Legislation in the field of Consumer Protection is covered by Article 72 EEA. EU Consumer Protection legislation is incorporated into Annex XIX to the EEA Agreement. Legislation relating to market surveillance of products is incorporated in Annex II to the Agreement, see Article 23(a) EEA. Iceland and Norway are participating in the European Commission’s Consumer Program 2014-2020, covered by Protocol 31 to the EEA Agreement.
The Working Group on Consumer Affairs is responsible for consumer protection legislation and policies, except for product safety which lies with the EFTA TBT Working Group. The Working Group on Consumer Affairs is following the development of new consumer policies and legislation under the European Commission’s Green Deal, the related Circular Economy Action Plan, and the new Consumer Agenda (from 2021). It follows also the review of the Consumer Credit Directive and the Distance Marketing of Consumer Financial Services Directive.
Consumer protection legislation is aimed at protecting the economic interests, health and safety of consumers and at increasing consumer trust in the Single Market. It covers inter alia unfair commercial practices, misleading advertising, unfair contract terms, package travels and time share.
The Working Group has furthermore the responsibility for EEA-relevant legislation relating to contract rules for the sales of goods and to digital content and services, on co-operation between national enforcement authorities (CPC), and on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers.
For a full and always updated picture of legal acts included in the EEA Agreement in the field of consumer law, see Annex XIX to the Agreement. The EEA EFTA States have issued several EEA EFTA Comments related to proposals from the European Commission.
The European Consumer Centres, which exist also in Iceland and Norway, provide advice and assistance to consumers. Offering consumers alternative dispute resolution and the online platform for consumer dispute resolution helps consumers getting redress.
The EEA EFTA States participate in the meetings of the European Commission’s high-level Consumer Policy Network (CPN).
For more information on consumer protection and policies, see DG Justice and Consumer Affairs