European Commission

 

Enforcement fiche for Slovenia



I. ADMINISTRATIVE ENFORCEMENT
Which administrative mechanisms are available to enforce the UCP Directive? In Slovenia, the Directive is implemented by the Slovene Law on Consumer Protection against Unfair Commercial Practices Act ("ZVPNPP") and the amendments to the Consumer Protection Act ("ZVPot"). The general enforcement of this Act is handled by the Market Inspectorate (in Slovene: Tržni inšpektorat), which is a body within the Ministry of Economy, and other inspectorates in accordance with their respective jurisdictions.
Who can file administrative complaints? The Inspection Act mentions that consumers can file administrative complaints. The Inspection Act (Zakon o inšpekcijskem nadzoru) regulates inspection proceedings in details.
Do any specific procedural requirements apply to filing administrative complaints? No.
Do the administrative authorities have an obligation to investigate the complaint? Yes – they have to investigate filings and complaints falling within their respective jurisdictions, and upon request inform an applicant regarding the measures taken.
Are there any specific requirements regarding the provision of evidence to the competent authorities? Under the ZVPNPP courts and administrative bodies may require an enterprise to submit proof of the truth of contested statements in its commercial practice if such a request seems appropriate on the basis of the circumstances of the individual case and in the light of the legitimate interests of the business and all other parties in the proceedings.
II. ENFORCEMENT THROUGH COURT ACTION
Which court actions are available to enforce the UCP Directive? Under the ZVPNPP a legal action can be brought against a business that uses unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices on grounds of such conduct; such legal action is governed by the provisions on property law protection laid down in the law governing consumer protection. Under the ZVPot a suit for cessation of certain actions can be filed, including a proposal for an interim injunction, or for invalidity of contracts. In addition, a general claim for civil damages can be filed before competent civil courts.
Who can start a court action? A consumer, and (with certain limitations) also organizations established for protection of consumer rights that have been in operation for at least one year and have been in operation, a business association or a chamber of commerce a member whose member is the defendant, an organization or an independent public body established for protections of consumers' rights and interests in a particular country.
Can court actions be initiated by competitors? Not foreseen in these laws, however a competitor could file a suit if the competitor could show a direct and legitimate interest.
Can the case be handled through an accelerated procedure? Not foreseen.
Are there any specific requirements regarding the provision of evidence to the court? Under the ZVPNPP courts and administrative bodies may require an enterprise to submit proof of the truth of contested statements in its commercial practice if such a request seems appropriate on the basis of the circumstances of the individual case and in the light of the legitimate interests of the business and all other parties in the proceedings.
III. SANCTIONS
What are the possible civil sanctions and remedies for the infringement of the UCP provisions? The sanction that results from a cease-and-desist procedure is the cessation of the alleged infringement. The court can also order the publication of his judgement at cost of the defendant. Furthermore the competent civil court can award damages in the framework of a claim for civil damages based on the Slovene Civil Code. These damages, however, should rather be interpreted as indemnifying measure than as sanctions. In certain cases invalidity of certain contracts, individual provisions of the contracts, or general terms and conditions included in the contracts may be established.
What are the possible criminal sanctions for the infringement of the UCP provisions? Infringements of the ZVNPP and ZVPot do not imply criminal sanctions per se as these can only be prescribed by the Criminal Code. There is no specific criminal act of unfair commercial practices. However, certain actions, such as unjustified use of a trademark or model may constitute another criminal act as defined in the Criminal Code. For such acts, also imprisonment is prescribed.
What are the possible administrative sanctions for the infringement of the UCP provisions? A legal person or sole trader is fined between EUR 3 000 and 40 000 if it/he/she uses: – a misleading commercial practice with a misleading action (Article 5); – a misleading commercial practice with a misleading omission (Article 6); – a misleading commercial practice which is considered to be unfair in all circumstances (Article 7); – an aggressive commercial practice (Article 8); – an aggressive commercial practice which is considered to be unfair in all circumstances (Article 10). A responsible person of a legal person and a sole trader who commits an act referred to in the previous paragraph is fined between EUR 300 and 2 000. An individual who commits an act referred to in the first paragraph of this Article when practising an activity is fined between EUR 1 200 and 15 000. ZVPot prescribes some additional fines.
What are the contractual consequences of an administrative order or a judgement relating to an unfair commercial practice on an individual transaction? Misleading and aggressive commercial practices can be terminated by initiating a cease and desist procedure. An individual transaction will not be affected by a cease and desist decision, but it may prevent such future transactions. However, a judicial procedure can also be initiated for invalidating a contract (based on a mistaken consent).
How can consumers get redress/compensation (e.g. through collective actions)? Consumers have the possibility of filing a claim for civil damages, even when they did not initiate a cease-and-desist procedure. Such claim for damages is subject to the general rules of Slovene tort law, which provide that an infringement of a legal provision constitutes a fault that can lead to damages, if a causal link with the loss is demonstrated. Generally Slovene law does not have the concept of a collective settlement of claims for civil damages (class actions). However, under ZVPot certain organizations may file a suit request establishment of invalidity for certain contracts, individual provisions of these contracts, or general terms and conditions as parts of these contracts. In such a case a granting judgment has effect towards all calling thereupon. In case of a refusal judgment, however, the judgment only has effect towards the parties and does not prevent filing of a new suit with the same claim, by another appropriate organization or by persons having legal interest for a declaratory suit.
Can the administrative authorities or the courts require the publication of their decisions? No.
IV. OTHER TYPES OF ENFORCEMENT
Are there any self-regulatory enforcement systems in your jurisdiction that deal with aspects of the UCP Directive? There are several organizations and codes, but cannot be viewed as comprehensive self-regulatory enforcement systems.
Are there any mediating services that deal with aspects of the UCP Directive (e.g., an ombudsman)? Several consumer protection organizations sometimes serve as mediating institutions, but there is no formal ombudsman.