In 1975 the European Commission’s first draft proposal on unfair terms in consumer contracts appeared but it took some eighteen years for the contents of the Directive to be finally agreed. During the intervening period the format of the proposal changed greatly and that adopted on April 5, 1993 represents a significantly watered down version not only of the Commission’s original proposal but also a number of the proposals put forward during that time. The Member States were required to implement the provisions of the Directive into national law by December 31, 1994 and this has been achieved in the United Kingdom by means of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1994 made under the European Communities Act 1972. The Regulations became operative on 1 July 1995. Hitherto control over the use of unfair terms has been provided both by statute and under common law and in relation to the former the most important is the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977. Like a number of other EC consumer protection measures, this Directive is one of minimum harmonisation and thus Member States are entitled to maintain or introduce stricter rules to control unfair terms

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