Consumer rights when you buy in the EU

Most of us are familiar with Trading Standards and the work which they do to advice and protect customers in the UK. But you may not be aware that the Trading Standards Institute also delivers information and support for both consumers and businesses who are shopping for goods and services across the EU. This service (European Consumer Centre for Services) is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The European Consumer Centre for Services (ECCS) has a free website and telephone advice service which provides general information on consumer laws when buying goods and services in the EU.

It can advise on consumer rights, give you details of relevant legislation and tell you about trade associations and regulators. It can also advise on the information which trades are legally required to give you before you enter into a contract.

Whether your dealings with the EU suppliers are travel or holiday related, are regarding property or building services or you just want to order something from a website based in another EU country, you can find the answers by using the website, emailing your question to or telephoning 08456 08 94 94.

If you are about to travel in Europe, there is an ECCS travel app which will guide you through your rights, depending on the country you are in and the situation you face.

Discrimination against Nationality or Place of Residence

A trader should not discriminate against you when buying goods and services due to your nationality or country of residence. As an EU national, you cannot be charged a higher price than local residents when buying goods or services anywhere else in the EU, unless the price differential is justified. The seller cannot refuse to sell to you simply because you live in a different EU country. However, he/she can apply different conditions where these are justified by ‘objective criteria’.


Share this article