Luxembourg's Ministry of Consumer Protection, in collaboration with the Luxembourg Consumers Union, the Luxembourg Trade Confederation and Horesca, has implemented a charter for the proper management of gift / shopping vouchers (chèques-cadeaux).
As announced under the coalition government agreement, which particularly provided that "clear rules regarding the period of validity of gift vouchers will be established", the Ministry of Consumer Protection consulted with the stakeholders in the field in order to find an accessible formula for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Indeed, gift vouchers are often a practical solution for both traders and consumers, but which so far lacked a standardised approach ensuring respect for the interests of the parties concerned. In order to set up a common base guaranteeing the harmonised application of gift vouchers while allowing a certain freedom regarding methods of application, a charter for the good management of these vouchers proved to be the most suitable means.
Developed under the aegis of the Ministry of Consumer Protection in collaboration with the Luxembourg Consumers Union, the Luxembourg Trade Confederation and Horesca, the charter contains the key elements to be applied when issuing a gift voucher.
Although the provisions laid down in the charter leave the trader free to go further, the charter requires him / her to respect a certain number of minimum but essential guidelines. Thus, a voucher in accordance with the charter must provide the following next to the indication of its amount (except at the client's request): the date of issue, the period of validity and reference to the issuing company. The voucher must be made out in one of the usual languages of the country and its minimum validity will be for a period of two years. The charter also provides for the reimbursement of a customer who chooses a product / service of less value than that indicated by the voucher. In order to take into account the experiences gathered on the basis of the recommended methods, the stakeholders have decided to review the charter after one year.
In the context of the closure of shops following the measures taken to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, the Luxembourg Trade Confederation had set up the initiative www.kaaftlokal.lu to support local trade through the online purchase of gift vouchers. Indeed, these vouchers, intended for use after the reopening of stores concerned, are aligned with the good practices recommended by the new charter and will be valid for a period of two years.