Case law

  • Case Details
    • National ID: eA-776-143/2016
    • Member State: Lithuania
    • Common Name:link
    • Decision type: Administrative decision in appeal
    • Decision date: 05/04/2016
    • Court: Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania
    • Subject:
    • Plaintiff: UAB “NEB Finance”
    • Defendant: State Consumer Rights Protection Authority
    • Keywords: enforcement, penalties, unfair commercial practices
  • Directive Articles
    Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, Chapter 4, Article 13
  • Headnote
    The institution, which conducts investigations of unfair commercial practices, can impose fines to alleged infringers, which fail to provide the requested information and documents, needed for investigation.
  • Facts
    The defendant initiated an investigation regarding the alleged unfair commercial practices, conducted by the plaintiff. The defendant sent to the plaintiff two letters, requesting the plaintiff to provide information and documents, necessary for the investigation. The plaintiff ignored the requests and did not provide the documents to the defendant. The defendant’s third letter contained a warning that the defendant will impose a fine on the plaintiff, if the plaintiff will not send the requested information and documents.

    Since the plaintiff did not provide the requested documents in due time, the defendant imposed a fine of 1 592 Eur on the plaintiff. The plaintiff then applied to a court, requesting the annulment of the defendant’s decision imposing a fine.
  • Legal issue
    The court stated that the defendant is the competent national authority, which conducts investigations of unfair commercial practices. Thus, the defendant has the right to obtain from traders the information and documents, needed to properly conduct the investigation. Under the Law on the Prohibition of Unfair Business-to-Consumer Commercial Practices, transposing the Directive 2005/29/EC, failure to provide documents, requested by the defendant, leads to a fine.

    The plaintiff argued that it did not receive the defendant’s letters, since they were sent to the address of its registered office and not the factual office.

    The court held that the address of a legal entity is the address, which is registered with the Register of the Legal Entities of Lithuania, unless indicated otherwise. The defendant was unaware that the factual office of the plaintiff was other than the one indicated in the register. Thus, the defendant duly sent the letters to the address of the plaintiff’s registered office as it was the only address of the plaintiff, which the defendant could have known. The court elaborated that the plaintiff had a duty to update its address in the Register of Legal Entities of Lithuania and by failing to do so, the plaintiff must assume all risks that third parties may send correspondence to the wrong address.

    The court confirmed that the defendant had the right to obtain from the plaintiff documents, needed for the defendant’s investigation and, due to the failure of the plaintiff to furnish the requested documents in due time, the defendant duly imposed a fine on the plaintiff.
  • Decision

    Can the institution, which conducts investigations of unfair commercial practices, impose a fine to alleged infringers, which fail to provide the requested information and documents needed for investigation?


    Full text: Full text

  • Related Cases

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  • Legal Literature

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  • Result
    The court rejected the plaintiff’s claim.