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The Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012 implementing the ban on above cost payment surcharges were laid before Parliament on 19 December 2012 and came into force on 6 April 2013.
Proposals to limit payment surcharges
Some businesses add a charge to the price of goods or services when the consumer chooses to pay by a particular method, for example by using a credit card or a debit card. These additional charges are known as payment surcharges.
This consultation set out the government’s proposal for early implementation of a provision of the European Union’s Consumer Rights Directive. This will put in place legislation to ban businesses from imposing excessive payment surcharges on consumers. Businesses will remain able to add a charge only so far as it covers the actual costs of processing any particular form of payment. The consultation sought views on the timing of the implementation of this legislation and how best to define the scope and application of the provision.
The responses to the consultation informed our Guidance on the Consumer Protection (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012 for businesses on how to set their fees in compliance with the regulation. Our conclusion was to implement the measure early, except for micro and start up businesses. The regulations (to which the latest impact assessment is attached) are available here. The commencement date was 6 April 2013.
The implementation in the UK of the remaining provisions of the Consumer Rights Directive was subject to a separate consultation on the implementation of the Consumer Rights Directive 2011/83/EU