Although the implementation of the EU Directive 2019/2161 has been delayed in Slovakia, we already know what to expect from it.

New regulation (new Consumer Protection Act) is being finalised and will hopefully be adopted soon. It should bring more clarity to the consumer protection laws, introduce new legal terms such as "online marketplace" or "digital services", and of course, ensure better consumer protection.

Among topics tackled by the Directive and the new Consumer Protection Act is the unfair commercial practices relating to price reductions. The scope of the new obligation is to prevent traders from advertising sales and special offers without actually offering a real price reduction.

According to the draft regulation, the trader is obliged to announce the "previous price" whenever the price is reduced. "Previous price" means the lowest price applied by the trader during a period of time not shorter than 30 days prior to the application of the price reduction (or from the beginning of the sale in case of newly introduced products). According to the draft explanatory notes, the above rule applies also in cases of special short-term offers such as "Black Friday" sales, where the prices decrease for a specific period and then increase again. In this case, during a new price reduction the trader must indicate the lowest price, but can also indicate the original price.

An exception to the above-mentioned rule applies to the gradual reduction of the price, in which case the trader can only announce the original price. However, according to the draft explanatory notes, this exception may not be applied in the case of a too long period of gradual price reduction (to avoid abuse of this exception). These cases will be assessed individually.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.