3I. Amending the "Core" of Directive 85/577/EEC
1. General Comments
While industry as wellas consumer representatives generally welcome a modification of Directive 85/577/EEC
on Doorstep-Selling, Member State submissions do not see a need forchange. They prefer to leave it for the Member States to fill the gaps in the Directive andmodernise national laws.However, most submissions agree with the proposal to adapt the Doorstep Selling Directive85/577/EEC to Directive 97/7/EC
on the protection of consumers with respect to distancecontracts. There is a certain preparedness to accept that the envisaged modification of Directive 85/577/EEC is necessary and adaptation to the standards provided by Directive97/7/EC is the best solution.The two Directives are based on a similar concept (protection of the consumer in the non-stationary commerce), and the interest of the consumer is comparable in both sales situations.Furthermore, in practice there is often a combination of direct and distance selling strategies.The Bundesarbeitskammer Austria as well as the Nederlands Ministerie van EconomischeZaken disagree with the proposed harmonisation. The situations in distant and direct sellingare said to be completely different: In the Doorstep Selling Directive, the aspect of surpriseplays an important role as it is usually the direct seller who initiates the business contact.However, in the Distance Selling Directive, the lack of information which is caused by thedistance between customer and seller is addressed.
2. Modification /Adaptation / Abolition of certain Exemptions to Scope of Application
The submissions discuss the exceptions to the scope of applications. The submissions fromthe consumer point of view would prefer to remove all exceptions, while the submissionsfrom industry especially criticise the study for proposing to include financial services in thescope of application.
a) Art. 3 (1): 60 ECU Exemption
There was not much discussion about the exemption for contracts with a value of less than 60Euro.However, the Bundeskanzleramt Austria as well as the Bundesarbeitskammer Austriaconsider the exemption unnecessary, as in practice most of the Member States do not exemptcontracts under a certain minimum value per se, but only in combination with otherrequirements, such as contracts on charity occasions, contracts which are immediatelyperformed or contracts normally not concluded on business premises. TheBundesarbeitskammer considers the limit too high if there are no additional requirements forthe exemption. FEDSA
underlines that the exception has been proven useful for charity direct
OJ 1985 L 372/31.
OJ 1997 L 144/19.