Volume 20 (2012) / Issue 2
Abstract: On 30 September 2010, the Estonian Parliament adopted amendments to the Law of Obligations Act (LOA) aimed at implementing the new EU Consumer Credit Directive into Estonian legislation. These amendments entered into force on 1 July 2011, thus over a year later than the mandatory transposition deadline under the Directive. The reason for the delay was the fact that on 1 January 2011 Estonia joined the euro zone and the Estonian credit institutions were not ready to face two substantial challenges - introduction of the euro and coping with the new requirements of the Consumer Credit Directive - simultaneously. The transposition of the Directive has led to extensive amendments in the chapter of consumer credit contract, but a major reform of the general contract law was not required. The article discusses the transposition of the new Directive into Estonian law, paying particular attention to issues where the Member States have been granted regulatory discretion. All in all, the new Consumer Credit Directive aiming at maximum harmonization has been correctly transposed into Estonian law. The article also shows that the Estonian legislator, while in pursuit of higher consumer protection standard, has considerably expanded the scope of application of the consumer credit regulation to cover areas (e.g., small-scale loans and mortgage credit) beyond those of the Directive. This in turn is not helping to put an end to legal fragmentation of consumer credit regulation across the EU as creditors from other Member States willing to offer consumer credit products in Estonia are still facing somewhat different consumer credit provisions than the one in force in their home countries.
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