The European Parliament Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee is voting today on harmonising rules on consumer guarantees and contracts for the online and offline sale of goods. The IMCO text reflects a political compromise and harmonises the length of legal guarantees at two years. Member States may keep their existing rules, but not extend them. This means that countries such as Sweden with 3 years, or the Netherlands with a product-lifespan-proportional period, may keep these, but not revise them upwards.
Today the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee of the European Parliament is voting on the provisional agreement on a revised Directive for Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD). The Directive aims to encourage energy efficiency and increase energy savings in the building sector. A new feature compared to the existing EPBD is that the revised Directive promotes electro-mobility by setting minimum requirements to roll out recharging points for electric cars.
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With 100 days left before the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May, EuroCommerce is reminding all retailers and wholesalers to take the necessary action to be ready and compliant by that date, echoing the recent European Commission warning on the urgent need to step up preparations at Member State level. Many retail and wholesale companies and organisations have invested significantly to put in place the means for complying with the GDPR. To help its members, EuroCommerce, more than a year ago, issued a guide “The new EU Data Protection Rules - A Guide for Retailers” aimed at helping its members in ensuring customers’ privacy. The guide is currently being updated to take into account new insights and guidance from the authorities.
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EuroCommerce has always been supportive of the Commission’s 2016 VAT Action Plan and the measures outlined in it to facilitate VAT compliance for companies. We have already welcomed the extension of the VAT One Stop Shop as an important step in the right direction. The latest proposals on VAT rates and special schemes for small enterprises, however, raise some concerns for retailers and wholesalers.
EuroCommerce Narrative on Retail and Wholesale in a changing world…
The world is changing rapidly. Retailers and wholesalers have repeatedly shown how resilient and adaptive they are, and are moving ahead with embracing this change, providing value to customers, suppliers, and society at large. This great story is worth telling – both to the sector and to the wider world. And the story needs to say clearly what we want from the EU and from national governments to make our sector sustainably competitive.
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The retail and wholesale sector sees the publication yesterday of the EU Plastics Strategy as a welcome step towards a more circular economy. Today's plastic strategy will hopefully transform the way plastics are currently produced, used and discarded. Retailers and wholesalers are committed to the environment and believe that this new approach can bring new opportunities, provided the right legislative proposals are put forward and agreed in the EU.
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The Governance Group of the Supply Chain Initiative (SCI) adopted and published a recommendation for good practice in relation to the principles of fair dealing, information, confidentiality and justifiable request in the context of a new branded product introduction, launch or renovation.