Expected revision of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive to tackle the ‘dual quality’ issue
Engaging in ‘dual quality’ products means the marketing of products as being identical in several EU countries while their composition is significantly different – which is illegal on the ground that it may mislead the consumers.
While welcoming the EU Commission’s ‘New Deal for Consumers’ proposal that amended the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive in April 2018, MEPs pointed out that it requires further clarification as to the ‘dual quality’ issue.
A clear definition of what can be considered as ‘dual quality’ and how each case should be assessed and addressed should be clearly set out in the new legislation. In its report dated July 2018, the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee recommends several measures at EU and national levels to tackle the “dual quality” problem.
In September 2017, the Commission had issued guidelines on the application of EU food and consumer laws to dual quality products, which state that if a firm sells a product EU-wide, but with compositions that differ between countries, it must not label and brand it in a seemingly identical way.
The Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee report will be put to a vote by the full Parliament at the 2018 September’s plenary session.