The new legal provisions considered punishable offenses and sanction the unfair practices, with the following fines:
a) a fine of 5.000 lei to 100.000 lei, for misleading commercial practices, as defined in Annex. 1, paragraph “misleading business practices”;
b) a fine of 2.000 lei to 100.000 lei for aggressive commercial practices, as defined in Annex. 1, paragraph “Aggressive commercial practices”.
A commercial practice is considered misleading action if it contains false information or, in any situation, including overall presentation, deceives or is likely to deceive the average consumer, so that, in both cases, whether it leads or is likely to induce the consumer to make a decision transaction that otherwise he would not have take it, even if the information is in fact accurate in relation to one or more of the following elements: the existence or nature of the product: main characteristics of the product, such as its availability, benefits, risks, manufacture, composition, accessories, after sales assistance to the investigation of complaints and how and date of manufacture or provision, delivery, ability to fit for purpose, usage, quantity, specification, geographical or commercial origin, results that may be obtained from its use, results and features of tests or checks carried out on the product; period for which the trader undertakes the commercial practice and the nature of the reasons using or conducting the sale, and all statements or all symbols that would induce a link between the product and the merchant and a sponsorship or approval, directly or indirectly; the price or the calculation of the or the existence of a specific price advantage; need of service, a separate part, replacement or repair; nature, powers and rights of the trader or his representative, such as identity and assets, his qualifications, status, authorization, membership or its links, industrial property rights, copyright or trade or rewards and honors; consumer rights, including the right to benefit from repair, replacement or refund of the consideration due to the termination of the contract, as provided by Law no. 449/2003 on the sale of goods and associated guarantees, or risk that the consumer may face.
A commercial practice is considered aggressive if, in the context of the presentation of the facts and taking into account all of the circumstances, it limits or is likely to significantly restrict the freedom of choice or behavior of the average consumer about the product, by harassment, coercion, including using physical force or undue influence and therefore cause or is likely to cause the consumer to make a decision transaction that otherwise he would not have taken it.
To determine if a practice resorts to harassment, coercion, including physical force or undue influence, the following elements are taken into account: a) the time, place, nature and / or duration; use of threat, language or abusive behavior; exploitation by the seller of an unfortunate situation or special circumstances of such gravity that affects the rationality of consumer and the trader is aware of it, in order to influence the consumer’s decision about the product; any onerous or disproportionate obstacle, not provided for in the contract imposed by the seller, where the consumer wishes to exercise its contractual rights, including the right to terminate or change the product or to address another trader; any threat to measure, in case they can not legally be taken.
Also, failure to respect the measures provided by the order or by the decision of the National Authority for Consumer Protection is fined from 50,000 to 100,000 lei.
The new provisions come into force starting on 14.03.2015.