The UK Government has published its response to the EU's proposal for an optional Common European Sales Law (CESL). The CESL proposal was published on 11 October 2011 (see our Client Bulletin of 23 October 2012 for more information).

In February 2012, the UK Government sought views from stakeholders on the proposal for a CESL. The Report sets out the findings of that exercise and the Government’s response to them. It notes that most UK stakeholders did not see the CESL as a viable way of increasing cross-border trade within the EU.

Most respondents considered that there was not a sufficient need for the proposal, and that it would result in legal uncertainty, confusion for businesses and consumers, and unnecessary cost. The main reasons given in support of the proposal were: optionality; simplicity and consumer-law harmonisation.

The UK Government acknowledged the current lack of clarity in the law in relation to consumer rights for digital content, but concluded that it did not feel able to support the CESL proposal. It believes the proposal is too complex, incomplete in parts, unworkable for certain types of contract, uncertain, and unclear on its applicability (particularly in regard to how its provisions interact with other EU laws).

The Irish Government similarly sought views on the proposal earlier this year. The results of that consultation are not yet publicly available.

Further Information

UK Government Response to Proposal for a Common European Sales Law

Irish Consultation on Proposed EU Regulation on Common European Sales Law