BAVG and AGES: Working together for consumer protection on the Internet

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Austrian consumers are increasingly buying food and other everyday items such as cosmetics and children's toys online. The complaint rate for inspections of online purchases of these product groups in foreign online stores (EU/EEA/third country), which the BAVG carried out on the basis of complaints or rapid alert notifications, among other things, was 77% in 2023 due to labeling defects or harmfulness to health.

The aim of the cooperation between the Federal Office of Consumer Health (BAVG) and the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) is to strengthen consumer protection in electronic commerce (eCommerce) on the internet. Since January 1, 2022, the synergies between BAVG and the AGES Internet Unit have been used in the context of official internet controls, including online searches, technical framework conditions and sampling.

The inspection activities of the BAVG concern all internet providers of goods subject to the Foodstuffs and Consumer Protection Act (LMSVG) whose registered office is outside Austria in the European Market or third countries and who offer their products for sale in Austria. The regulatory control competence for the online trade of Austrian online providers is the responsibility of the competent federal state authority.

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