European MPs have given their backing to measures which will afford online shoppers additional protection.
Member state governments have been allowed a two-year period in which to implement the new regulations.
The changes have been made because many of the rules affecting consumer protection on an EU-wide basis were formulated before the internet became a popular method of shopping for items outside of the boundaries of individual nation states.
But with many consumers now looking for goods online across Europe, the EU has moved to introduce a broader portfolio of protection laws.
Under the new rules, consumers will be given a 14-day cooling-off period for online purchases. In the UK at the moment, people only have seven working days in which to return items bought on the internet that they do not want to retain.