The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 is a statutory instrument in the United Kingdom made under the European Communities Act 1972. It came into force on 26 May 2008. It is effectively the successor to the Trade Descriptions Act 1968, which it largely repeals.
The Unfair Trading Regulations impose a general prohibition on traders in all sectors from engaging in unfair commercial practices with consumers.
It follows from this that there is a duty to trade fairly and honestly with consumers. The Regulations have significant importance in the marketing and selling of goods and services.
It sets out two main categories of unfair commercial practices: 'misleading practices' and 'aggressive practices'.
A commercial practice is misleading if it either; contains false information and is therefore untruthful, or in any way, including overall presentation, deceives or is likely to deceive the average consumer, even if the information is correct, and causes or is likely to cause the consumer to take a transactional decision that he would have otherwise not taken.
A commercial practice is aggressive if "the average consumer's freedom of choice or conduct is significantly impaired." For example, a commercial practice that uses harassment or coercion (including physical force or undue influence). It is envisaged that the majority of unfair commercial practices would be categorised as either misleading or aggressive practices.
The Regulations came into force on 26 May 2008, and implement in the UK the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (2005/29/EC).
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