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The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) has looked at what will change for European consumers in 2018. Better protection for consumers purchasing travel packages, no card surcharges when paying for something: these are some of the EU measures which will enter into force next year.
Stronger retail investor protection rules across the EU
Financial companies will need to design their products according to the specific needs of consumers and will need to better disclose any conflicts of interest, such as receiving commissions from a third party.
All investment products offered to an EU consumer will need to come with a Key Information Document
As of 1 January, the Key Information Document should enable consumers to better understand and compare investment products, whether it comes from a bank, an insurer or an asset manager.
Better protection for consumers buying package travel
As of 1 January, consumers can transfer a package travel to another traveller. The details of travel and the rights of the traveller should be displayed in a clear way.
Consumers will no longer be subject to card surcharges when they pay for something
Think of when paying with a card on Ryanair, or when you pay for your sandwich in a small shop, the trader can no longer say that they will charge you for using a card. Exceptions: this will not apply to American Express cards, Paypal or any other three-party scheme.
Consumers can use their video-on-demand, music stream or video games subscriptions when travelling across the EU
So far, consumers were often blocked from accessing content they were subscribed to in their home country when they were abroad. From April onwards, consumer can access their own Netflix catalogue and Spotify music list in any EU country.
Your fries will be safer (and just as crispy)
As of April 11, food manufacturers, food shops, restaurants and fast-food chains will have to take steps to reduce cancer-causing acrylamide in products such as chips, crisps, bread, biscuits and coffee.
Major overhaul of consumers’ data protection rights enters into force
The EU’s new data protection law will enter into force on 25 May 2018. It will directly apply to all citizens (and business) across all EU Member States. The law will mean consumers have more control over their own data.
Paints, disinfectants and insect repellents will no longer disrupt your hormone SYSTEM
As of June 7, new biocides entering the market will have to be free of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).
Real world testing
As of September, all new cars on the market will undergo a test that measures their real-world – that is, on the road – nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate emissions.
MORE INEFFICIENT HALOGEN LAMPS WILL BE PHASED OUT
As of September 1, halogen lamps, mainly pear-shaped ones, will be unable to reach shops. Thanks to Ecodesign requirements, energy- intensive lamps are progressively being phased out to benefit the environment and consumers’ pockets.
Heating devices will be more air quality-friendly
As of September 26, space and water heaters entering the market will have to emit less nitrogen oxide - the same gases that come out of car exhaust pipes. This move aims to improve indoor air quality.
Insurance companies will have to treat their customers better
Consumers will have to be presented with a single document explaining the insurance policy in much simpler wording than is currently the case.
END OF YEAR
End to Geo-blocking in e-commerce
EU citizens may no longer be refused when they want to shop from a foreign online trader. Currently, consumers are often being blocked for ordering goods from a webshop located in another EU country or when they want to pay with a foreign bank card.