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Ukraine Introduces New Law on Consumer Protection

Ukraine Introduces New Law on Consumer Protection

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On 5 July 2023, the President of Ukraine signed Law of Ukraine “On Consumer Protection” No. 3153‑IX (the “CP Law”). Most provisions of the CP Law will become effective one year after its publication, which is yet to be made, but not earlier than the date of termination or cancellation of martial law in Ukraine.

The CP Law will replace the current consumer protection law adopted back in 1991.

The CP Law is essential in harmonising Ukrainian consumer protection laws with European standards. By adopting it, Ukraine fulfils its commitments under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, ensuring a high level of consumer protection and achieving compatibility between Ukraine’s and the EU’s consumer protection systems.

E-commerce and consumer protections

In addition to the existing e-commerce laws, the CP Law expressly imposes consumer protection requirements on key e-commerce players – marketplaces, classifieds and price aggregators. These requirements include specific pre-contractual information obligations.

Furthermore, the CP Law lays down the framework for establishing the Unified State Web Portal for Consumers in E-Commerce (the “E‑Consumer Portal”). The E-Consumer Portal is expected to be launched no later than three years after the publication of the CP Law. It will be a publicly available online platform designed to:

  • facilitate interactions among consumers, traders and consumer protection authority. For example, via the E-Consumer Portal, consumers will be able to file complaints if their rights are violated in e-commerce transactions. They will be able to track the progress and outcomes of their complaints through that Portal; and
  • ensure that certain e-commerce traders undergo mandatory registration procedures with the E-Consumer Portal and attain the status of verified traders. These traders will be bound to ensure that the information on the Portal will remain up-to-date, while the above approach will ensure that the relevant trader is real and not involved in fraudulent activities.

Other developments

In addition to strengthening consumer protections in the e-commerce sector, the CP Law provides the following:

  • Scope of protection. The CP Law extends consumer protection to the food products industry while excluding specific areas, such as gambling and lotteries, which are subject to separate regulations.
  • Consumer guarantees. The CP Law introduces mandatory guarantee periods depending on the category of the purchased goods (e.g., two years for new goods, including digital products). Traders can also provide commercial guarantees.
  • Unfair commercial practices and consumer protections. The CP Law offers significant safeguards against unfair commercial practices – the activities that hinder consumers from making fully informed and free decisions. It also strengthens consumer rights aligning them with the applicable EU framework.
  • Powers of supervisory authority. The consumer protection authority is granted additional powers to address violations of consumer rights. For instance, it can request internet service providers to restrict access to websites of traders that fail to disclose their name and/or location.

We will keep monitoring the change of rules for e-commerce to provide you with further updates.

By Oleksandr Kozhukhar and Olha Rudevych, Associates, Avellum

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