The author notes that the Belgian provisions on seasonal sales foresee in mandatory restricted periods. Following a referral for preliminary ruling, the European Court of Justice now has taken a decision on the compliance of restricted periods with the provisions set forth in the UCP Directive (ECJ, 30 June 2011, C-288/10, Wamo vs JBC).
According to the author, the Court of Justice has not taken a clear position regarding this legal issue and has again placed the ball in the court of the national judicial institutions.
The author points out that the Court of Justice has ruled that announcements of price decreases are to be considered commercial practices and that the UCP Directive aims for full harmonisation in the member states, hence prohibiting per se prohibitions which are not listed in the annex of the UCP Directive.
The author indicates that the aforementioned principles can only lead to the conclusion that the absolute prohibition to indicate price indications during the restricted periods constitute prohibited non-listed per se prohibitions, under the condition that the rules on restricted periods fall within the scope of consumer protection.
The author concludes that the Court has only repeated some principles that were already established.