On March 7, 2023, the Legislative Decree n. 26 was issued and published in the Official Gazette no. 66 of 18 March 2023, completing the implementation process of Directive (EU) 2019/2161 of the European Parliament and the Council (known as the “Omnibus Directive”).
The Legislative Decree n. 26 involves a significant revision of some provisions of the Consumer Code, in particular with regard to the new pre-contractual disclosure obligations for online sales platforms.
The new legislation will require online marketplace sellers to provide additional information to consumers before finalizing the distance or online contract, including:
– the geographical address, telephone number and e-mail address of the supplier (currently not mandatory);
– the main parameters which determine the classification of the products, every time it is offered the possibility to search for products provided by different vendors;
– the fact of being a professional seller or not, specifying in the latter case that the rules on consumer protection do not apply to the sale.
Furthermore, the possibility of inserting price reduction announcements is regulated and limited (in addition to the current price of the product, the lowest previous price applied by the professional in the previous 30 days must be indicated) and the seller is obliged to ensure the reliability of product reviews.
The aforementioned obligations and changes will be effective on 2 April 2023.
The Legislative Decree also provides for a conspicuous increase of the applicable sanctions in the event of unfair commercial practices and the imposition of unfair terms. Depending on the seriousness and duration of the violation and taking into account the professional’s economic and financial conditions, sanctions ranging from Euro 5,000 to Euro 10,000,000 may be imposed (with a minimum of Euro 50,000 in cases of improper practices involving products liable to endanger the health and safety of consumers or to threaten, even indirectly, the safety of minors).