New laws as of April 1, 2016: Loans, phone calls and plastic bags

New laws as of April 1, 2016: Loans, phone calls and plastic bags


Friday, 01.04.16, written by Kathrin Staats

As of April 1, several new laws come into force. When shopping consumers will probably have to dig deeper in the future, as plastic bags should not be free of charge. Cheaper but the phone calls and surfing in other European countries. For builders to wave higher loans and disputes with companies should help a free arbitration.


In the future, travelers will pay less for telephone calls and surfing abroad

Change to April 1, 2016: Free plastic bags are soon history

For plastic bags in the supermarket, customers have been paying money for years. Now more shops are to abolish the free plastic bag . For consumers, the purchase will then in the future a bit more expensive, since many retailers demand from April 1, 2016 money for their plastic bags . How many customers have to pay more at the checkout, decide the dealers themselves.

This initiative comes from the trade association (HDE) with the intention to reduce the consumption of disposable bags . Although many dealers participate in the agreement of the HDE and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, this is voluntary. The reason for the measure is an EU directive. According to them, the Member States should reduce the consumption of plastic bags to 90 bags per inhabitant by 2019 .

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New regulation in April 2016: Phone calls and surfing will be cheaper

A new EU regulation will finally limit the roaming charges of telephone service providers . For travelers, surfing and phoning in other European countries from 30 April 2016 cheaper . As soon as the border is crossed, phone providers charge a maximum of five cents for surfing per megabyte or for calls. For SMS, only two cents more are due. It should not be forgotten that additional costs are incurred through VAT.

New laws as of April 1, 2016: More money for builders

As of April 1, 2016, builders can obtain even higher loans from the state-owned KfW Bank for the construction of energy-efficient real estate. So far, KfW has been promoting energy-saving new buildings with up to 50,000 euros. In the future, builders can receive twice as much credit for their project . However, in the same breath , the bank tightened funding conditions .

From 1 April 2016: mediation instead of legal proceedings

Consumers should have it easier in the future if they get into a dispute with a company . Often disputes end up in court for example because of faulty products, long waiting times or poor service. From 1 April 2016, consumers will be able to resolve these issues out of court. Independent consumer arbitration bodies will then mediate between customers and companies for free . However, the latter are not obliged to participate in the conciliation procedure, but decide themselves.

Change in April 2016: Transition period for apartments expires

In Berlin, since 2014, the short-term rental of apartments in normal residential buildings is only allowed with a permit. Due to the ban on misappropriation of property law, more living space is to be vacated again for permanent leases . So far, a so-called permit-free transitional period applies to providers of apartments . But it will expire at the end of April . According to this, providers may only rent apartments as holiday apartments if they receive a special permit from the responsible office. But “in 95 percent of the cases, we will reject a dispensation,” says Stephan von Dassel (Green), City Council for citizen services in Mitte, opposite Tagesspiegel Online. For landlords, this means that in future they will only be able to offer their apartments as normal for rent and not as a holiday apartment.

New law as of April 1, 2016: No more e-cigarettes for teens

E-cigarettes and e-shishas may no longer be sold to minors . Already at the beginning of the year, the Bundestag dealt with the distribution of these products to young people. But since the e-cigarette contains no tobacco, it was previously sold to minors. Although adolescents do not consume tobacco, nicotine-containing fluids are vaporized and inhaled in the e-cigarette . Because of the possible health damage selling to children and adolescents is now prohibited.

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