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UK European Consumer Centre

UK ECC proves its worth against backdrop of Brexit uncertainty

Stacks of bronze coinsUK consumers have continued to use the UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) in their thousands, against a backdrop of uncertainty created by Brexit.

The UK ECC’s annual report, just published, shows that more than 15,000 UK consumers turned to the service for help in 2018.

The free service, which is currently part-funded by the European Commission and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, offers UK consumers advice in dealing with cross-border disputes relating to buying goods and services within EU countries.

The UK ECC, delivered by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), is set to receive funding for at least a year after we leave the EU according to guidance published by the UK Government on 12 October 2018 regarding “Consumer rights if there is no Brexit deal”. The service has an uncertain future after that, given Brexit ambiguity. Until the UK formally leaves the EU, EU law will continue to apply to and within the UK.

Andy Allen, service director at the UK ECC, said: “In 2018 we dealt with 15,089 consumer cases, that’s about the same as the year before. That’s significant, in view of the uncertainty faced by the UK as it faces life outside the EU.

“As the UK heads towards Brexit, it’s clear that UK consumers are still in need of the help and advice of the UK ECC. Our team handled an impressive 9,473 phone calls from concerned consumers in 2018 and we are recognised as one of the most prolific centres on the European Consumer Centre Network.”

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