Our purpose is to assist consumers when making cross-border purchases within the EEA
The legal environment has improved immensely for European consumers during the last few decades. Mostly this has happened through EU-legislation so that similar rights are in place for consumers throughout the EEA. Here you can find summaries of legislation aimed at protecting the legal and economical interests of consumers. Most of these, but not quite all, have been implemented into Icelandic law. You can also find more details on individual legislative acts on this website, for instance the directive on package travel and mobile roaming regulation, the regulation on air passenger rights, the directive on distance selling, the unfair commercial practices directive and the sale of goods and associated guarantees directive.
Before making purchases from a trader based in another European country it is important for consumers to familiarize themselves with the rules that apply. You can turn to your ECC-Centre for information and advice, but you can also find extensive information on the ECCs websites. It might also be useful to look at some of the brochures from ECC-Iceland or reports from the ECC-Net. You might also find our useful links to be helpful.
USE YOUR RIGHTS
It is very well to have all these right – but you’ve also got to know how to use them.
If you believe that a trader has not been in compliance with the rules applying to your cross-border transaction you need to complain, as soon as possible, to the trader. Please read our advice on how to complain. It is important, in order to have some proof of the complaint, to complain in writing. You should also write down what happened, when the transaction took place, when you noticed the defect, when you first complained, and so on. This is all very important information should you wish to pursue the matter further.
If complaining doesn’t prove to be as effective as you would have liked you should contact your ECC-Centre for further advice and assistance. In such situations consumers should contact the ECC-Centre in their country of residence; if that centre finds the consumer’s claim to be valid it will then forward the case to the ECC-Centre in the country where the trader resides. When ECC Iceland receives such complaints we contact the trader and try to find an amicable solution to the dispute between consumer and trader. See more info on how the ECC-Net operates.
If the intervention of ECC-Net does not lead to an amicable solution it is in many cases possible to forward the matter to an ADR body. The ECC-Net will then assist the consumer in putting his case before a competent ADR. The ADR process is a fast and cheap one (in many cases the case-handling is free) so ADRs are an important remedy for consumers who alternatively might have to go through court procedures which can be expensive and time-consuming. It varies between countries how many ADRs are operating but for example in the Nordic countries there are ADRs in most fields of consumer purchases. Find out more about the Icelandic ADR bodies. See also further info on ADRs on DG SANCOs website.