15th March is European Consumer Day!

On 15th March 1962, John F. Kennedy, the then President of the United States of America, gave the first public declaration of the basic rights of consumers. In remembrance of this event, this day is being celebrated as World Consumer Rights Day, the main aim of which is to highlight consumer rights both among consumers and businesses.

This year, the European Commission launched an initiative of celebrating 15th March as European Consumer Day for the first time, as a means of discussing and promoting the opportunities offered by EU membership to consumers.

The protection of consumer rights and the promotion of their well-being represent the basic values of the European Union, while one of the main goals of consumer protection is to facilitate the active utilisation of opportunities available to consumers on the domestic market. Therefore, it’s very important to distribute information concerning consumer rights in the European Union to Estonian consumers, detailing the implications of the free movement of goods and services to common consumers.

The minimum requirements, arising from EU law, are laid down in the consumer protection legislation of every Member State to provide for the unhindered operation of the internal European market and to allow consumers to feel as secure when making purchases in other Member States as they do in their home country. Separate consumer centres, which deal with issues related to cross-border purchases, have been established in each Member State in addition to harmonised legislation. These centres, including the European Consumer Centre of Estonia at the Consumer Protection Board, belong to the European Consumer Centres Network.

The European Consumer Centre of Estonia invites everybody to celebrate European Consumer Day by benefiting from the opportunities made available by the European Union. EU consumers should regard themselves as being enfranchised consumers of the European Union, who enjoy a wide choice of goods and services at competitive prices. The Centre also stresses that one should be aware of his/her rights and obligations when making purchases in the European Union, while being an attentive and critical consumer. Kristina Vaksmaa, Director of the European Consumer Centre of Estonia, stressed the following: “We recommend that consumers stand up for their rights and, if necessary, apply the European Consumer Centre of Estonia for help if they have encountered problems with goods or services purchased from other Member States.” More specific information on consumer rights in the European Union is available at the website of the Centre at www.consumer.ee.

Enjoy Consumer Rights Day!