The Consumer Code of Catalonia
On 23 July 2010, the Act 22/2010 of 20 July on the Consumer Code of Catalonia was published in the Official Journal of the Generalitat of Catalonia (no. 5677). This Act was passed by the plenary session of the Parliament on 30 June 2010 and came into force on 23 August 2010
The Consumer Code of Catalonia expands on, updates and enhances the rights of consumers in Catalonia and provides a comprehensive legal framework, in the sphere of consumer affairs, which seeks to become the reference model in many sectors of economic activity.
The new Act of the Consumer Code achieves the following:
- The unification in a single legal text of all the rules on consumer affairs which until now were fragmented.
- An improvement in the protection of consumers and the incorporation into our legal system of the new EU regulations affecting consumer affairs.
- The adaptation of the basic rules and general protection of consumers to current social and economic realities.
Among the many innovations incorporated in the Consumer Code of Catalonia the following should be noted:
- It defines the concept of responsible consumption, becoming at the same time, a principal reporter on consumer rights.
- Every citizen is guaranteed easier and closer access to the consumption of public services since there must be at least one in each county.
- The companies that provide basic services such as supplies, transport, social care and health care... must provide consumers with a physical address in Catalonia in which they can lodge their complaints and claims.
- Telephone assistance of incidents and complaints about basic services must be free.
- All the services provided by a business or company must have a minimum guarantee of six months.
- Companies must adopt appropriate mechanisms to ensure the return of amounts received in advance from consumers when purchasing an asset or hiring a service.
- A regulation establishing obligations in terms of information and the system of liability in relation to businesses or companies that carry out mediation work.
- Regarding the method of sanctioning employed in consumer matters, companies can be required to return to consumers the amount improperly collected or the latter can be compensated for damage and harm caused.
- Public companies must be members of the arbitration board and this fact must be taken into account when awarding grants to private companies.
In short, from now on with the Consumer Code of Catalonia, the Catalan Government and the local authorities of Catalonia have in their hands a new legislative framework that improves both the powers of the administration and consumer rights in Catalonia.
Law 22/2010, dated 20th July, on the Consumer Code of Catalonia
Law 9/2011, of 29 December, on the promotion of economic activity
This Law amends certain provisions of Law 22/2010, of 20 July, on the Catalan Consumer Code