IMPLEMENTATION OF DIRECTIVE 2011/83/EU
THE MECHANISM OF IMPLEMENTATION: ACT 3/2014
Directive 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on consumer rights (the Directive for short) was transposed into Spanish law under Ley 3/2014, de 27 de marzo, por la que se modifica el texto refundido de la Ley General para la Defensa de los Consumidores y Usuarios y otras leyes complementarias, aprobado por el Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2007, de 16 de noviembre (Act 3/2014 of 27 March amending the consolidated text of the General Act on Consumer and User Protection, enacted under Royal Legislative Decree 1/2007 of 16 November, hereinaft er Act 3/2014).
Act 3/2014 adapted the Real Decreto Legislativo 1/2007, de 16 de noviembre, por el que se aprueba el texto refundido de la Ley General para la Defensa de los Consumidores y Usuarios y otras leyes complementarias (General Act on Consumer and User Protection, which I am going to call the General Act) to the provisions of the Directive. The Directive was, then implemented not under a wholly new text on consumer protection, but through an amendment to the existing general law on the issue.
This Act also amends other laws, including Act 1/2000 of 7 January on Civil Procedure, Act 3/1991 of 10 January on Unfair Competition, Act 7/1996 of 15 January on Retail Trade, and Act 7/1998 of 13 April on General Terms and Conditions of Contract.
Therefore, while Act 3/2014 deals essentially with substantive rules on consumer protection, it also addresses other issues especially procedural matters.
CONTENT OF THE NEW RULES AND HOW IT RELATES TO PRE-EXISTING RULES ON CONSUMER CONTRACTS
Modification of the Definitions of Consumer and Trader
Among the new provisions on general matters introduced by Act 3/2014 is the modification of the definitions of two basic terms. ‘Consumer’ and ‘trader’ are now defined in the General Act as in Article 2(1) and (2) of the Directive.
Thus, while in former Articles 3 and 4 of the General Act these terms were confined to an objective fact, namely acting or otherwise in a business or professional framework, in new Articles 3 and 4 of the General Act their definitions are reworded to embrace intention: that is, acting or otherwise for purposes relating to a trade, business, craft or profession.