Vilniaus universiteto Teisės fakulteto
Privatinės teisės katedros asistentas
Saulėtekio al. 9, I rūmai, LT-10222 Vilnius
Tel. (+370 5) 236 61 70
El. paštas: Mantas.Rimkevicius@tf.vu.lt
In light of Unfair Commercial Practices Directive 2005/29/EC (the UCPD), the Lithuanian Law on Prohibition of Unfair Business-to-Consumer Commercial Practices was adopted on 21 December 2007 and came into effect on the 1 February 2008 (the LPUBCCP). The UCPD, aiming at a maximum harmonisation of laws of the Member States concerning unfair business – to – consumer commercial practices, introduced the threefold structure test – three prohibitions – to assess unfair commercial practices: firstly, the black list, secondly, misleading and aggressive commercial practices prohibitions and the general clause suppressing unfair commercial practices as a safety net when the aforementioned fail. The mighty usage of the fairness (or to be more exact unfairness) term embedded in the UCPD requires a clarification of the EU concept of fairness in order to facilitate its perception in all 27 Member States and achieve feasibility in its implementation and application. The judicial and non – judicial advertising case law of some Member States has shown19 that moral norms – national morals – differ a lot, therefore, originating reluctance in regard to the EU harmonisation. Thus, the evaluation of commercial practices based on national morals should be left for the Member States’ margin of appreciation. Accordingly, the EU fairness concept found in the UCPD and the LPUBCCP should be understood in an economic perspective, tackling the assessment of unfair commercial practices by applying only trade – based principles. Such a perception is determined after examining provisions stipulated in the UCPD and especially the criteria of the material distortion of the economic behaviour of the average consumer or the so called materiality condition which is found in the Article 5 part 2, Article 6 part 1, Article 7 part 1 and Article 8 of the UCPD. The article is concluded with the idea that the EU fairness should be perceived only in the economic manner, i.e. understanding it as a requirement for business men to maintain commercial practices in a way which is not capable of causing the average consumer to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise. The pro economic understanding of the EU fairness concept is believed to be best corresponding to the main aims of the UCPD, i.e. the attainment of a high level of consumer protection, especially regarding consumer economic interests, transparency and functioning of the fair competition in the internal market.