Many of our readers will be following the progress of the DMCC Bill though parliament, which received its third reading in the House of Lords this week.

But if you do businesses with consumers in the EU, did you know that there are more rules that will apply to them?  You might have missed them as they are hidden away in a Directive relating to financial services, but they apply to any sales made at a distance, including for goods, services and digital content.

A recap

If you sell goods, services and digital content online, consumers benefit from a cancellation right with a few exclusions. So far, so familiar. Under EU law, there was an equivalent law for financial services, (which was largely incorporated into the Financial Conduct Authority’s rulebook).

Back in 2022, the European Commission proposed a draft Directive to update those rules. It repeals the Distance Marketing of Financial Services Directive (2002/65/EC) and transfers the consumer protections framework to the Consumer Rights Directive (2011/83/EU) (CRD), thereby creating a new chapter of the CRD.

Among other things, it included provisions making it easier for consumers to cancel distance contracts for financial services: traders will be required to provide a withdrawal button when selling through electronic means.

How does it affect me if I don’t deal with financial services?

This is the interesting bit. Originally it only related to financial services, but during the EU’s legislative process, it was amended to apply to all distance contracts within the scope of the updated CRD.

So what do I need to do?

Businesses selling goods, services or digital content to consumers in the EU will need to offer a cancellation button, or in the language of the Directive, a prominent, easy to find 'withdrawal function' on your interface. This aims to increase consumers' awareness of their right to cancel and to ensure that withdrawing from a contract is not more difficult than entering into it. The function must be continuously available during the cancellation period for the contract.

When does this apply?

Each member state needs to have implemented the revised Directive by 19 June 2026 (with the new rules being published by 19 December 2025). 

It is also worth noting that certain other provisions from the Consumer Rights Directive will also apply to financial services distance contracts. These include provisions on inertia selling, additional payments, enforcement, and reporting.