Cross-border cooperation in the consumer protection area

The competent authorities of EU Member States cooperate on the basis of Regulation No. 2006/2004 on consumer protection cooperation, which among other things obliges the CNB to make known to the general public the rights and responsibilities it has been granted under this Regulation.

In particular, the Regulation empowers the authorities of a Member State to request another Member State to take action, and defines the competent authorities for such purposes. The CNB is one such authority. (The Ministry of Industry and Trade is the single liaison office in the Czech Republic.)

The Regulation deals mainly with exchange of information on request and notifications without request. Where the applicant authority has a reasonable suspicion that an infringement has occurred or may occur, it can request a supervisory authority from another Member State to undertake without delay investigations to establish whether such an infringement has occurred (or whether there is a reasonable suspicion it may occur). On request, the requested authority may also permit a competent official of the applicant authority to accompany the officials of the requested authority in the course of their investigations. A requested authority may refuse to comply with a request only under specified conditions, including, for example, if it is convinced that the request is unfounded. Where a request is unfounded, the applicant state is liable to the requested state for any costs and losses.

Competent authorities are obliged to coordinate their market surveillance and enforcement activities. They have access to an electronic database of information maintained by the European Commission. The Commission may participate in joint activities.