Competence of consumer protection supervisory authorities clarified in the Czech Republic

Czech Republic
Available languages: CZ

On 6 January 2023, Czech consumer protection regulation was significantly amended for the purpose of implementing EU Directives 2019/770, 2019/771, 2019/2161 and rectifying former errors in implementation of EU Directives. These changes, which we previously overviewed here, encompassed modification in the regulation of commercial practices, sales path, terms and conditions, as well as new provisions for digital content and digital services, and for online marketplaces.

This amendment, however, introduced an ambiguity concerning the competences of the respective consumer protection supervisory authorities.

According to the Act No. 634/1992 Coll., the Consumer Protection Act, as amended (“Consumer Protection Act”), there are more than ten administrative bodies, including the Czech Trade Inspection Authority, Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority, Czech National Bank and Czech Telecommunication Office who are competent in consumer protection matters within their respective areas of expertise.

However, Section 24b of the Consumer Protection Act which stipulated competence over administrative offences in the area of consumer protection regulation only referenced the Czech Trade Inspection Authority.

While most of the legal community considered this an obvious legislative error, it did sparkle a debate could have been misused.

As of 22 May 2024, this error was rectified and the Consumer Protection Act now clearly refers in Section 24b to all relevant supervisory authorities, granting them the competence over administrative offences in the area of consumer protection regulation within their respective areas of expertise.

If you are interested in the topic of consumer protection and would like to know more, contact your CMS client partner or our CMS regulatory expert Jan Ježek.