New EU consumer law could benefit Irish SMEs online

26 Feb 2010

Irish SMEs stand to benefit from the online trading provisions of the new EU Consumer Rights Directive which the European Parliament is negotiating.

According to Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly, should the Consumer Rights Directive be voted into EU law in the coming months, it represents a “huge opportunity” for Irish SMEs.

“The main improvement offered for traders includes the ability to use the same contract terms in all countries. Consumers would enjoy greater protection regarding product delivery as all goods must be delivered within 30 days of purchase, irrespective of location with the EU,” Kelly explained.

“This directive would increase consumer confidence, resulting in a positive knock-on effect for Irish traders, through both standard shopping practices and transactions conducted through the internet,” he added.

“As it now stands, many Irish SMEs lack the financial means to partake in cross-border trading due to the high costs involved in seeking legal advice on existing fragmented regulation,” Kelly pointed out.

“There is huge potential to expand Irish SMEs’ potential in the online trading sector. With 150 million EU citizens purchasing goods and services online and with revenues forecasted to reach €291 billion by 2013, online commerce is clearly a market we need to further explore.”

“We have to promote what makes Irish products unique and exploiting the European online market would give our SMEs a much-needed boost in these difficult times,” Kelly added.

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