On 03.12.2021 a bill for the amendment and supplementation of the Consumer Protection Act was submitted. If adopted, the amendments should enter into force on 28.05.2022.
The main task of the bill is the transposition into Bulgarian legislation of the provisions of Directive (EU) 2019/2161 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019. This aims to modernize Bulgarian legislation in the field of consumer protection in three main areas:
- ensuring effective implementation of consumer protection rules.
- providing individual remedies to consumers who have suffered harm from the use of unfair commercial practices.
- full adaptation of the provisions of consumer protection legislation to the conditions of the digital economy.
Consumers will have at their disposal individual means of protection against harm from the application of unfair commercial practices in the form of price reductions or compensation. Misleading commercial practice is any supply of a product in an EU Member State as identical to a product marketed in other EU Member States where that product has significant differences in composition or characteristics, unless justified by lawful and objective factors. Legal definitions of widespread infringement and widespread infringement with Union intent are given. In addition, a definition of the term online trading place is given as a service that, by using software, including a website, part of a website or application, operated / operated by or on behalf of the trader, allows users to conclude distance contracts with other traders or consumers.
Innovations in the field of digital economy are also planned. The scope of the law is also extended regarding the provision of digital content and digital services, both in return for payment and free of charge against the provision of personal data by the user. Legal definitions of digital content, which is data produced and provided in digital form, as well as digital service, which are services that allow the creation, processing, storage and sharing of digital data, are given.
Amendments to the matter of the right to withdraw from a distance or off-premises contract are also envisaged. The requirement to notify the name, geographical address, telephone number, fax or e-mail when exercising the right is waived. In addition, the possibility of submitting an explicit statement of refusal by fax machine is eliminated, as the method is considered obsolete and of little use.