New contract regulations for electronic communications services

The European Commission has adopted an implementing regulation establishing a template for the contract summary that electronic communications services operators should provide to consumers in the EU. The providers of these services, such as telephony, messaging or internet, will need to give to the consumers a summary of the contract before the conclusion of a contract. The summary will include the main conditions of the contract, such as information on price, services and internet speed. The summary will be required as of 21 December 2020.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, said: The new contract summary will offer clear and comparable information about each service and contract, making it easier for consumers to make informed choices. Another step in helping Europeans enjoy all the opportunities of the internal market.

The contract summary is a standardised one page sheet (for one service) or up to three pages (for a bundle) which will be provided to every consumer of electronic communications services prior to the conclusion of the contract. It includes, in a concise manner and easily readable format, the main elements of information that providers are required to make available to consumers, such as provider's contact details, description of the service, speeds of the internet service, price, duration, renewal and termination of the contract and features for end-users with disabilities.

The contract summary will help providers to better present information about the main terms of the contract, so that consumers can better compare different offers for services prior to choosing their provider or service and prior to the conclusion of a contract. Consumers can obtain the summary in a similar way as they can obtain the contract: e.g. on paper in a shop or online.

The implementing regulation is based on the updated EU telecommunications rules, the European Electronic Communications Code. The implementing regulation does not establish new requirements, but specifies how the summary is to be provided and the main elements to be included in the summary, based on the European Electronic Communications Code. This implementing regulation is the first European Commission deliverable of the European Electronic Communications Code.

The summary will be required as of 21 December 2020 when the European Electronic Communications Code will become applicable in all EU Member States.

More information in the Questions and Answers

The legal text and its annex below are provided for information purposes and are marked as drafts. The authentic version of the implementing regulation and its annex are scheduled for publication in the Official Journal of the European Union on 30 December 2019.

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