3.4.8. Standard features of the Package Offers

There is one exception to what stated in the previous paragraph. Traders sometimes add elements to their existing packages without increasing the price of the package or reducing the quality or composition of the elements that are already included in the package. In those circumstances, consumers are likely to regard the element that has been added to the package as additional to the established package for a period after its introduction; once the element has formed part of the package for a long time, consumers are likely to regard it as a standard feature of the package. Annex I n. 20 should not prevent traders from describing elements that have been added to those pre-existing packages as "free" for a reasonable period (e.g. 6 months) after their introduction.

If the price of a package increases or its quality or composition is reduced after a new element is added, the new element may not be described as "free.

To summarise, if a package price is payable, marketers, in order to comply with Annex I n. 20, may describe elements that are included in the package as "at no extra cost" or "inclusive" but may not describe them as "free" unless they have been recently added to an established package without increasing its price.

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