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DMUR DMSTLSINS (fyrsta deild) 15.

mars 2012 (*) (neytendavernd - samningar um neytendaln - rangar upplsingar um rlega hlutfallstlu kostnaar hrif rttmtra viskiptahtta og rttmtra skilmla lgmti samnings heild sinni) Ml C453/10 BEINI um forrskur samkvmt 267. gr. sttmlans um starfshtti Evrpusambandsins fr Okresn sd Preov (Slvaku), me rskuri fr 31. gst 2010 sem barst Dmstlnum ann 16. september 2010, mlinu Jana Pereniov, Vladislav Pereni gegn SOS financ spol. s r. o., DMSTLLINN (fyrsta deild) skipaur dmurunum A. Tizzano, forseta deildarinnar, M. Safjan (framsgumanni), A. Borg Barthet, E. Levits og J.J. Kasel, Aallgsgumaur: V. Trstenjak, Dmritari: K. Sztranc-Sawiczek, fulltri, hefur, me tilliti til skriflegrar mlsmeferar og eftir munnlegan flutning sem fram fr ann 15. september 2011, me tilliti til greinargera fr: Jana Pereniov og Vladislav Pereni, fyrirsvari eru I. afranko og I. Motyka, lgmenn, Rkisstjrn Slvaku, fyrirsvari sem umbosmaur er B. Ricziov, Rkisstjrn skalands, fyrirsvari sem umbosmenn eru T. Henze og J. Kemper, Rkisstjrn Spnar, fyrirsvari sem umbosmaur er F. Dez Moreno, Rkisstjrn Austurrkis, fyrirsvari sem umbosmaur er C. Pesendorfer, Framkvmdastjrn Evrpusambandsins, fyrirsvari sem umbosmenn eru G. Rozet, A. Tokr and M. Owsiany-Hornung,

eftir a hafa hltt lit aallgsgumanns vi inghald ann 29. nvember 2011, kvei upp svofelldan Dm 1 essi beini um forrskur varar tlkun 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar rsins 93/13/EBE fr 5. aprl 1993 um rttmta skilmla neytendasamningum (Stjt. EB 1993 L 95, bls. 29), tlkun kva tilskipunar Evrpuingsins og rsins 2005/29/EB fr 11. ma 2005 um rttmta viskiptahtti gagnvart neytendum innri markanum og um breytingu tilskipun rsins 84/450/EBE, tilskipunum Evrpuingsins og rsins 97/7/EB, 98/27/EB og 2002/65/EB og regluger Evrpuingsins og rsins (EB) nr. 2006/2004 (Tilskipun um rttmta viskiptahtti) (Stjt. ESB 2005 L 93, bls. 22) og hugsanleg hrif beitingar tilskipunar 2005/29 tilskipun 93/13.

Beinin er lg fram mli Jana Pereniov og Vladislav Pereni gegn SOS financ spol. s r. o. (hr eftir nefnt SOS), sem er stofnun sem er ekki banki en veitir ln til neytenda, varandi lnssamning sem mlsailar geru me sr. Lggjf Lggjf Evrpusambandsins Tilskipun 93/13

7., 16., 20. og 21. forsendu inngangsora tilskipunar 93/13 er kvei um eftirfarandi: Me v f seljendur vru og veitendur jnustu stuning vileitni sinni vi a selja vru og veita jnustu, bi heima fyrir og um allan innri markainn. Samkeppnin fr rvun vi etta og um lei aukast mguleikar borgara bandalagsins sem neytenda. ... Vi mat hugtakinu gri tr arf einkum a taka tillit til samningsstu semjenda, hvort neytandinn var hvattur til a samykkja skilmlana og hvort varan ea jnustan var seld ea veitt a srstakri pntun neytanda. Seljandi ea veitandi telst uppfylla krfuna um ga tr ef hann kemur fram heiarlegan og sanngjarnan htt vi hinn ailann og hefur huga rttmta hagsmuni hans. ... Samningar skulu orair elilegu, skiljanlegu mli, neytandi skal f tkifri til ess a skoa alla skilmla ... . Aildarrkin skulu tryggja a rttmta skilmla s ekki a finna samningum sem seljandi ea veitandi gerir vi neytendur og ef slkir skilmlar finnast rtt fyrir allt, su eir ekki bindandi fyrir neytendur og samningur veri fram bindandi fyrir samningsaila me essum skilmlum ef hann getur gilt fram n hinna rttmtu kva.

3. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 er kvei um eftirfarandi: 1. Samningsskilmli sem hefur ekki veri sami um srstaklega telst rttmtur ef hann, rtt fyrir skilyri um ga tr, veldur umtalsveru jafnvgi rttinda og skyldna samningsaila samkvmt samningnum, neytanda til tjns. ... 3. viaukanum er skr, leibeinandi en ekki tmandi, yfir samningsskilmla sem teljast rttmtir.

4. gr. eirrar tilskipunar er kvei um eftirfarandi: 1. ... skal vi mat v hvort samningsskilmli er rttmtur taka tillit til ess um hvers konar vrur ea jnustu samningurinn er og hafa hlisjn af llum astum eim tma sem samningurinn er gerur og llum rum skilmlum samningsins ea annars samnings sem hann hangir saman vi. 2. Mati v hvort samningsskilmlar su rttmtir nr hvorki til skilgreiningar aalefni samningsins n samrmis milli vers og vara ea jnustu og greislu fyrir hana ef essir skilmlar eru orair elilegu, skiljanlegu mli.

5. gr. tilskipunarinnar er kvei um eftirfarandi: samningum ar sem allir ea tilteknir skilmlar sem neytanda eru bonir eru skriflegir skulu skilmlarnir vallt orair elilegu, skiljanlegu mli. vafamlum um tlkun skilmla gildir s tlkun sem neytandanum kemur best. ...

6. gr. tilskipunarinnar er kvei um eftirfarandi:

1. Aildarrkin skulu mla svo fyrir um a rttmtir skilmlar samningi seljanda ea veitanda vi neytanda su ekki samkvmt landslgum eirra bindandi fyrir neytandann og a samningurinn veri fram bindandi fyrir samningsaila ef hann getur haldi gildi snu a ru leyti n rttmtu skilmlanna. ... 8 8. gr. tilskipunarinnar er kvei um eftirfarandi: Aildarrkin geta samykkt ea lti gilda fram eins strng kvi og samrmast sttmlanum gildissvii essarar tilskipunar til a tryggja neytendum sem flugasta vernd. 9 viaukanum vi tilskipun 93/13 er skr yfir samningsskilmla sem um getur 3. mgr. 3. gr. tilskipunarinnar: 1. ... i) a sl fstu og afturkallanlega a neytandi hafi samykkt skilmla sem hann hefur reynd ekki haft tma til a kynna sr fyrir ger samnings, ... Tilskipun 2005/29 10 kvi 2. gr. tilskipunar 2005/29 eru svohljandi: essari tilskipun er merking eftirfarandi hugtaka sem hr segir: ... c) framleisluvara: allar vrur ea jnusta, .m.t. fastafjrmunir, rttindi og skuldbindingar, d) viskiptahttir fyrirtkja gagnvart neytanda (hr eftir einnig kalla viskiptahttir): hvers konar verknaur, agerarleysi, htterni ea framsetning, samskipti viskiptum, .m.t. auglsingar og markassetning, af hlfu sluaila, sem tengist beint kynningu, slu ea afhendingu vru til neytenda, e) a raska verulega hegun neytenda fjrhagslegu tilliti: a beita viskiptahttum me a fyrir augum a draga verulega r getu neytandans til a taka upplsta kvrun og valda v ar me a neytandinn tekur kvrun sem hann hefi ekki annars teki, ... k) viskiptakvrun: kvrun sem neytandi tekur varandi a hvort, hvernig og me hvaa skilmlum skuli kaupa vru, greia fyrir hana, a fullu ea a hluta, halda vrunni ea lta hana af hendi ea a neyta samningsrttar varandi vruna, hvort sem neytandinn kveur a hefja viskipti ea lta a gert, 11 3. gr. eirrar tilskipunar er kvei um eftirfarandi: 1. essi tilskipun gildir um rttmta viskiptahtti fyrirtkja gagnvart neytanda, eins og mlt er fyrir um 5. gr., ur en, mean og eftir a viskipti me vruna fara fram. 2. essi tilskipun er me fyrirvara um samningalg og einkum um reglur um gildi, ger og hrif samnings. ... 4. Ef samrmi er milli kva essarar tilskipunar og annarra Bandalagskva sem vara srstk svi rttmtra viskiptahtta skulu au sarnefndu gilda um essi srstku svi. 5. sex ra tmabili fr og me 12. jn 2007 geta aildarrkin fram beitt innlendum kvum v svii, sem er samrmt me essari tilskipun, sem eru strangari ea innihalda kvenari fyrirmli en essi tilskipun og sem eru til framkvmdar tilskipunum sem innihalda kvi um lgmarkssamhfingu. essar rstafanir skulu vera nausynlegar til a tryggja a neytendur su ngilega varir gegn rttmtum viskiptahttum og skulu vera rttu hlutfalli vi essi markmi. ... Samningsskilmlar sem hafa a markmii ea au hrif:

... 12 5. gr. tilskipunarinnar er kvei um eftirfarandi: 1. 2. a) b) rttmtir viskiptahttir skulu bannair. Viskiptahttir teljast rttmtir ef: eir ganga gegn krfum um faglega kostgfni og eir raska verulega ea eru lklegir til a raska verulega hegun mealneytandans fjrhagslegu tilliti varandi vruna sem hann fr ea sem er tlu honum ea mealneytandans hpnum egar viskiptahttum er beint a srstkum hpi neytenda.

3. Viskiptahttir, sem eru einungis lklegir til a raska verulega hegun hps neytenda fjrhagslegu tilliti, sem auvelt er a greina og er srlega berskjaldaur fyrir viskiptahttunum ea vrunni, sem um er a ra, vegna andlegrar ea lkamlegrar ftlunar, aldurs ea trgirni ann htt a sluailinn tti auveldlega a geta s a fyrir, skulu metnir t fr mealeinstaklingnum eim hpi. 4. a) b) ... 13 6. gr. tilskipunarinnar er kvei um eftirfarandi: 1. Viskiptahttir skulu teljast villandi ef eir fela sr rangar upplsingar og eru v trverugir ea ef eir blekkja, ea eru lklegir til a blekkja, mealneytandann, t.d. me almennri framsetningu, jafnvel tt gefnar su upp rttar stareyndir upplsingunum, tengslum vi eitt ea fleiri af eftirfarandi atrium, og valda v ea eru lklegar til a valda v, hvaa tilviki sem er, a hann taki viskiptakvrun sem hann hefi ekki annars gert: ... d) ver ea afer sem notu er vi treikning veri og hvort um er a ra srstakt verhagri, ... 14 7. gr. tilskipunarinnar er kvei um eftirfarandi: 1. Einnig m lta svo a viskiptahttir su villandi ef, snu rtta samhengi og a teknu tilliti til allra sreinkenna, astna og takmarkana tengslum vi samskiptamila, mikilvgar upplsingar vantar sem mealtalsneytandinn arf a halda, eftir samhengi, til a taka upplsta viskiptakvrun og valda v, ea eru lklegir til a valda v, a mealtalsneytandinn taki viskiptakvrun sem hann myndi ekki annars hafa teki. 2. Einnig skal liti a sem villandi agerarleysi, me tilliti til atrianna sem koma fram 1. mgr., egar sluaili leynir upplsingum ea veitir ljsan, skiljanlegan, margran ea tmabran htt mikilvgar upplsingar, eins og um getur eirri mlsgrein, ea ltur hj la a gera grein fyrir viskiptalegum tilgangi vikomandi viskiptahtta, ef a hefur ekki egar komi fram af samhenginu, og ef eitthva af essu annahvort veldur ea er lklegt til a valda v a mealtalsneytandinn taki viskiptakvrun sem hann myndi ekki annars hafa gert. ... Viskiptahttir teljast einkum rttmtir ef: eir eru villandi eins og fram kemur 6. og 7. gr. eir eru upprengjandi eins og fram kemur 8. og 9. gr.

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11. gr. tilskipunarinnar er kvei um eftirfarandi: 1. Aildarrkin skulu sj til ess a fyrir hendi su fullngjandi og rangursrk rri til a berjast gegn rttmtum viskiptahttum me a fyrir augum a tryggja samrmi vi kvi essarar tilskipunar gu neytenda. ...

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Samkvmt 13. gr. tilskipunarinnar: Aildarrkin skulu mla fyrir um refsingu fyrir brot innlendum kvum sem hafa veri samykkt vegna beitingar essarar tilskipunar og gera allar nausynlegar rstafanir til a tryggja a eim s framfylgt. essar refsingar skulu vera skilvirkar, rttu hlutfalli vi brot og letjandi. Innlend lggjf

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52. gr. slvaksku borgaralgbkarinnar (Obiansky zakonnk) er kvei um eftirfarandi: 1. Neytendasamningur: hver s samningur, h lagalegu formi hans, sem veitandi og neytandi gera sn milli. 2. kvi um neytendasamninga og ll nnur kvi sem gilda um rttarsambnd sem neytandi gerist aili a skulu vallt gilda hag eim aila samningsins sem er neytandi. Mismunandi samningar ea samkomulg sem hafa a inntak ea markmi a sniganga essi kvi skulu vera gild. ... 4. neytandi: einstaklingur sem, vi ger ea framkvmd neytendasamnings, viskipti ru skyni en vegna starfs sns ea annarrar viskiptastarfsemi,

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53. gr. smu laga er kvei um eftirfarandi: 1. neytendasamningi skulu ekki vera kvi sem valda verulegu jafnvgi a v er varar rttindi og skyldur aila samningsins, neytandanum hag (rttmtir skilmlar). etta ekki vi um samningsskilmla sem vara meginvifangsefni samningsins ea a hvort veri s vieigandi, ef eir skilmlar hafa veri gefnir upp me nkvmum, skrum og skiljanlegum htti, ea ef sami hefur veri srstaklega um rttmta skilmla. ... 4. ... (k) ... 5. rttmtir skilmlar neytendasamningum skulu vera gildir. ef neytandi, sem hefur ekki stai vi skuldbindingar snar, ef krafinn um hflega ha greislu vegna vanefndanna, kvi teljast rttmtir skilmlar neytendasamningi, einkum og sr lagi:

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4. gr. laga nr. 258/2001 um neytendaln (Zkon . 258/2001 Z.z. o spotrebiteskch veroch) er kvei um eftirfarandi: 1. Samningur um neytendaln skal vera skriflegur, annars er hann gildur, og skal neytandinn f eitt eintak samningsins. 2. ... (j) ... rleg hlutfallstala kostnaar og heildarkostnaur neytandans vegna neytendalnsins, skulu reiknu t fr grundvelli eirra upplsinga sem gilda eim tma sem samningurinn er gerur. samningi um neytendaln skulu, til vibtar vi almenna lii, vera eftirfarandi atrii:

Hins vegar, ef samningur um neytendaln inniheldur ekki au atrii sem talin eru upp j-li 2. undirgr., ... skal liti svo a lni sem veitt er s n vaxta og endurgjalds. greiningsefni aalmefer og spurningar sem lagar eru fram til forrskurar 20 Stefnendur mlsins hafa fari fram a landsdmstllinn, sem leggur fram beinina um forrskur, gildi ann lnssamning sem eir geru vi SOS, sem er stofnun sem er ekki banki en veitir neytendaln grundvelli stalara samninga. Samkvmt rskurinum um a leita forrskurar var lni, sem greiningur aalmeferarinnar ltur a, veitt eim ann 12. mars 2008. Samkvmt samningnum veitti SOS stefnendum mlsins ln a upph SKK 150 000 (EUR 4 969), sem skyldi greia me 32 mnaarlegum afborgunum a upph of SKK 6 000 (EUR 199) og 33. greislu a smu upph og lnsupphin. eim var annig gert a greia alls SKK 342 000 (EUR 11 352). rleg hlutfallstala kostnaar skyldi vera fst samkvmt samningnum og vera 48,63%, en samkvmt treikningum landsdmstlsins vru eir raun 58,76% ar sem SOS tki ekki me treikningum snum mis konar kostna vegna lnsins. rskurinum um a leita forrskurar kemur einnig fram a samningnum sem greiningur aalmeferarinnar ltur a eru nokkrir skilmlar sem eru stefnendum mlsins hag. Landsdmstllinn telur a yfirlsingu ess efnis a essi samningur um skammtmaln s gildur heild sinni, vegna rttmtis sumra samningsskilmlana, vri stefnendum mlsins frekar hag en a halda gildum eim skilmlum samningsins sem ekki eru rttmtir. fyrra tilvikinu myndu umrddir neytendur aeins urfa a greia 9% drttarvexti frekar en ll gjld vegna lnsins, sem vru talsvert miklu hrri en vanskilavextirnir. 25 ar sem Okresn sd Preov (hrasdmstllinn Preov) taldi a niurstaa mlsins vri h tlkun vikomandi kva laga Evrpusambandsins var tekin kvrun um a fresta mlsmeferinni og leggja fram eftirfarandi spurningar til forrskurar: 1. Felur neytendavernd samkvmt 1. mgr. 6. gr. ... tilskipunar 93/13 ... sr a a s hgt, ar sem reynast vera rttmt samningskvi neytendasamningi, a lykta a samningurinn heild s ekki bindandi fyrir neytandann, ef a er neytandanum frekar hag? Fela vimiin, sem segja til um hva su rttmtir viskiptahttir samrmi vi ... tilskipun 2005/29 ... sr a a s hgt, ef sluailinn tilgreinir samningnum rlega hlutfallstlu kostnaar sem er lgri en rtt reynist, a lykta a a su rttmtir viskiptahttir veitandans gagnvart neytandanum? S niurstaan s a um rttmta viskiptahtti s a ra, er heimilt samkvmt tilskipun 2005/29 ... a a hafi hrif gildi lnssamnings og hvort markmi 1. mgr. 4. gr og 1 mgr. 6. gr. ni fram a ganga, ef a vri neytandanum frekar hag a samningurinn vri gildur?

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litaefni a v er varar spurningarnar sem lagar eru fram Fyrsta spurningin 26 Me fyrstu spurningunni er landsdmstllinn reynd a f r v skori hvort tlka veri 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 annig a landsbundnum dmstlum s heimilt a rskura, ef eir telja a rttmta skilmla s a finna samningi milli seljanda og neytanda, a samningurinn heild skuli ekki vera bindandi fyrir neytandann, eirri forsendu a s neytandanum frekar hag. Til a hgt s a svara essari spurningu verur fyrst a minnast ess a a verndarfyrirkomulag sem komi var ft me tilskipun 93/13 byggir eirri hugmynd a neytandinn er veikri stu gagnvart seljandanum a v er varar samningsstyrk og ekkingu, sem leiir til ess a neytandinn samykkir skilmla sem samdir eru fyrirfram af seljandanum n ess a geta haft hrif innihald essara skilmla (ml C168/05 Mostaza Claro [2006] ECR 110421, 25. gr., ml C243/08 Pannon GSM [2009] ECR 14713, 22. gr. og ml C40/08 Asturcom Telecomunicaciones [2009] ECR 19579, 29. gr.).

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Me tilliti til essarar veiku stu skulu aildarrkin skv. 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 mla fyrir um a rttmtir skilmlar su ekki samkvmt landslgum eirra bindandi fyrir neytandann. Samkvmt dmvenju er etta lgboi kvi sem hefur a markmi a sta formlegs jafnvgis sem leiir af samningnum varandi rttindi og skyldur samningsailanna komi virkt jafnvgi, sem kemur aftur jafnri milli eirra (sj Mostaza Claro, 36. gr., Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, 30. gr. og ml C137/08 VB Pnzgyi Lzing [2010] ECR I0000, 47. gr.). A v er varar hrif ess a samningsskilmlar teljist rttmtir gildi samningsins sem um rir skal bent a niurlagi 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 er kvei um a samningurinn veri fram bindandi fyrir samningsaila ef hann getur haldi gildi snu a ru leyti n rttmtu skilmlanna. Landsbundnum dmstl, sem annig telur a samningsskilmlar su rttmtir, er v skylt skv. 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13, fyrsta lagi, a tryggja a a hafi r afleiingar sem leiir af landslgum, svo a neytandinn s ekki bundinn af essum skilmlum (sj Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, 58. og 59. gr. og rskur mli C76/10 Pohotovos [2010] ECR I0000, 62. gr.) og, ru lagi, a meta hvort samningurinn sem um rir geti haldi gildi snu n rttmtu skilmlanna (sj rskur Pohotovos-mlinu, 61. gr.). Eins og fram kemur eirri dmvenju sem vsa er til 28. gr. hr a framan og eins og aallgsgumaur bendir 63. li liti snu er markmi lggjafa Evrpusambandsins me tilskipun 93/13 a koma aftur jafnvgi milli samningsailanna enda tt samningurinn haldi, a meginreglu til, gildi snu heild, en ekki a gilda alla samninga sem fela sr rttmta skilmla. A v er varar vimi fyrir mat v hvort samningur geti raun stai n rttmtu skilmlanna skal ess geti a bi oralag 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 og krfurnar um rttarvissu a v er varar atvinnustarfsemi mla me hlutlgri nlgun tlkun kvisins og annig getur, eins og aallgsgumaurinn bendir lium 66 til 68 liti snu, staa annars samningsailans, essu tilviki neytandans, ekki ri rslitum um rlg samningsins. ar af leiir a ekki er hgt a tlka 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 annig a dmstll sem mli hefur til meferar geti, vi mat v hvort samningur sem felur sr einn ea fleiri rttmta skilmla geti stai n essara skilmla, byggt rskur sinn eingngu v a gilding samningsins heild gti veri neytandanum hag. A v sgu verur engu a sur a lta til ess a me tilskipun 93/13 er aeins kvei um samrmingu a hluta til og lgmarkssamrmingu landslggjafar um rttmta skilmla, en um lei er aildarrkjunum heimilt a veita neytendum flugri vernd en kvei er um tilskipuninni. annig er 8. gr. tilskipunarinnar kvei srstaklega um a aildarrki geta samykkt ea lti gilda fram eins strng kvi og samrmast sttmlanum gildissvii essarar tilskipunar til a tryggja neytendum sem flugasta vernd (sj ml C484/08 Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad de Madrid [2010] ECR 14785, 28. og 29. gr.). Tilskipun 93/13 kemur annig ekki veg fyrir a aildarrki setji, samrmi vi lg Evrpusambandsins, landslggjf sem heimilar a samningur sem seljandi og neytandi gera me sr og sem felur sr einn ea fleiri rttmta skilmla s gildur heild sinni, ef a tryggir neytandanum betri vernd. Me hlisjn af essum forsendum er svari vi fyrstu spurningu a1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 skal tlka annig, a vi mat v hvort samningur sem seljandi gerir vi neytanda og sem felur sr einn ea fleiri rttmta skilmla geti stai n essara skilmla, getur dmstll sem mli hefur til meferar ekki byggt rskur sinn eingngu v a gilding samningsins heild gti veri rum ailanum, essu tilviki neytandanum, hag. Hins vegar kemur tilskipunin ekki veg fyrir a aildarrki kvei, samrmi vi lg Evrpusambandsins, a samningur sem seljandi gerir vi neytanda og sem felur sr einn ea fleiri rttmta skilmla skuli vera gildur heild sinni, ef a tryggir neytandanum betri vernd. nnur spurningin Me annarri spurningunni er landsdmstllinn reynd a f r v skori hvort upplsingar samningi um neytendaln sem sna lgri rlega hlutfallstlu kostnaar en rtt reynist geti talist rttmtir viskiptahttir skilningi tilskipunar 2005/29. S svari vi spurningunni j, er eirri spurningu beint til Dmstlsins hvaa afleiingar s niurstaa hafi a v er varar mat v hvort skilmlar samningsins su rttmtir me tilliti til 1. mgr. 4. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 og hvort samningurinn heild s gildur me tilliti til 1. mgr. 6. gr. smu tilskipunar.

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Til a hgt s a svara eirri spurningu verur fyrst a minna a d-li 2. gr. tilskipunar 2005/29, er hugtaki viskiptahttir, me mjg vtkum htti, skilgreint svo: hvers konar verknaur, agerarleysi, htterni ea framsetning, samskipti viskiptum, .m.t. auglsingar og markassetning, af hlfu sluaila, sem tengist beint kynningu, slu ea afhendingu vru til neytenda (ml C304/08 Plus Warenhandelsgesellschaft [2010] ECR 1217, 36. gr. og ml C540/08 Mediaprint Zeitungs- and Zeitschriftenverlag [2010] ECR I0000, 17. gr.). samrmi vi 1. mgr. 3. gr. tilskipunar 2005/29, tlku tengslum vi c-li 2. gr. smu tilskipunar, gildir tilskipunin um rttmta viskiptahtti fyrirtkja gagnvart neytanda ur en, mean og eftir a viskipti me vru ea jnustu fara fram. Samkvmt 4. mgr. 5. gr. tilskipunarinnar teljast einkum villandi viskiptahttir rttmtir. Loks skal geta ess a 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 2005/29 er kvei um a viskiptahttir teljast villandi ef eir fela sr rangar upplsingar og eru v trverugir ea ef eir blekkja, ea eru lklegir til a blekkja, mealneytandann, t.d. me almennri framsetningu, tengslum vi eitt ea fleiri af atriunum sem talin eru upp 1. mgr. 6. gr. og valda v ea eru lklegar til a valda v, hvaa tilviki sem er, a hann taki viskiptakvrun sem hann hefi ekki annars gert. Meal eirra atria sem um getur kvinu eru ver ea afer sem notu er vi treikning veri Viskiptahttir eins og eir sem greiningur aalmeferarinnar ltur a, sem fela sr a upplsingar samningi um neytendaln sna lgri rlega hlutfallstlu kostnaar en rtt reynist, teljast villandi upplsingar um heildarlntkukostnainn og ar af leiandi um veri eins og um getur d-li 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 2005/29. A svo miklu leyti sem upplsingar um rlega hlutfallstlu kostnaar valda v ea eru lklegir til a valda v a mealneytandinn taki viskiptakvrun sem hann hefi ekki annars gert, sem er hlutverk landsbundins dmstls a kvea r um, skulu essar rngu upplsingar teljast villandi viskiptahttir skilningi 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunarinnar. A v er varar hrif eirrar niurstu mat rttmti skilmla samningsins me tilliti til 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 verur a lta til ess a essu kvi er mjg rm skilgreining vimiunum fyrir slkt mat og tilteki srstaklega a hafa skuli hlisjn af llum astum egar samningurinn sem um er a ra er gerur. Vi r astur, eins og aallgsgumaurinn bendir meginatrium 125. li liti snu, er niurstaa ess efnis a viskiptahttir su rttmtir einn ttur af mrgum sem valdbr dmstll getur stust vi mati snu v hvort samningsskilmlar su rttmtir skilningi 1. mgr. 4. tilskipunar 93/13. S ttur er hins vegar ekki ess elis a hann valdi v sjlfkrafa og einn og sr a skilmlarnir sem greiningurinn er um teljist rttmtir. a er landsdmstlsins a kvea um beitingu eim almennu vimium sem sett eru fram 3. og 4. gr. tilskipunar 93/13 tiltekinn skilmla, sem verur a taka til athugunar samhengi vi allar astur tiltekins mls (sj, hva etta varar, ml C237/02 Freiburger Kommunalbauten [2004] ECR 13403, 19. til 22. gr, Pannon GSM, 37. til 43. gr., VB Pnzgyi Lzing, 42. og 43. gr. og rskur Pohotovost'-mlinu, 56. til 60. gr.). A v er varar r afleiingar sem niurstaa ess efnis a rangar upplsingar um rlega hlutfallstlu kostnaar teljist rttmtir viskiptahttir hefur mat gildi samningsins sem um rir heild sinni, me tilliti til 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13, ngir a nefna a tilskipun 2005/29, eins og kvei er um 2, mgr. 3. gr., gildir me fyrirvara um samningalg og einkum um reglur um gildi, ger og hrif samnings. ar af leiir a niurstaa ess efnis a viskiptahttir su rttmtir hefur engin bein hrif a hvort samningurinn s gildur me tilliti til 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13. Me hlisjn af essum forsendum er svari vi annarri spurningu a viskiptahttir, eins og eir sem greiningur aalmeferarinnar ltur a, sem fela sr a upplsingar lnasamningi sna lgri rlega hlutfallstlu kostnaar en rtt reynist, skulu teljast villandi skilningi 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 2005/29 a svo miklu leyti sem a veldur ea er lklegt a valda v a mealneytandinn taki viskiptakvrun sem hann myndi ekki annars hafa teki. a er hlutverk landsdmstlsins a kvea r um hvort essu er annig fari aalmeferinni. Niurstaa ess efnis a um rttmta viskiptahtti s a ra er einn ttur meal annarra sem valdbr dmstll, skv. 1. mgr. 4. gr. tilskipunar 93/13, getur stust vi mati snu v hvort samningsskilmlar su rttmtir a v er varar kostna lns sem veitt er neytandanum. Hins vegar hefur slk niurstaa engin bein hrif mati v hvort gerur lnssamningur s gildur me tilliti til 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13. Mlskostnaur ar sem um er ra ml sem, a v er varar ailana a aalmeferinni, er hluti af mlarekstri fyrir landsdmstlnum kemur a hlut ess dmstls a kvara mlskostna. Ailar, arir en nefndir ailar, sem skila hafa greinargerum til Dmstlsins bera sinn mlskostna.

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Me vsan til framangreindra forsendna kveur Dmstllinn (fyrsta deild) upp svohljandi rskur: 1. kvi 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar rsins 93/13/EBE fr 5. aprl 1993 um rttmta skilmla neytendasamningum skal tlka annig, a vi mat v hvort samningur sem seljandi og neytandi gera me sr og sem felur sr einn ea fleiri rttmta skilmla geti stai n essara skilmla, getur dmstll sem mli hefur til meferar ekki byggt rskur sinn eingngu v a gilding samningsins heild gti veri rum ailanum, essu tilviki neytandanum, hag. Hins vegar kemur tilskipunin ekki veg fyrir a aildarrki kvei, samrmi vi lg Evrpusambandsins, a samningur sem seljandi gerir vi neytanda og sem felur sr einn ea fleiri rttmta skilmla skuli vera gildur heild sinni, ef a tryggir neytandanum betri vernd. Viskiptahttir, eins og eir sem greiningur aalmeferarinnar ltur a, sem fela sr a upplsingar samningi um neytendaln sna lgri rlega hlutfallstlu kostnaar en rtt reynist, skulu teljast villandi skilningi 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar Evrpuingsins og rsins 2005/29/EB fr 11. ma 2005 um rttmta viskiptahtti gagnvart neytendum innri markanum og um breytingu tilskipun rsins 84/450/EBE, tilskipunum Evrpuingsins og rsins 97/7/EB, 98/27/EB og 2002/65/EB og regluger Evrpuingsins og rsins (EB) nr. 2006/2004 (Tilskipun um rttmta viskiptahtti) a svo miklu leyti sem a veldur ea er lklegt a valda v a mealneytandinn taki viskiptakvrun sem hann myndi ekki annars hafa teki. a er hlutverk landsdmstlsins a kvea r um hvort essu er annig fari aalmeferinni. Niurstaa ess efnis a um rttmta viskiptahtti s a ra er einn ttur meal annarra sem valdbr dmstll, skv. 1. mgr. 4. gr. tilskipunar 93/13, getur stust vi mati snu v hvort samningsskilmlar su rttmtir a v er varar kostna lns sem veitt er neytandanum. Hins vegar hefur slk niurstaa engin bein hrif mati v hvort gerur lnssamningur s gildur me tilliti til 1. mgr. 6. gr. tilskipunar 93/13.

2.

[undirskriftir]

Court of Justice of the European Union PRESS RELEASE No 27/12


Luxembourg, 15 March 2012

Press and Information

Judgment in Case C-453/10 Jana Pereniov and Vladislav Pereni v SOS financ spol. s r. o.

National legislation may provide for a contract between a consumer and a trader which contains an unfair term to be void if that ensures better protection of the consumer
While EU law in principle aims only to eliminate unfair terms, it none the less allows the Member States to give consumers a higher level of protection that it provides for The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Directive1 provides that unfair terms in a contract between a consumer and a trader which are imposed by the trader are not binding on the consumer. A term must be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer. However, a contract containing such a term remains binding on the parties if it is capable of continuing in existence without the unfair term. Mr and Mrs Pereni obtained a loan of SKK 150 000 (4 979) from SOS, a non-bank institution which grants consumer loans on the basis of standard contracts. According to the credit agreement, the loan was to be repaid in 32 monthly instalments of SKK 6 000 (199) and a 33rd instalment in the same amount as the loan granted. The borrowers were thus obliged to repay an amount of SKK 342 000 (11 352). The annual percentage rate of charge (APR) of the loan that is to say, the consumers total costs in connection with the loan was fixed at 48.63% in the agreement, but, according to the calculation of the Slovak court which is making the reference to the Court of Justice, it is in fact 58.76%. Mr and Mrs Pereni brought an action before the Okresn sd Preov (District Court, Preov, Slovakia) seeking a declaration that their credit agreement contains several unfair terms, such as the incorrect statement of the APR, and also asking that court to declare the agreement void as a whole. The Slovak court asks the Court of Justice whether the directive allows it to declare void a consumer contract containing unfair terms if that is more advantageous to the consumer. As the Slovak court points out, if the agreement were declared void, the consumers in question would be obliged to pay only interest for late payment, at the rate of 9%, rather than all the charges relating to the loan granted, which would be much higher than that interest. In its judgment the Court of Justice starts by recalling that the aim of the directive is to eliminate unfair terms in consumer contracts while preserving, if possible, the validity of the contract as a whole, not to abolish all contracts containing unfair terms. Next, as regards the criteria for assessing whether a contract can indeed continue to exist without the unfair terms, the Court observes that an objective approach must be applied, under which the situation of one of the parties to the contract, in this case the consumer, cannot be regarded as the decisive criterion determining the fate of the contract. Consequently, when an assessment is made of whether a contract containing one or more unfair terms can continue to exist without those
1

Council Directive 93/13/EEC of 5 April 1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts (OJ 1993 L 95, p. 29).

www.curia.europa.eu

terms, the directive precludes the taking into consideration solely of the advantage to the consumer of the annulment of the contract as a whole. The Court finds, however, that the directive carried out only a partial and minimum harmonisation of national legislation concerning unfair terms, while allowing Member States the option of giving consumers a higher level of protection than that for which the directive provides. Consequently, the directive does not preclude a Member State from laying down, in compliance with EU law, national legislation under which a contract between a trader and a consumer which contains one or more unfair terms may be declared void as a whole where that will ensure better protection of the consumer. Finally, the Court states that a commercial practice which consists in indicating in a credit agreement an APR lower than the real rate constitutes false information as to the total cost of the credit which must be classified as a misleading commercial practice within the meaning of the directive on unfair commercial practices2, in so far as it causes or is likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise. While that circumstance may be taken into account among other factors for the purpose of finding that contractual terms are unfair under the directive on unfair terms, it is not, however, such as to establish, automatically and on its own, that those terms are unfair. All the circumstances of the particular case must be considered before taking a decision on the fairness of the terms in question. Similarly, a finding that a commercial practice is unfair has no direct effect on whether the contract as a whole is valid.
NOTE: A reference for a preliminary ruling allows the courts and tribunals of the Member States, in disputes which have been brought before them, to refer questions to the Court of Justice about the interpretation of European Union law or the validity of a European Union act. The Court of Justice does not decide the dispute itself. It is for the national court or tribunal to dispose of the case in accordance with the Courts decision, which is similarly binding on other national courts or tribunals before which a similar issue is raised. Unofficial document for media use, not binding on the Court of Justice. The full text of the judgment is published on the CURIA website on the day of delivery. Press contact: Christopher Fretwell (+352) 4303 3355

Directive 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2005 concerning unfair business-toconsumer commercial practices in the internal market and amending Council Directive 84/450/EEC, Directives 97/7/EC, 98/27/EC and 2002/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ 2005 L 149, p. 22).

www.curia.europa.eu

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT (First Chamber) 15 March 2012 (*)

(Consumer protection - Consumer credit agreement - Incorrect statement of annual percentage rate of charge - Effect of unfair commercial practices and unfair terms on the validity of the contract as a whole)

In Case C453/10, REFERENCE for a preliminary ruling under Article 267 TFEU from the Okresn sd Preov (Slovakia), made by decision of 31 August 2010, received at the Court on 16 September 2010, in the proceedings Jana Pereniov, Vladislav Pereni v SOS financ spol. s r. o., THE COURT (First Chamber), composed of A. Tizzano, President of the Chamber, M. Safjan (Rapporteur), A. Borg Barthet, E. Levits and J J . Kasel, Judges, Advocate General: V. Trstenjak, Registrar: K. Sztranc-Slawiczek, Administrator, having regard to the written procedure and further to the hearing on 15 September 2011, after considering the observations submitted on behalf of: Mr and Mrs Pereni, by I. afranko and I. Motyka, advokti, the Slovak Government, by B. Ricziov, acting as Agent, the German Government, by T. Henze and J. Kemper, acting as Agents, the Spanish Government, by F. Dez Moreno, acting as Agent, the Austrian Government, by C. Pesendorfer, acting as Agent, the European Commission, by G. Rozet, A. Tokar and M. OwsianyHornung acting as Agents, after hearing the Opinion of the Advocate General at the sitting on 29 November 2011, gives the following

Judgment

1 This reference for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of Article 6(1) of Council Directive 93/13/EEC of 5 April 1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts (OJ 1993 L 95, p. 29), provisions of Directive 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 M ay 2005 concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market and amending Council Directive 84/ 450/EEC, Directives 97/7/EC, 98/27/EC and 2002/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council ('Unfair Commercial Practices Directive') (OJ 2005 L 149, p. 22), and the possible effect of the application of Directive 2005/ 29 on Directive 93/13.

2 T he reference has been made in the course of proceedings between Mr and Mrs Pereni and SOS financ spol. s r. o. ('SOS'), a non-bank institution which offers loans to consumers, concerning a credit agreement concluded between them and that company.

Legal context
European Union legislation

Directive 93/13 3 According to the 7th, 16th, 20th and 21st recitals in the preamble to Directive 93/13: 'Whereas sellers of goods and suppliers of services will thereby be helped in their task of selling goods and supplying services, both at home and throughout the internal market; whereas competition will thus be stimulated, so contributing to increased choice for Community citizens as consumers;

...
Whereas ... in making an assessment of good faith, particular regard shall be had to the strength of the bargaining positions of the parties, whether the consumer had an inducement to agree to the term and whether the goods or services were sold or supplied to the special order of the consumer; whereas the requirement of good faith may be satisfied by the seller or supplier where he deals fairly and equitably with the other party whose legitimate interests he has to take into account;

...
Whereas contracts should be drafted in plain, intelligible language, the consumer should actually be given an opportunity to examine all the terms ...; Whereas Member States should ensure that unfair terms are not used in contracts concluded with consumers by a seller or supplier and that if, nevertheless, such terms are so used, they will not bind the consumer, and the contract will continue to bind the parties upon those terms if it is capable of continuing in existence without the unfair provisions'. 4 Under Article 3 of Directive 93/13: '1. A contractual term which has not been individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer.

...
3. The Annex shall contain an indicative and non-exhaustive list of the terms which may be regarded as unfair.' 5 Article 4 of that directive provides: '1. ... the unfairness of a contractual term shall be assessed, taking into account the nature of the goods or services for which the contract was concluded and by referring, at the time of conclusion of the contract, to all the circumstances attending the conclusion of the contract and to all the other terms of the contract or of another contract on which it is dependent. 2. Assessment of the unfair nature of the terms shall relate neither to the definition of the main subject matter of the contract nor to the adequacy of the price and remuneration, on the one hand, as against the services or goods [supplied] in exchange, on the other, in so far as these terms are in plain intelligible language.' 6 Article 5 of the directive provides: 'In the case of contracts where all or certain terms offered to the consumer are in writing, these terms must always be drafted in plain, intelligible language. Where there is doubt about the meaning of a term, the interpretation most favourable to the consumer shall prevail. 7 Under Article 6 of the directive:

'1. Member States shall lay down that unfair terms used in a contract concluded with a consumer by a seller or supplier shall, as provided for under their national law, not be binding on the consumer and that the contract shall continue to bind the parties upon those terms if it is capable of continuing in existence without the unfair terms.

...'

8 Article 8 of the directive provides: 'Member States may adopt or retain the most stringent provisions compatible with the Treaty in the area covered by this Directive, to ensure a maximum degree of protection for the consumer.' 9 The annex to Directive 93/13 lists the terms referred to in Article 3(3) of the directive: '1. Terms which have the object or effect of:

(i) irrevocably binding the consumer to terms with which he had no real opportunity of becoming acquainted before the conclusion of the contract;

...

Directive 2005/29 10 Article 2 of Directive 2005/29 reads as follows: 'For the purposes of this Directive:

...'

(c) "product" means any goods or service including immovable property, rights and obligations; (d) "business-to-consumer commercial practices" (hereinafter also referred to as commercial practices) means any act, omission, course of conduct or representation, commercial communication including advertising and marketing, by a trader, directly connected with the promotion, sale or supply of a product to consumers; (e) "to materially distort the economic behaviour of consumers" means using a commercial practice to appreciably impair the consumer's ability to make an informed decision, thereby causing the consumer to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise;

...

(k) "transactional decision" means any decision taken by a consumer concerning whether, how and on what terms to purchase, make payment in whole or in part for, retain or dispose of a product or to exercise a contractual right in relation to the product, whether the consumer decides to act or to refrain from acting;

...

11 Article 3 of that directive provides: '1. This Directive shall apply to unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices, as laid down in Article 5, before, during and after a commercial transaction in relation to a product. 2. This Directive is without prejudice to contract law and, in particular, to the rules on the validity, formation or effect of a contract.

...'

4. In the case of conflict between the provisions of this Directive and other Community rules regulating specific aspects of unfair commercial practices, the latter shall prevail and apply to those specific aspects, 5. For a period of six years from 12 June 2007, Member States shall be able to continue to apply

...

national provisions within the field approximated by this Directive which are more restrictive or prescriptive than this Directive and which implement directives containing minimum harmonisation clauses. These measures must be essential to ensure that consumers are adequately protected against unfair commercial practices and must be proportionate to the attainment of this objective. ...

...'

12 Article 5 of the directive provides: '1. Unfair commercial practices shall be prohibited. 2. A commercial practice shall be unfair if: (a) it is contrary to the requirements of professional diligence, and (b) it materially distorts or is likely to materially distort the economic behaviour with regard to the product of the average consumer whom it reaches or to whom it is addressed, or of the average member of the group when a commercial practice is directed to a particular group of consumers. 3. Commercial practices which are likely to materially distort the economic behaviour only of a clearly identifiable group of consumers who are particularly vulnerable to the practice or the underlying product because of their mental or physical infirmity, age or credulity in a way which the trader could reasonably be expected to foresee, shall be assessed from the perspective of the average member of that group. ... 4. In particular, commercial practices shall be unfair which: (a) are misleading as set out in Articles 6 and 7, or (b) are aggressive as set out in Articles 8 and 9.

13 Under Article 6 of the directive: '1. A commercial practice shall be regarded as misleading if it 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 factually correct, in relation to one or more of the following elements, and in either case causes or is likely to cause him to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise:

...'

(d) the price or the manner in which the price is calculated, or the existence of a specific price advantage;

...

14 Article 7 of the directive states: '1. A commercial practice shall be regarded as misleading if, in its factual context, taking account of all its features and circumstances and the limitations of the communication medium, it omits material information that the average consumer needs, according to the context, to take an informed transactional decision and thereby causes or is likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise. 2. It shall also be regarded as a misleading omission when, taking account of the matters described in paragraph 1, a trader hides or provides in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner such material information as referred to in that paragraph or fails to identify the commercial intent of the commercial practice if not already apparent from the context, and where, in either case, this causes or is likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise.

...'

...' 15 Article 11 of the directive provides: '1. Member States shall ensure that adequate and effective means exist to combat unfair commercial practices in order to enforce compliance with the provisions of this Directive in the interest of consumers.

...'
16 In accordance with Article 13 of the directive: 'Member States shall lay down penalties for infringements of national provisions adopted in application of this Directive and shall take all necessary measures to ensure that these are enforced. These penalties must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.'
National legislation

17 Paragraph 52 of the Slovak Civil Code (Obiansky zkonnk) provides: '1. "Consumer contract" means any contract, regardless of its legal form, made between a supplier and a consumer. 2. Provisions on consumer contracts and all other provisions governing the legal relations into which a consumer has entered shall always be applied to the advantage of the party to the contract who is a consumer. Different contractual agreements or agreements whose content or purpose is to circumvent these provisions shall be invalid.

...
4. A "consumer" is a natural person who, when concluding and performing a consumer contract, does not act in the course of his trade or of another commercial activity.' 18 Paragraph 53 of that code provides: '1. A consumer contract must not contain provisions which cause a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties to the contract to the detriment of the consumer ("unfair terms"). That does not apply in the case of contractual terms which relate to the main object of the contract or the appropriateness of the price, where those terms are expressed precisely, clearly and intelligibly, or if the unfair term has been individually negotiated.

...
4. Provisions shall be regarded as unfair terms in a consumer contract in particular if they:

...
(k) require a consumer who has failed to fulfil his obligations to pay a disproportionately high sum as a penalty for not fulfilling the obligations,

...
5. Unfair terms in consumer contracts shall be invalid.' 19 Paragraph 4 of Law No 258/2001 on consumer loans (Zkon . 258/2001 Z.z. o spotrebiteskch veroch) provides: '1. A consumer credit agreement must be in written form, otherwise it is invalid, and the consumer shall receive one copy of the agreement. 2. A consumer credit agreement, in addition to the general elements, must contain:

...
(j) the annual percentage rate of charge [(APR)] and the consumer's total costs in connection with the consumer credit, calculated on the basis of the data valid at the time of the conclusion of the

agreement,

If, however, a consumer credit agreement does not contain the elements listed in subparagraph 2, point ... (j), ,.. the credit granted shall be regarded as free of interest and charges.' The dispute in the main proceedings and the questions referred for a preliminary ruling 20 By their action, the applicants in the main proceedings ask the referring court to declare void the credit agreement they concluded with SOS, a non-bank establishment which grants consumer loans on the basis of standard contracts. According to the order for reference, the loan at issue in the main proceedings was granted to them on 12 March 2008. 21 Under that agreement, SOS granted the applicants in the main proceedings a loan of SKK 150 000 (EUR 4 969), repayable in 32 monthly instalments of SKK 6 000 (EUR 199) and a 33rd instalment in the same amount as the loan granted. They are thus obliged to repay an amount of SKK 342 000 (EUR 11 352). 22 The APR was fixed at 48.63% in the agreement, but, according to the calculation of the referring court, it is in fact 58.76%, since SOS did not include in its calculation some charges relating to the loan granted. 23 The order for reference further states that the agreement at issue in the main proceedings contains several terms to the disadvantage of the applicants in the main proceedings. 24 The referring court observes that a declaration that this short-term loan agreement is invalid as a whole, because of the unfair nature of some of its terms, would be more advantageous for the applicants in the main proceedings than maintaining the validity of the non-unfair terms in the agreement. In the former case, the consumers in question would be obliged to pay only interest for late payment, at the rate of 9%, rather than all the charges relating to the loan granted, which would be much higher than that interest. 25 Since it considered that the outcome of the case depended on an interpretation of the relevant provisions of European Union law, the Okresn sd Preov (District Court, Preov) decided to stay the proceedings and to refer the following questions to the Court for a preliminary ruling: '1. Is the scope of consumer protection under Article 6(1) of ... Directive 93/13 ... such as to make it possible, where unfair contractual clauses are found in a consumer contract, to conclude that the contract as a whole is not binding on the consumer, if that is more advantageous to the consumer? 2. Are the criteria determining what is an unfair commercial practice in accordance with ... Directive 2005/29 ... such as to permit the conclusion that, if a supplier quotes in the contract a lower ... APR ... than is in fact the case, it is possible to regard that step by the supplier towards the consumer as an unfair commercial practice? If there is a finding of an unfair commercial practice, does Directive 2005/29 ... permit there to be any impact on the validity of a credit agreement and on the achievement of the objective in Articles 4(1) and 6(1) of Directive 93/13, if invalidity of the contract is more advantageous for the consumer?'

...

Consideration of the questions referred


Question 1

26 By its first question, the referring court asks essentially whether Article 6(1) of Directive 93/13 must be interpreted as allowing national courts to decide, if they find that there are unfair terms in a contract concluded between a trader and a consumer, that the contract as a whole shall not be binding on the consumer, on the ground that that is more advantageous for the consumer. 27 In order to answer this question, it must first be recalled that the system of protection established by Directive 93/13 is based on the idea that the consumer is in a weak position vis--vis the trader as regards both his bargaining power and his level of knowledge, which leads to the consumer agreeing to terms drawn up in advance by the trader without being able to influence the content of those terms Case C168/05 Mostaza Claro [2006] ECR I10421, paragraph 25; Case C243/08Pannon GSM [2009] ECR 14713, paragraph 22; and Case C40/08 Asturcom Telecomunicaciones [2009] ECR 19579, paragraph 29).

28

In view of that weak position, Article 6(1) of Directive 93/13 requires Member States to lay down that unfair terms 'shall, as provided for under their national law, not be binding on the consumer'. As is apparent from the caselaw, that is a mandatory provision which aims to replace the formal balance which the contract establishes between the rights and obligations of the parties with an effective balance which re-establishes equality between them (see Mostaza Claro, paragraph 36; Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, paragraph 30; and Case C137/08 VB Pnzgyi Lzing [2010] ECR I0000, paragraph 47).

29 As regards the effects of a finding that terms of a contract are unfair on the validity of the contract in question, it must be pointed out that, under Article 6(1) in fine of Directive 93/13, 'the contract shall continue to bind the parties upon those terms if it is capable of continuing in existence without the unfair terms'. 30 In this context, national courts which find that terms of a contract are unfair are required under Article 6(1) of Directive 93/13, first, to draw all the consequences that follow under national law, so that the consumer is not bound by those terms (see Asturcom Teiecomunicaciones, paragraphs 58 and 59, and order in Case C76/10 Pohotovost' [2010] ECR I0000, paragraph 62), and, secondly, to assess whether the contract in question can continue to exist without those unfair terms (see order in Pohotovost', paragraph 61). 31 As follows from the case-law cited in paragraph 28 above, and as the Advocate General observes in point 63 of her Opinion, the objective pursued by the European Union legislature in connection with Directive 93/13 consists in restoring the balance between the parties while in principle preserving the validity of the contract as a whole, not in abolishing all contracts containing unfair terms. 32 As regards the criteria for assessing whether a contract can indeed continue to exist without the unfair terms, it must be noted that both the wording of Article 6(1) of Directive 93/13 and the requirements concerning the legal certainty of economic activities plead in favour of an objective approach in interpreting that provision, so that, as the Advocate General observes in points 66 to 68 of her Opinion, the situation of one of the parties to the contract, in this case the consumer, cannot be regarded as the decisive criterion determining the fate of the contract. 33 Consequently, Article 6(1) of Directive 93/13 cannot be interpreted as meaning that, when assessing whether a contract containing one or more unfair terms can continue to exist without those terms, the court hearing the case can base its decision solely on a possible advantage for the consumer of the annulment of the contract as a whole. 34 That being so, it must none the less be observed that Directive 93/13 carried out only a partial and minimum harmonisation of national legislation concerning unfair terms, while allowing Member States the option of giving consumers a higher level of protection than that for which the directive provides. Thus Article 8 of the directive expressly provides that Member States may 'adopt or retain the most stringent provisions compatible with the Treaty in the area covered by [the directive], to ensure a maximum degree of protection for the consumer' (see Case C484/08 Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad de Madrid [2010] ECR I4785, paragraphs 28 and 29). 35 Directive 93/13 does not therefore preclude a Member State from laying down, in compliance with European Union law, national legislation under which a contract concluded between a trader and a consumer which contains one or more unfair terms may be declared void as a whole where that will ensure better protection of the consumer. 36 In the light of those considerations, the answer to Question 1 is that Article 6(1) of Directive 93/13 must be interpreted as meaning that, when assessing whether a contract concluded with a consumer by a trader which contains one or more unfair terms can continue to exist without those terms, the court hearing the case cannot base its decision solely on a possible advantage for one of the parties, in this case the consumer, of the annulment of the contract in question as a whole. That directive does not, however, preclude a Member State from providing, in compliance with European Union law, that a contract concluded with a consumer by a trader which contains one or more unfair terms is to be void as a whole where that will ensure better protection of the consumer.
Question 2

37 By its second question, the referring court asks essentially whether the indication in a consumer credit agreement of an APR lower than the real rate may be regarded as an unfair commercial practice within the meaning of Directive 2005/29. If the answer to that question is in the affirmative, the Court is asked what consequences should be drawn from such a finding for the purpose of assessing the unfairness of the terms of that contract from the point of view of Article 4(1) of Directive 93/13 and the validity of the contract as a whole from the point of view of Article 6(1) of that directive.

38

In order to answer that question, it must first be recalled that Article 2(d) of Directive 2005/29, using a particularly wide formulation, defines the term "commercial practice' as 'any act, omission, course of conduct or representation, commercial communication including advertising and marketing, by a trader, directly connected with the promotion, sale or supply of a product to consumers' (Case C304/08 Plus Warenhandelsgesellschaft [2010] ECR I217, paragraph 36, and Case C540/Q8 Mediaprint Zeitungs- und Zeitschriftenverlag [2010] ECR I0000, paragraph 17).

39 Next, in accordance with Article 3(1) of Directive 2005/29 read in conjunction with Article 2(c) of that directive, the directive applies to unfair businesstoconsumer commercial practices before, during or after a commercial transaction relating to any goods or service. Under Article 5(4) of the directive, misleading practices in particular are unfair. 40 Finally, as stated in Article 6(1) of Directive 2005/29, a commercial practice is regarded as misleading if it contains false information and is therefore untruthful or in any way, including overall presentation, deceives or is likely to deceive the average consumer in relation to one or more of the elements listed in Article 6(1), and in either case causes or is likely to cause him to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise. The elements referred to in that provision include the price or the manner in which the price is calculated. 41 A commercial practice such as that at issue in the main proceedings which consists in indicating in a credit agreement an APR lower than the real rate constitutes false information as to the total cost of the credit and hence the price referred to in Article 6(1)(d) of Directive 2005/29. In so far as the indication of such an APR causes or is likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise, which is for the national court to ascertain, that false information must be regarded as a 'misleading' commercial practice under Article 6(1) of the directive. 42 As regards the effect of that finding on the assessment of the unfairness of the terms of that contract from the point of view of Article 4(1) of Directive 93/13, it must be observed that that provision gives a particularly wide definition of the criteria for making such an assessment, by expressly including 'all the circumstances' attending the conclusion of the contract in question. 43 In those circumstances, as the Advocate General says in substance in point 125 of her Opinion, a finding that a commercial practice is unfair is one element among others on which the competent court may base its assessment of the unfairness of contractual terms under Article 4(1) of Directive 93/13. 44 That element, however, is not such as to establish, automatically and on its own, that the contested terms are unfair. It is for the referring court to decide on the application of the general criteria set out in Articles 3 and 4 of Directive 93/13 to a specific term, which must be considered in relation to all the circumstances of the particular case (see, to that effect, Case C237/02 Freiburger Kommunalbauten [2004] ECR I3403, paragraphs 19 to 22; Pannon GSM, paragraphs 37 to 43; VB Pnzgyi Lzing, paragraphs 42 and 43; and order in Pohotovost', paragraphs 56 to 60). 45 As regards the consequences to be drawn from a finding that the incorrect statement of the APR constitutes an unfair commercial practice for the purposes of assessing, from the point of view of Article 6(1) of Directive 93/13, the validity of the contract in question as a whole, it suffices to observe that Directive 2005/29 applies, as Article 3(2) states, without prejudice to contract law and in particular to the rules on the validity, formation or effect of a contract. 46 Consequently, a finding that a commercial practice is unfair has no direct effect on whether the contract is valid from the point of view of Article 6(1) of Directive 93/13. 47 In the light of the above considerations, the answer to Question 2 is that a commercial practice such as that at issue in the main proceedings which consists in indicating in a credit agreement an APR lower than the real rate must be regarded as 'misleading' within the meaning of Article 6(1) of Directive 2005/ 29 in so far as it causes or is likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise. It is for the national court to ascertain whether that is the case in the main proceedings. A finding that such a commercial practice is unfair is one element among others on which the competent court may, pursuant to Article 4(1) of Directive 93/13, base its assessment of the unfairness of the contractual terms relating to the cost of the loan granted to the consumer. Such a finding, however, has no direct effect on the assessment, from the point of view of Article 6(1) of Directive 93/13, of the validity of the credit agreement concluded.

Costs 48 Since these proceedings are, for the parties to the main proceedings, a step in the action pending before the national court, the decision on costs is a matter for that court. Costs incurred in submitting observations to the Court, other than the costs of those parties, are not recoverable.

On those grounds, the Court (First Chamber) hereby rules: 1. Article 6(1) of Council Directive 93/13/EEC of 5 April 1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts must be interpreted as meaning that, when assessing whether a contract concluded with a consumer by a trader which contains one or more unfair terms can continue to exist without those terms, the court hearing the case cannot base its decision solely on a possible advantage for one of the parties, in this case the consumer, of the annulment of the contract in question as a whole. That directive does not, however, preclude a Member State from providing, in compliance with European Union law, that a contract concluded with a consumer by a trader which contains one or more unfair terms is to be void as a whole where that will ensure better protection of the consumer. 2. A commercial practice such as that at issue in the main proceedings which consists in indicating in a credit agreement an annual percentage rate of charge lower than the real rate must be regarded as 'misleading' within the meaning of Article 6(1) of Directive 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2005 concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market and amending Council Directive 84/450/EEC, Directives 97/7/EC, 98/27/EC and 2002/ 65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EC) No 2006/ 2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council ('Unfair Commercial Practices Directive') in so far as it causes or is likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise. It is for the national court to ascertain whether that is the case in the main proceedings. A finding that such a commercial practice is unfair is one element among others on which the competent court may, pursuant to Article 4(1) of Directive 93/13, base its assessment of the unfairness of the contractual terms relating to the cost of the loan granted to the consumer. Such a finding, however, has no direct effect on the assessment, from the point of view of Article 6(1) of Directive 93/13, of the validity of the credit agreement concluded. [Signatures]

ROZSUDOK SDNEHO DVORA (prv komora) z 15. marca 2012 (*)

Ochrana spotrebitea Zmluva o spotrebiteskom vere Uvedenie nesprvnej ronej percentulnej miery nkladov Vplyv nekalch obchodnch praktk a nekalch podmienok na platnos zmluvy ako celku

Vo veci C453/10, ktorej predmetom je nvrh na zaatie prejudicilneho konania poda lnku 267 ZFE, podan rozhodnutm Okresnho sdu Preov (Slovensko) z 31. augusta 2010 a doruen Sdnemu dvoru 16. septembra 2010, ktor svis s konanm: Jana Pereniov, Vladislav Pereni proti SOS financ, spol. s r. o., SDNY DVOR (prv komora), v zloen: predseda prvej komory A. Tizzano, sudcovia M. Safjan (spravodajca), A. Borg Barthet, E. Levits a J.J. Kasel, generlna advoktka: V. Trstenjak, tajomnk: K. SztrancSawiczek, referentka, so zreteom na psomn as konania a po pojednvan z 15. septembra 2011, so zreteom na pripomienky, ktor predloili: J. Pereniov a V. Pereni, v zastpen: I. afranko a A. Motyka, advokti, slovensk vlda, v zastpen: B. Ricziov, splnomocnen zstupkya, nemeck vlda, v zastpen: T. Henze a J. Kemper, splnomocnen zstupcovia, panielska vlda, v zastpen: F. Dez Moreno, splnomocnen zstupca, rakska vlda, v zastpen: C. Pesendorfer, splnomocnen zstupkya, Eurpska komisia, v zastpen: G. Rozet, A. Tokr a M. OwsianyHornung, splnomocnen zstupcovia,

po vypo ut nvrhov generlnej advoktky na pojednvan 29. novembra 2011, vyhlsil tento Rozsudok

Nvrh na zaatie prejudicilneho konania sa tka vkladu lnku 6 ods. 1 smernice Rady 93/13/EHS z 5. aprla 1993 o nekalch podmienkach v spotrebiteskch zmluvch (. v. ES L 95, s. 29; Mim. vyd. 15/002, s. 288), ustanoven smernice Eurpskeho parlamentu a Rady 2005/29/ES z 11. mja 2005 o nekalch obchodnch praktikch podnikateov vo i spotrebiteom na vntornom trhu, a ktorou sa men a dopa smernica Rady 84/450/EHS, smernice Eurpskeho parlamentu a Rady 97/7/ES, 98/27/ES a 2002/65/ES a nariadenie Eurpskeho parlamentu a Rady (ES) . 2006/2004 (smernica o nekalch obchodnch praktikch) (. v. E L 149, s. 22), ako aj toho, ak vplyv by uplatnenie smernice 2005/29 mohlo ma na smernicu 93/13. Tento nvrh bol podan v rmci sporu medzi J. Pereniovou a V. Pereniom a S.O.S. financ, spol. s r. o. (alej len S.O.S.), nebankovou intitciou, ktor poskytuje spotrebitesk very, vo veci zmluvy o vere uzatvorenej medzi dotknutmi osobami a touto spolo nosou. Prvny rmec Prvna prava nie Smernica 93/13

Siedme, estnste, dvadsiate a dvadsiate prv odvodnenia smernice 93/13 stanovuj: kee sa tm pome predajcom tovarov a dodvateom sluieb pri ich predaji tovaru a dodvan sluieb doma ako aj na vntornom trhu; kee takto bude stimulovan hospodrska sa, m sa zv vber pre obanov spolo enstva v lohe spotrebiteov; kee pri hodnoten dobrej viery sa mus bra ohad najm na stabilitu zmluvnho postavenia strn bez ohadu na to, i spotrebite bol stimulovan k shlasu s podmienkami a i tovar alebo sluby boli predvan na osobitn objednvku spotrebitea; kee poiadavka dobrej viery me by splnen predajcom alebo dodvateom, ke s inou stranou, ktorej oprvnen zujmy brali do vahy, zaobchdzaj estne a rovnocenne; kee zmluvy by mali by vypracovan zrozumitene, mal by ma spotrebite skuto ne prleitos preskma vetky podmienky; kee lensk tty by mali zabezpei, aby sa nekal podmienky neuplatovali v zmluvch uzatvorench so spotrebitemi zo strany predajcu alebo dodvatea a ak sa napriek tomu tak podmienky uplatnia, nemaj viaza spotrebitea a nemaj by zvzn pre spotrebitea a zmluva m by naalej zvzn pre zmluvn strany za tchto podmienok, ak jej plnenie me pokraova bez neprimeranch ustanoven.

Poda lnku 3 smernice 93/13: 1. Zmluvn podmienka, ktor nebola individulne dohodnut sa povauje za nekal, ak napriek poiadavke dvery [dobrej viery neoficilny preklad] spsob znan nerovnovhu v prvach a povinnostiach strn vzniknutch na zklade zmluvy, ku kode spotrebitea. 3. Prloha obsahuje indikatvny a nevyerpvajci zoznam podmienok, ktor sa mu povaova za nekal.

lnok 4 tejto smernice stanovuje: 1. nekalos zmluvnch podmienok sa hodnot so zreteom na povahu tovaru alebo sluieb,

na ktor bola zmluva uzatvoren a na vetky okolnosti svisiace s uzatvorenm zmluvy, v dobe uzatvorenia zmluvy a na vetky ostatn podmienky zmluvy alebo na in zmluvu, od ktorej zvis. 2. Hodnotenie nekalej povahy podmienok sa nevzahuje ani k defincii hlavnho predmetu zmluvy ani na primeran cenu a hradu na jednej strane, ako aj tovar alebo sluby dodvan vmennm spsobom na druhej strane, pokia tieto podmienky s zrozumiten. 6 lnok 5 uvedenej smernice stanovuje: V prpade zmlv, v ktorch s vetky alebo niektor podmienky ponkan spotrebiteovi v psomnej forme, musia by vdy tieto podmienky vypracovan zrozumitene. Ke existuje pochybnos o zmysle podmienky, prednos m vklad priaznivej pre spotrebitea. 7 Poda lnku 6 tej istej smernice: 1. lensk tty zabezpeia, aby nekal podmienky pouit v zmluvch uzatvorench so spotrebite om zo strany predajcu alebo dodvatea poda ich vntrottneho prva, neboli zvzn pre spotrebitea a aby zmluva bola poda tchto podmienok naalej zvzn pre strany, ak je jej alia existencia mon bez nekalch podmienok. 8 lnok 8 smernice 93/13 uvdza: lensk tty mu prija alebo si ponecha najprsnejie opatrenia kompatibiln [prsnejie ustanovenia zluiten neoficilny preklad] so zmluvou v oblasti obsiahnutej [upravenej neoficilny preklad] touto smernicou s cieom zabezpeenia maximlneho stupa ochrany spotrebite a. 9 Prloha smernice 93/13 vymenva podmienky, na ktor odkazuje lnok 3 ods. 3 tejto smernice: 1. i) Smernica 2005/29 10 lnok 2 smernice 2005/29 znie: Na ely tejto smernice: c) d) produkt je akkovek tovar alebo sluba vrtane nehnutenost, prva a zvzku; obchodn praktiky podnikateov vo i spotrebiteom (alej tie obchodn praktiky) s akko vek konanie, opomenutie, spsob sprvania alebo vyjadrenie, obchodn komunikcia vrtane reklamy a marketingu obchodnka, priamo spojen s podporou, predajom alebo dodvkou produktu spotrebiteom; podstatn naruenie ekonomickho sprvania spotrebitea je vyuitie obchodnej praktiky na znan naruenie schopnosti spotrebite a urobi kvalifikovan rozhodnutie, o spsob, e spotrebite urob rozhodnutie o obchodnej transakcii, ktor by inak neurobil; neodvolatene zaviaza spotrebitea k podmienkam, s ktormi sa skuto ne nemohol oboznmi pred uzavretm zmluvy; Podmienky, ktorch zmyslom alebo inkom je:

e)

k)

rozhodnutie o obchodnej transakcii je akko vek rozhodnutie spotrebitea o tom, i, ako a za akch podmienok produkt kpi, vykon za platbu vcelku alebo v astiach, ponech si ho alebo s nm bude alej naklada alebo uplatn zmluvn prvo vo vzahu k produktu bez ohadu na to, i sa spotrebite rozhodne kona alebo zdra sa konania;

11 lnok 3 tejto smernice uvdza: 1. Tto smernica sa uplatuje na nekal obchodn praktiky podnikateov vo i spotrebiteom tak, ako s ustanoven v lnku 5, pred, po as a po uskuto nen obchodnej transakcie vo vzahu k produktu. 2. Tto smernica sa nedotka zmluvnho prva, a najm pravidiel o platnosti, uzavieran alebo inkoch zmluvy. 4. V prpadoch rozporu medzi ustanoveniami tejto smernice a inmi prvnymi predpismi Spolo enstva upravujcimi osobitn aspekty nekalch obchodnch praktk maj prednos a na tieto osobitn aspekty sa pouij in prvne predpisy Spolo enstva. 5. Po as iestich rokov od 12.6.2007 mu lensk tty pokraova v uplatovan v oblasti, ktor aproximuje tto smernica, vntrottnych prvnych predpisov, ktor s retriktvnejie alebo normatvnejie ako tto smernica a ktor vykonvaj smernice obsahujce klauzuly o minimlnej harmonizcii. Tieto opatrenia musia by zsadn pre zabezpeenie nleitej ochrany spotrebite ov pred nekalmi obchodnmi praktikami a musia by primeran k dosiahnutiu tohto ciea. 12 lnok 5 uvedenej smernice stanovuje: 1. 2. a) Nekal obchodn praktiky s zakzan. Obchodn praktika je nekal, ak: je v rozpore s poiadavkami odbornej starostlivosti, a b) podstatne naruuje alebo je spsobil podstatne narui ekonomick sprvanie priemernho spotrebitea vo vzahu k produktu, ku ktormu sa dostane alebo ktormu je adresovan, alebo priemernho lena skupiny, ak je obchodn praktika orientovan na urit skupinu spotrebiteov.

3. Obchodn praktiky, ktor s spsobil podstatne narui ekonomick sprvanie iba jasne identifikovatenej skupiny spotrebiteov, ktor s obzvl zraniten touto praktikou alebo zkladnm produktom z dvodu ich duevnej poruchy alebo fyzickej vady, veku alebo dverivosti spsobom, ktor me obchodnk rozumne predpoklada, sa posudzuj z pohadu priemernho lena tejto skupiny. 4. a) Za nekal obchodn praktiky sa povauj najm tie, ktor: s klamliv v zmysle lnkov 6 a 7, alebo b) s agresvne v zmysle lnkov 8 a 9.

13 Poda lnku 6 rovnakej smernice: 1. Obchodn praktika sa povauje za klamliv, ak obsahuje nesprvne informcie a je preto nepravdiv, alebo akmko vek spsobom, vrtane celkovho prevedenia, uvdza do omylu alebo je spsobil uvies do omylu priemernho spotrebitea, a to aj ke je tto informcia vecne sprvna vo vzahu k jednmu alebo viacerm nasledujcim prvkom, priom v obidvoch prpadoch zapriuje alebo je spsobil zaprini, e spotrebite urob rozhodnutie o obchodnej transakcii, ktor by inak neurobil: d) 14 lnok 7 smernice 2005/29 uvdza: 1. Obchodn praktika sa povauje za klamliv, ak v skutkovej svislosti, berc do vahy vetky jej rty, okolnosti a obmedzenia komunikanho prostriedku, opomenie podstatn informciu, ktor priemern spotrebite potrebuje v zvislosti od kontextu na to, aby urobil kvalifikovan rozhodnutie o obchodnej transakcii, a tm zapriuje alebo me zaprini, e priemern spotrebite urob rozhodnutie o obchodnej transakcii, ktor by inak neurobil. 2. Za klamliv opomenutie sa taktie povauje, ak obchodnk skrva alebo poskytuje nejasnm, nezrozumitenm, viacvznamovm alebo nevhodnm spsobom podstatn informcie uveden v odseku 1, vzhadom na okolnosti popsan v uvedenom odseku, alebo neoznmi obchodn el obchodnej praktiky, ak u nie je zrejm z kontextu, a tam, kde v jednom alebo druhom prpade toto spsob alebo je pravdepodobn, e spsob, e priemern spotrebite prijme rozhodnutie o obchodnej transakcii, ktor by inak neprijal. 15 lnok 11 tejto smernice stanovuje: 1. lensk tty zabezpeia existenciu vhodnch a innch prostriedkov na boj proti nekalm obchodnm praktikm s cieom vynti slad s ustanoveniami tejto smernice v zujme spotrebite ov. 16 Poda lnku 13 uvedenej smernice: lensk tty stanovia sankcie za poruenie vntrottnych predpisov prijatch na zklade tejto smernice a prijm vetky nevyhnutn opatrenia na zabezpeenie ich vyntitenosti. Tieto sankcie musia by inn, primeran a odradzujce. Vntrottna prvna prava 17 Ustanovenie 52 slovenskho Obianskeho zkonnka uvdza: 1. Spotrebiteskou zmluvou je kad zmluva bez ohadu na prvnu formu, ktor uzatvra dodvate so spotrebiteom. 2. Ustanovenia o spotrebiteskch zmluvch, ako aj vetky in ustanovenia upravujce prvne vzahy, ktorch astnkom je spotrebite, pouij sa vdy, ak je to na prospech zmluvnej strany, ktor je spotrebiteom. Odlin zmluvn dojednania alebo dohody, ktorch obsahom alebo elom je obchdzanie tohto ustanovenia, s neplatn. cena alebo spsob vpo tu ceny, alebo existencia osobitnej cenovej vhody;

4. Spotrebite je fyzick osoba, ktor pri uzatvran a plnen spotrebiteskej zmluvy nekon v rmci predmetu svojej obchodnej innosti alebo inej podnikateskej innosti. 18 Ustanovenie 53 tohto zkonnka uvdza: 1. Spotrebitesk zmluvy nesm obsahova ustanovenia, ktor spsobuj znan nerovnovhu v prvach a povinnostiach zmluvnch strn v neprospech spotrebitea (alej len neprijaten podmienka). To neplat, ak ide o zmluvn podmienky, ktor sa tkaj hlavnho predmetu plnenia a primeranosti ceny, ak tieto zmluvn podmienky s vyjadren urito, jasne a zrozumitene alebo ak boli neprijaten podmienky individulne dojednan. 4. Za neprijaten podmienky uveden v spotrebiteskej zmluve sa povauj najm ustanovenia, ktor: k) 5. 19 Neprijaten podmienky upraven v spotrebiteskch zmluvch s neplatn. poaduj od spotrebitea, ktor nesplnil svoj zvzok, aby zaplatil neprimerane vysok sumu ako sankciu spojen s nesplnenm jeho zvzku,

Ustanovenie 4 zkona . 258/2001 o spotrebiteskch veroch uvdza: 1. Zmluva o spotrebiteskom vere mus ma psomn formu, inak je neplatn, priom spotrebite dostane jedno vyhotovenie zmluvy o spotrebiteskom vere. 2. j) ro n percentulnu mieru nkladov [alej len RPMN] a celkov nklady spotrebitea spojen so spotrebiteskm verom, vypo tan na zklade dajov platnch v ase uzatvorenia zmluvy o spotrebiteskom vere, Zmluva o spotrebiteskom vere okrem veobecnch nleitost mus obsahova

Ak vak zmluva o spotrebiteskom vere neobsahuje nleitosti poda odseku 2 psm. j), poskytnut ver sa povauje za bezro n a bez poplatkov. Spor vo veci samej a prejudicilne otzky 20 Svojou alobou alobcovia vo veci samej iadaj vntrottny sd, aby rozhodol, e verov zmluva, ktor uzavreli so spolo nosou S.O.S., nebankovou intitciou poskytujcou spotrebite sk very na zklade tandardizovanch zmlv, je neplatn. Z nvrhu na zaatie prejudicilneho konania vyplva, e ver, o ktor ide vo veci samej, bol alobcom poskytnut 12. marca 2008. Poda tejto zmluvy S.O.S. poskytla alobcom vo veci samej ver vo vke 150 000 SKK (4 979 eur), ktor mal by splaten 32 mesanmi spltkami vo vke 6 000 SKK (199 eur), priom posledn, tridsiata tretia spltka sa mala rovna vke poskytnutho veru. alobcovia s teda povinn vrti sumu 342 000 SKK (11 352 eur). RPMN bola v tejto zmluve stanoven vo vke 48,63 %, hoci poda vpo tu vykonanho

21

22

vntrottnym sdom predstavuje v skuto nosti 58,76 %, kee S.O.S. do svojho vpo tu nezahrnula nklady svisiace s poskytnutm veru. 23 24 Z nvrhu na zaatie prejudicilneho konania alej vyplva, e zmluva, o ktor ide vo veci samej, obsahuje viacer ustanovenia, ktor alobcov vo veci samej znevhoduj. Vntrottny sd uvdza, e rozhodnutie o neplatnosti tejto zmluvy o krtkodobom vere ako celku z dvodu nekalosti niektorch jej ustanoven by bolo pre alobcov vo veci samej vhodnejie ne ponecha v platnosti ustanovenia tejto zmluvy, ktor nie s nekal. V prvom prpade by toti boli dotknut spotrebitelia povinn zaplati len roky z omekania vo vke 9 % a nie cel nklady svisiace s poskytnutm veru, ktor by boli ovea vyie ne tieto roky. Kee sa Okresn sd Preov domnieval, e rieenie sporu zvis od vkladu relevantnch ustanoven prva nie, rozhodol sa prerui konanie a poloil Sdnemu dvoru nasledujce prejudicilne otzky: 1. Je rmec ochrany spotrebitea poda l. 6 ods. 1 smernice 93/13 tak, e umouje pri zisten nekalch zmluvnch klauzl v spotrebiteskej zmluve urobi zver, e zmluva ako celok spotrebitea nezavzuje, ak je to pre spotrebitea vhodnejie? S kritri determinujce nekal obchodn praktiku poda smernice 2005/29 tak, e umouj zver, e ak dodvate uvedie v zmluve niiu ro n percentulnu mieru nkladov (RPMN) oproti skuto nej, je mon povaova takto postup dodvatea vo i spotrebiteovi za nekal obchodn praktiku? Pripa smernica 2005/29 v prpade zistenia nekalej obchodnej praktiky nejak vplyv na platnos verovej zmluvy a na dosiahnutie ciea v l. 4 ods. l a l. 6 ods. l smernice 93/13, ak je neplatnos zmluvy pre spotrebitea vhodnejia?

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O prejudicilnych otzkach O prvej otzke 26 Svojou prvou otzkou sa vntrottny sd v podstate pta, i sa m lnok 6 ods. 1 smernice 93/13 vyklada v tom zmysle, e umouje vntrottnym sdom v prpade, e kontatuj existenciu nekalch podmienok v zmluve uzavretej medzi predajcom alebo dodvateom a spotrebiteom, rozhodn, e uveden zmluva ako celok spotrebitea nezavzuje, lebo je to pre spotrebite a vhodnejie. Na ely odpovede na tto otzku treba najskr pripomen, e systm ochrany zaveden smernicou 93/13 vychdza z mylienky, e spotrebite sa v porovnan s predajcom alebo dodvateom nachdza v znevhodnenom postaven, pokia ide o vyjednvaciu silu, ako aj o rove informovanosti, a tto situcia ho vedie k tomu, e pristpi na podmienky vopred pripraven predajcom alebo dodvateom bez toho, aby mohol vplva na ich obsah (rozsudky z 26. oktbra 2006, Mostaza Claro, C168/05, Zb. s. I10421, bod 25; zo 4. jna 2009, Pannon GSM, C243/08, Zb. s. I4713, bod 22, a zo 6. oktbra 2009, Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, C40/08, Zb. s. I9579, bod 29). Vzhadom na tak znevhodnen postavenie jednej zo zmluvnch strn lnok 6 ods. 1 smernice 93/13 zavzuje lensk tty stanovi, aby nekal podmienky poda ich vntrottneho prva neboli zvzn pre spotrebitea. Ako vyplva z judikatry, ide o kogentn ustanovenie smerujce k nahradeniu formlnej rovnovhy, ktor zmluva nasto uje medzi prvami a povinnosami zmluvnch strn, skuto nou rovnovhou, ktor medzi nimi me znovu zavies rovnos (pozri rozsudky Mostaza Claro, u citovan, bod 36; Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, u citovan, bod 30, a z 9. novembra 2010, VB Pnzgyi Lzing, C137/08, zatia neuverejnen v Zbierke, bod 47). Pokia ide o vplyv kontatovania nekalosti zmluvnch podmienok na platnos dotknutej zmluvy, treba zdrazni, e poda lnku 6 ods. 1 in fine smernice 93/13 bude uveden zmluva poda

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tchto podmienok naalej zvzn pre strany, ak je jej alia existencia mon bez nekalch podmienok. 30 V tomto kontexte s vntrottne sdy, ktor kontatuj nekalos zmluvnch podmienok, povinn na zklade lnku 6 ods. 1 smernice 93/13 jednak vyvodi vetky dsledky, ktor z toho vyplvaj poda vntrottneho prva, aby spotrebite nebol uvedenmi podmienkami viazan (pozri rozsudok Asturcom Telecomunicaciones, u citovan, body 58 a 59, ako aj uznesenie zo 16. novembra 2010, Pohotovos, C76/10, zatia neuverejnen v Zbierke, bod 62), a jednak posdi, i dotknut zmluva me existova bez tchto nekalch podmienok (pozri uznesenie Pohotovos, u citovan, bod 61). Ako toti vyplva z judikatry citovanej v bode 28 tohto rozsudku a ako uviedla generlna advoktka v bode 63 svojich nvrhov, cieom sledovanm normotvorcom nie v rmci smernice 93/13 je nastoli rovnovhu zmluvnch strn, priom sa m v zsade zachova platnos zmluvy ako celku, a nie vyhlsi za neplatn vetky zmluvy, ktor obsahuj nekal podmienky. Pokia ide o kritri, ktor umouj posdi, i zmluva me naozaj existova bez nekalch podmienok, treba uvies, e tak znenie lnku 6 ods. 1 smernice 93/13, ako aj poiadavky tkajce sa prvnej istoty ekonomickch innost hovoria v prospech objektvneho prstupu pri vklade tohto ustanovenia, take ako uviedla generlna advoktka v bodoch 66 a 68 svojich nvrhov, situciu jednej zo zmluvnch strn, v tomto prpade spotrebitea, nemono povaova za rozhodujce kritrium pre budci osud zmluvy. lnok 6 ods. 1 smernice 93/13 preto nemono vyklada v tom zmysle, e pri posudzovan otzky, i zmluva, ktor obsahuje jednu alebo viacero nekalch podmienok, me bez uvedench podmienok naalej existova, sa sd, ktor o veci rozhoduje, me opiera len o prpadn vhodnos vyhlsenia neplatnosti tejto zmluvy ako celku pre spotrebitea. Napriek tomu vak treba poznamena, e smernica 93/13 uskuto nila len iasto n a minimlnu harmonizciu vntrottnych prvnych prav tkajcich sa nekalch podmienok a lenskm ttom priznala monos zaisti spotrebiteovi vyiu rove ochrany, ne je rove stanoven smernicou. lnok 8 uvedenej smernice tak vslovne stanovuje monos lenskch ttov prija alebo si ponecha prsnejie ustanovenia zluiten so zmluvou v oblasti upravenej smernicou s cieom zabezpeenia maximlneho stupa ochrany spotrebitea (pozri rozsudok z 3. jna 2010 Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad de Madrid, C484/08, Zb. s. I4785, body 28 a 29). Smernica 93/13 preto nebrni tomu, aby lensk tt v slade s prvom nie prijal vntrottnu prvnu pravu, ktor umouje vyhlsi za neplatn ako celok zmluvu uzavret medzi predajcom alebo dodvateom a spotrebiteom, ktor obsahuje jednu alebo viacero nekalch podmienok, pokia sa ukazuje, e to zaist lepiu ochranu spotrebitea. S oh adom na tieto vahy treba na prv otzku odpoveda, e lnok 6 ods. 1 smernice 93/13 sa m vyklada v tom zmysle, e pri posudzovan otzky, i zmluva uzavret medzi predajcom alebo dodvateom a spotrebiteom, ktor obsahuje jednu alebo viacero nekalch podmienok, me bez uvedench podmienok naalej existova, sa sd, ktor o veci rozhoduje, neme opiera len o prpadn vhodnos vyhlsenia neplatnosti dotknutej zmluvy ako celku pre jednu zo zmluvnch strn, v tomto prpade spotrebitea. Uveden smernica vak nebrni tomu, aby lensk tt v slade s prvom nie stanovil, e zmluva uzavret medzi predajcom alebo dodvateom a spotrebiteom, ktor obsahuje jednu alebo viacero nekalch podmienok, je neplatn ako celok, pokia sa ukazuje, e to zaist lepiu ochranu spotrebitea. O druhej otzke 37 Svojou druhou otzkou sa vntrottny sd v podstate pta, i sa uvedenie niej ne skuto nej RPMN v zmluve o spotrebiteskom vere me povaova za nekal obchodn praktiku v zmysle smernice 2005/29. V prpade kladnej odpovede na tto otzku sa Sdnemu dvoru kladie otzka, ak dsledky treba vyvodi z takho kontatovania pre posdenie nekalosti podmienok tejto zmluvy s ohadom na lnok 4 ods. 1 smernice 93/13, ako aj pre posdenie platnosti tejto zmluvy

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ako celku s ohadom na lnok 6 ods. 1 poslednej uvedenej smernice. 38 S cieom odpoveda na tto otzku treba najskr pripomen, e lnok 2 psm. d) smernice 2005/29 definuje pojem obchodn praktiky pouitm zvl irokej formulcie ako akko vek konanie, opomenutie, spsob sprvania alebo vyjadrenie, obchodn komunikcia vrtane reklamy a marketingu obchodnka, priamo spojen s podporou, predajom alebo dodvkou produktu spotrebite om (rozsudky zo 14. janura 2010, Plus Warenhandelsgesellschaft, C304/08, Zb. s. I217, bod 36, a z 9. novembra 2010, Mediaprint Zeitungs- und Zeitschriftenverlag, C540/08, zatia neuverejnen v Zbierke, bod 17). alej poda lnku 3 ods. 1 smernice 2005/29 v spojen s jej lnkom 2 psm. c) sa tto smernica vzahuje na nekal obchodn praktiky podnikateov vo i spotrebiteom pred, po as a po uskuto nen obchodnej transakcie vo vzahu k akmuko vek vrobku alebo akejko vek slube. Poda lnku 5 ods. 4 uvedenej smernice sa za nekal obchodn praktiky povauj najm klamliv obchodn praktiky. Nakoniec, ako vyplva z lnku 6 ods. 1 smernice 2005/29, obchodn praktika sa povauje za klamliv, ak obsahuje nesprvne informcie a je preto nepravdiv, alebo akmko vek spsobom, vrtane celkovho prevedenia, uvdza do omylu alebo je spsobil uvies do omylu priemernho spotrebite a vo vzahu k jednmu alebo viacerm prvkom vymenovanm v tomto lnku 6 ods. 1, priom v obidvoch prpadoch zapriuje alebo je spsobil zaprini, e spotrebite urob rozhodnutie o obchodnej transakcii, ktor by inak neurobil. Medzi prvky, ktor s uveden v tomto ustanoven, patria okrem inho cena alebo spsob vpo tu ceny. Obchodn praktika, o ak ide vo veci samej, ktor spo va v uveden niej ne skuto nej RPMN v zmluve o vere, pritom predstavuje nesprvnu informciu o celkovch nkladoch na ver, a teda o cene, o ktorej sa hovor v lnku 6 ods. 1 psm. d) smernice 2005/29. Pokia uvedenie takej RPMN zapriuje alebo je spsobil zaprini, e priemern spotrebite urob rozhodnutie o obchodnej transakcii, ktor by inak neurobil, o mus overi vntrottny sd, tto nesprvnu informciu treba kvalifikova ako klamliv obchodn praktiku poda lnku 6 ods. 1 tejto smernice. Pokia ide o vplyv tohto kontatovania na posdenie nekalosti podmienok tejto zmluvy s ohadom na lnok 4 ods. 1 smernice 93/13, treba uvies, e toto ustanovenie vemi irokm spsobom definuje kritri, ktor mu vies k takmu posdeniu, kee vslovne zaha vetky okolnosti svisiace s uzatvorenm dotknutej zmluvy. Za tchto podmienok, ako v podstate uviedla generlna advoktka v bode 125 svojich nvrhov, kontatovanie nekalosti obchodnej praktiky predstavuje jeden z prvkov, na ktorch prslun sd me zaloi svoje posdenie nekalosti zmluvnch podmienok poda lnku 4 ods. 1 smernice 93/13. Len na zklade tohto prvku vak nemono automaticky kontatova nekalos spornch podmienok. Vntrottnemu sdu toti prinle, aby rozhodol o uplatnen veobecnch kritri uvedench v lnkoch 3 a 4 smernice 93/13 na konkrtnu podmienku, ktor treba preskma z hadiska vetkch okolnost veci samej (pozri v tomto zmysle rozsudky z 1. aprla 2004, Freiburger Kommunalbauten, C237/032, Zb. s. I3403, body 19 a 22; Pannon GSM, u citovan, body 37 a 43; VB Pnzgyi Lzing, u citovan, body 42 a 43, ako aj uznesenie Pohotovos, u citovan, body 56 a 60). Pokia ide o dsledky, ktor treba vyvodi z kontatovania, e uvedenie nesprvnej RPMN predstavuje nekal obchodn praktiku, na ely posdenia platnosti dotknutej zmluvy ako celku s ohadom na lnok 6 ods. 1 smernice 93/13 sta poznamena, e smernica 2005/29 sa v slade so svojm lnkom 3 ods. 2 nedotka zmluvnho prva a najm pravidiel o platnosti, uzavieran alebo inkoch zmluvy. Kontatovanie nekalosti obchodnej praktiky preto nem priamy vplyv na otzku, i je zmluva platn s ohadom na lnok 6 ods. 1 smernice 93/13.

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Vzhadom na vyie uveden vahy treba na druh otzku odpoveda, e obchodn praktiku, o ak ide vo veci samej, ktor spo va v uveden niej ne skuto nej RPMN v zmluve o vere, treba kvalifikova ako klamliv v zmysle lnku 6 ods. 1 smernice 2005/29, pokia zapriuje alebo je spsobil zaprini, e priemern spotrebite urob rozhodnutie o obchodnej transakcii, ktor by inak neurobil. Vntrottnemu sdu prinle, aby overil, i to tak je vo veci samej. Kontatovanie nekalosti takej obchodnej praktiky predstavuje jeden z prvkov, na ktorch prslun sd me poda lnku 4 ods. 1 smernice 93/13 zaloi svoje posdenie nekalosti zmluvnch podmienok tkajcich sa nkladov na ver poskytnut spotrebiteovi. Tak kontatovanie vak nem priamy vplyv na posdenie platnosti uzavretej zmluvy o vere poda lnku 6 ods. 1 smernice 93/13. O trovch

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Vzhadom na to, e konanie pred Sdnym dvorom m vo vzahu k astnkom konania vo veci samej incidenn charakter a bolo zaat v svislosti s prekkou postupu v konan pred vntrottnym sdom, o trovch konania rozhodne tento vntrottny sd. In trovy konania, ktor vznikli v svislosti s predloenm pripomienok Sdnemu dvoru a nie s trovami uvedench astnkov konania, nemu by nahraden. Z tchto dvodov Sdny dvor (prv komora) rozhodol takto: 1. lnok 6 ods. 1 smernice Rady 93/13/EHS z 5. aprla 1993 o nekalch podmienkach v spotrebiteskch zmluvch sa m vyklada v tom zmysle, e pri posudzovan otzky, i zmluva uzavret medzi predajcom alebo dodvateom a spotrebiteom, ktor obsahuje jednu alebo viacero nekalch podmienok, me bez uvedench podmienok naalej existova, sa sd, ktor o veci rozhoduje, neme opiera len o prpadn vhodnos vyhlsenia neplatnosti dotknutej zmluvy ako celku pre jednu zo zmluvnch strn, v tomto prpade spotrebitea. Uveden smernica vak nebrni tomu, aby lensk tt v slade s prvom nie stanovil, e zmluva uzavret medzi predajcom alebo dodvateom a spotrebiteom, ktor obsahuje jednu alebo viacero nekalch podmienok, je neplatn ako celok, pokia sa ukazuje, e to zaist lepiu ochranu spotrebitea. Obchodn praktiku, o ak ide vo veci samej, ktor spova v uveden niej ne skutonej ronej percentulnej miery nkladov v zmluve o vere, treba kvalifikova ako klamliv v zmysle lnku 6 ods. 1 smernice Eurpskeho parlamentu a Rady 2005/29/ES z 11. mja 2005 o nekalch obchodnch praktikch podnikateov voi spotrebiteom na vntornom trhu, a ktorou sa men a dopa smernica Rady 84/450/EHS, smernice Eurpskeho parlamentu a Rady 97/7/ES, 98/27/ES a 2002/65/ES a nariadenie Eurpskeho parlamentu a Rady (ES) . 2006/2004 (smernica o nekalch obchodnch praktikch), pokia zapriuje alebo je spsobil zaprini, e priemern spotrebite urob rozhodnutie o obchodnej transakcii, ktor by inak neurobil. Vntrottnemu sdu prinle, aby overil, i to tak je vo veci samej. Kontatovanie nekalosti takej obchodnej praktiky predstavuje jeden z prvkov, na ktorch prslun sd me poda lnku 4 ods. 1 smernice 93/13 zaloi svoje posdenie nekalosti zmluvnch podmienok tkajcich sa nkladov na ver poskytnut spotrebiteovi. Tak kontatovanie vak nem priamy vplyv na posdenie platnosti uzavretej zmluvy o vere poda lnku 6 ods. 1 smernice 93/13.

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Podpisy
* Jazyk konania: sloven ina.