The Consumer Rights Directive was implemented in France by the so called Loi Hamon of March 17, 2014.
The Loi Hamon strengthens the information obligations on traders which cover in particular the main characteristics of the goods/services, identification of the trader, accepted means of payment, information on the payment obligation, delivery restrictions and right of withdrawal, among other things.
The French Consumer Protection Authority (DGCCRF) can now impose an administrative fine of up to €3,000 for individuals and €15,000 for legal entities in case of noncompliance.
The right of withdrawal is extended to 14 days (or 12 months in case of a lack of information), and the trader must refund the consumer within 14 days. The DGCCRF can impose an administrative fine of up to €15,000 for individuals and €75,000 for legal entities in case of noncompliance.
Additional costs are prohibited if the trader has not obtained the consumer’s prior express consent.
Furthermore, the Loi Hamon contains provisions that were not required by the Consumer Rights Directive, for example regarding the consequences of an unfair term in a BtoC agreement: a judge must rule on unfair term(s) on its own initiative if the issue arises during proceedings. The DGCCRF and consumer associations can claim for the removal of the unfair term(s) from any similar contract between the trader and other consumers (erga omnes effect). The Loi Hamon also contains provisions regarding the authority and sanctioning powers of the DGCCRF; it introduces a procedure for bringing a class action under French law (not yet applied); and it includes certain provisions that are applicable to BtoB contracts.