Act on injunction suits in the case of breaches of consumer protection and other laws (UKlaG)

Here you can find the legal text of the Act on injunction suits in the case of breaches of consumer protection and other laws in its entirety (only available in German).

The consumer protection law provides a complaint lead by an association, which is regulated in the Act on Applications for Injunctions (UklaG). Since individual complaints are normally insufficient to enforce customer protection, UKlaG created an independent right for associations to take action, to better guarantee customer protection.

Object and purpose of the complaint

In cases where the general terms and conditions (GTC) are contrary to the protection of consumers, associations can enforce the interests of consumers. In doing so, an omission or revocation may be asserted pursuant to § 1 UKlaG.

According to UklaG, a complaint by an association is also possible if the GTC violate

any rights stipulated in the AGG. However this means, that if an anti-discrimination association would like to file a legal complaint, advice and consumer support would have to be part of their statutory objectives.

Procedural requirements

The complaint must be brought before the regional court in the district where the defendant has her/his commercial branch, or in the absence of such a place, her/his residence.

In practice, the associations usually send a warning letter before the complaint is brought to court. Even though, this is not an obligation, it can be an advantage. If a warning letter has been omitted and during trial, the opposing party directly admits her/his own guilt, then the plaintiff has to bear the costs (§ 93 ZPO). With a previous warning, legal proceedings would not have been necessary.

Qualified associations

Association can claim for an omission or revocation in court, if invalid general terms and conditions (GTC) are used for ineffective individual complaints or in case of commercial practices which violate consumer protection laws.

However, this shall only apply to consumer associations which are listed on the "list of qualified entities" (see § 4 UKlaG section 2).  

Only legal associations are eligible to register, if they:

  • have made their statutory duty to pursue the interests of consumers through non-commercial information-sharing and advice
  • have at least 75 natural persons as members or consist of at least three associations active in the same field
  • Have existed for at least one year
  • on the basis of their activities, ensure an appropriate performance of their duties.

If all these conditions are met, then the association is entitled to be registered in the list of qualified institutions. The list is managed by the Federal Office of Justice and currently contains 78 associations (as of 01.07.2016).

© Büro zur Umsetzung von Gleichbehandlung e.V. 2018