with  relevant  agencies  and departments of Government, the enforcement of legislation affecting the interests of consumers, including, but not limited to, legislation relating to weights and measures, food and drugs adulteration, the control of standards and price controls;

(l)         make recommendations to COTED for the enactment of legislation by the Member States for the effective enforcement of the rights of consumers.

  1.         The Commission shall:

(a) draw to the attention of COTED business conduct by enterprises which impacts adversely on consumer welfare;

(b) collaborate with competent Organs of the Community to promote consumer education and consumer welfare.