Protections for consumers entering into distance sales contracts are to be amended.

Amendments to the Consumer Protection Act were filed in Parliament on 29 November 2012. This includes a new paragraph ensuring that distance sales contracts do not take effect until the supplier receives the consumer’s consent expressed in a written form or on a durable medium.

Claims of unfair trade practices have become more frequent in distance sales, particularly those concluded by phone. Suppliers are using unfair methods to attract more clients and there are many cases where consumers are unaware of having agreed to a distance sales contract by phone but are bound from the moment their consent is received.

The changes are aimed at making consumers legally safe when negotiating possible purchases by phone, and thus minimise the risk of misuse by suppliers.

Suppliers will face an administrative penalty of between BGN 1,000-3,000 in any case where they are unable to prove that they have the consumer’s consent to the contract.

Law: draft amendment to the Consumer Protection Act (meeting a requirement to implement Directive 2011/83/EU into Bulgarian law by 13 December 2013)