On 01/01/21, the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union became effective. What are the consequences for European consumers?

UK consumer legislation, which currently mirrors EU legislation, should in principle remain the same for the main points

– Our colleagues of the European Consumer Centre in the UK, the current UK office, continue to handle cases as before

– There will be little or no change in passenger rights (air, sea, train and bus). However, it may be more difficult to obtain redress

Air passenger rights in particular will remain unchanged

– The rights relating to package travel will remain unchanged

– To travel to the UK, a valid passport will be required after 01/10/21. Until that date, it will still be possible to travel from the EU to the UK with your identity card

– The European regulation on geo-blocking will still apply

Roaming will remain unchanged (but consumers will have to check with their mobile operator)

– The European General Data Protection Regulation will continue to apply

– UK mediators will no longer be listed on the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform. Most mediators in the UK will accept cases as usual, but not through the platform. They will need to be contacted directly

– The European Small Claims Procedure (for disputes under €5000) will no longer be available. The courts will continue to deal with cases received no later than 31/12/20

– UK courts will continue to apply EU law for infringements until 31/12/20 and UK law (which currently reflects EU law) for infringements from 01/01/21

VAT and customs duties will be applied. There will be no VAT on purchases under €22 until July 2021. For goods over €150 manufactured outside the UK, customs duties will apply. These limits include related charges such as delivery costs

– What should you do if you have a life insurance policy or pension from the UK? The EIOPA (European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority) provided a consumer guide on this subject: Consumer guide: What should you do if you have a life insurance policy or pension from the UK? | Eiopa (europa.eu)

Buying goods online from UK websites? Get up to speed with the new rules

Source: ECC-Net / European Consumer Centres Network