The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 (‘CCR’) apply to the vast majority of situations where a trader enters into a commercial relationship with a customer. The CCR will apply in all situations, regardless of whether you have a formal written contract, a verbal contract or even just an implied contract.

The CCR do not apply in a small number of specific and limited circumstances, importantly where the relationship is respect to the construction of a new building or redevelopment of an existing building into a substantially new building.

What is a Trader?

A trader is defined by the CCR as ‘a person acting for purposes relating to that person’s trade, business, craft or profession, whether acting personally or through another person acting in the trader’s name or on the trader’s behalf’. Business is defined to include the activities of any government department or local or public authority.

In the case of BKK Mobil Oil Körperschaft des öffentlichen Rechts v Zentrale zur Bekämpfung unlauteren Wettbewerbs eV (Case C‑59/12) EU:C:2013:634), the European Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) considered the definition of ‘Trader’ in the CCR. The ECJ commented that “the concept of trader which is used in that directive must be determined in relation to the related but diametrically opposed concept of ‘consumer’, which refers to any individual not engaged in commercial or trade activities”.

What is a Consumer?

Established by the Consumer Rights Act 2015, a consumer is defined as ‘an individual acting for purposes that are wholly or mainly outside that individual’s trade, business craft or profession’.

Businesses, such as limited companies are not capable of being consumers and as such are excluded from the CCR, as everything that a corporate entity does is ‘for the purposes of its trade’.

Author John Szepietowski

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