On 22 July 2019, the European Commission adopted a guidance notice on the interpretation and application of the Unfair Contract Terms Directive (UCTD). The main purpose of the guidance notice is to present, in a structured way, the interpretation which the Court of Justice of the EU has provided on the key concepts and provisions of the UCTD, in light of specific cases dealt with by the courts of Member States. In this way, the Commission would like to increase awareness of this case law amongst all interested parties, such as consumers, businesses, the authorities of the Member States, including national courts, and legal practitioners, across the EU, and, thereby, facilitate its application in practice.
Section 1 of the guidance notice covers the objectives and the scope of the UCTD, while section 2 relates in particular to the principle of minimum harmonisation and the relationship with national law in general. Section 3 discusses the assessment of the transparency and (un)fairness of contract terms under Articles 3, 4 and 5. Section 4 explains the implications of the unfairness of contract terms for the rights and obligations of the parties under Article 6(1). Section 5 covers in detail the procedural requirements for the assessment of contract terms, including the obligation for national courts to take an active role in the assessment of contract terms. Finally, section 6 discusses some particularities of injunction proceedings.