The impact of EU law on Belgian consumer law terminology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The implementation of EU directives in the field of consumer law distorted the
Belgian legal terminology. In particular, consumer law terminology often differs
from civil law terminology. The meaning of traditional civil law concepts is no
longer respected in the field of consumer law. Moreover, the implementation of
EU consumer law directives even caused a single concept (seller) to be used for
some time in different meanings within the field of consumer law and even within
a single legal instrument (the ACPC). Recently, the Belgian legislator wisely made
an effort to introduce a more coherent terminology while respecting its duty to
correctly implement the EU consumer law directives, in particular by introducing
in the AMPC the concept of an undertaking instead of the two concepts of seller.
The emphasis that is put on the fact that the concept of an undertaking in the
AMPC is taken from EU competition law may, however, cause new difficulties.
However, the terminological changes induced by EU consumer directives
also had beneficial effects. For example, the qualification of contracts for the
combined supply of things and services is quite problematic under Belgian civil
law. By explicitly providing that such contracts are to be treated as contracts of
sale for the purposes of the rules on consumer sales, legal certainty has increased
for consumers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1325-1352
Number of pages27
JournalEuropean Review of Private Law
Issue number5&6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

Cite this