Consumer law in Europe

Protecting consumers' economic and legal interests in the EU


European Union (EU) countries have their own rules on consumer rights which businesses must comply with. The EU also offers guidance to consumers to protect them when they are buying items from other member states.

The EU sets out both general rights and specific rights for:

  • Holidays - standards throughout the EU have been synchronised and those buying such services in a different EU member state have the same security as at home.
  • Credit - people across the EU have the same consumer credit rights. This includes interest rates and the amount providers can charge for credit.
  • Toys - all toys must be tested to ensure they are safe for the age of child they are aimed at. Toys that meet the standards laid down by the EU should display the CE conformity marking.
  • Energy - EU citizens have the right to choose their gas and electricity suppliers.

There are also EU rules relating to chemical use, financial services, and consumer rights when shopping online. 

Different EU countries may have national laws on consumer rights which you should check. You can get help in any EU country using the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) - a group of business advice organisations across the EU.