REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA
LAW ON PROHIBITION OF UNFAIR BUSINESS-TO-CONSUMER COMMERCIAL PRACTICES
21 December 2007 No X-1409
Article 1. Purpose and Scope of the Law
1. This Law shall impose prohibition on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices, and establish the types and cases of unfair commercial practices, as well as institutions responsible for supervision of compliance with the provisions of this Law and liability for infringements of this Law.
2. This Law shall apply to commercial practices before, during and after entering into a transaction in relation to a product with a view to protecting the economic interests of consumers.
3. This Law shall not apply to commercial practice that harms only the interests of competing commercial operators or is related only to transactions between commercial operators. This Law shall not regulate certification and indication of the standard of fineness of articles of precious metals.
4. The provisions of this Law shall implement the legal acts of the European Union referred to in the Annex to this Law.
5. The provisions of this Law shall apply where there are no other laws establishing the specific features of unfair commercial practices.
Article 2. Definitions
1. Code of conduct shall mean standards of conduct (a set of rules) not imposed by law or other legal acts, but agreed by commercial operators in one or more particular commercial practices or business sectors.
2.Means of information communication shall mean any means through which information about the products is communicated to a consumer (television and radio advertisements, announcements in the press, SMS, flyers, etc.).
3.To materially distort the economic behaviour of consumers shall mean using a commercial practice to appreciably impair the consumer's ability to make an informed decision, thereby causing the consumer to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise.
4.Business-to-consumer commercial practices (hereinafter referred to as “commercial practices”) shall mean any act, omission, course of conduct or representation including advertising and marketing, by a commercial operator, directly connected with the promotion, sale or supply of a product to consumers.
5.Commercial operator shall mean a person who, in commercial practices, is engaged in trade or pursuing professional activities.
6.Commercial offer shall mean communication, which indicates characteristics of the product, and the price and/or the price of a standard unit in a way appropriate to the means of information communication used and thereby enables the consumer to make a purchase.
7.Undue influence shall mean exploiting a position of power by a commercial operator in relation to a consumer so as to apply pressure, even without using or threatening to use physical force, in a way which significantly limits the consumer's ability to make an informed decision.
8.Product shall mean any goods or service (the activity and/or its result) including immovable property, rights and obligations.
9.Professional diligence shall mean the standard of special skills and care which a commercial operator may reasonably be expected to exercise towards consumers, commensurate with honest market practice and/or the general principle of good faith in the operator's field of activity.
10.Transactional decision shall mean a consumer’s decision to act or to refrain from acting taken by the consumer concerning whether, how and on what terms to purchase, make payment in whole or in part for, retain or dispose of a product or to exercise a contractual right in relation to the product.
11.Code owner shall mean any person, including a commercial operator, a group of commercial operators or an independent monitoring body established by them, which is responsible for the formulation and revision of a code of conduct and/or for monitoring compliance with the code by those who have undertaken to be bound by it.
12.Consumer shall mean a natural person, who takes a decision to buy, buys and uses a product to meet his own personal, family or household needs not related to his business or profession.
13. Average consumer shall mean a consumer who is reasonably well-informed and reasonably observant and circumspect, taking into account social, cultural and linguistic factors.
UNFAIR COMMERCIAL PRACTICES
Article 3. Prohibition of Unfair Commercial Practices
1. Unfair commercial practices shall be prohibited.
2. A commercial practice shall be unfair if it is contrary to the requirements of professional diligence and if:
1) it materially distorts or is likely to materially distort the economic behaviour of an average consumer with regard to the offered product, or
2) it materially distorts or is likely to materially distort the economic behaviour of the average member of the group of consumers with regard to the offered product when a commercial practice is directed to a particular group of consumers.
3. Where a commercial practice is directed to a clearly identifiable group of consumers who are particularly vulnerable to the commercial practice or the offered product because of their mental or physical infirmity, age or credulity and a commercial operator could reasonably be expected to foresee it, and such commercial practice is likely to materially distort the economic behaviour of a member of such group of consumers, the commercial practice shall be assessed from the perspective of the average member of that group.
4. Unfair commercial practices usually are those that are misleading or aggressive. Any other commercial practice that meets the requirements set in paragraph 2 of this Article shall also be considered as unfair commercial practice.
5. When establishing whether a commercial practice is unfair, the specific features and circumstances of a specific case of the commercial practice shall be taken into account.
6. Statements in advertisements to be understood in a figurative sense or statements that are not to be understood literally due to the aphorisms used as well as ethical or cultural traditions, the established customs and similar things shall not be considered as unfair practices.
Article 4. Misleading Commercial Practices
Misleading actions or misleading omissions shall be regarded as misleading commercial practices.
Article 5. Misleading Actions
1. Misleading actions – provision of misleading information or information which, even is factually correct, deceives or is likely to deceive the average consumer in relation to one or more of the following elements, and in either case causes or is likely to cause him to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise:
1) the existence or nature of the product;
2) the main characteristics of the product, such as its availability, benefits, risks, execution, composition, accessories, after-sale customer assistance and complaint examination, method and date of manufacture or provision, delivery, fitness for purpose, usage, quantity, specifications, geographical or commercial origin or the results to be expected from its use, or the results of tests or checks carried out on the product;
3) the commitments of a commercial operator, the objectives of the commercial practice and the method of selling the product, any statement or marks in relation to direct or indirect sponsorship or approval of the commercial operator or the product;
4) the price or the manner in which the price is calculated, or the existence of a specific price advantage;
5) the need for a service, part, replacement or repair;
6) the name or identity, legal form, assets, qualifications, legal status, permits, membership or connection, commercial rights and industrial or intellectual property rights, as well as awards and distinctions of a commercial operator or his agent;
7) the consumer's rights provided for in the laws of the Republic of Lithuania or the risks he may face.
2. A commercial practice shall also be regarded as misleading actions if it causes or is likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise. Such practice shall involve:
1) marketing of a product, including comparative advertising, which creates confusion with any other products, trademarks, names of commercial operators or other distinguishing marks;
2) non-compliance by a commercial operator with commitments contained in codes of conduct by which the commercial operator has undertaken to be bound, where the commitment is not aspirational and it is possible to verify its compliance, and where the commercial operator indicates in a commercial practice that he is bound by such code.
Article 6. Misleading Omissions
1. Taking into account the limitations of the means of information communication, actions that cause or are likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise shall be considered as misleading omissions:
1) omission of material information that the average consumer needs to take an informed transactional decision, or
2) omission of material information that the average consumer needs to take an informed transactional decision, or provision in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner, or
3) failure to identify the intent of the commercial practice if not already apparent from the context.
2. Where the means used to communicate the commercial practice imposes limitations of space or time, these limitations and any measures taken by a commercial operator to make the information available to consumers by other means shall be taken into account when deciding whether information has been omitted.
3. The following information about a commercial offer shall be regarded as material if not already apparent from the context:
1) the main characteristics of the product (to the extent appropriate to the means of information communication and the product;
2) the address of the registered office, the place of residence or a point of sale, name, surname or name of a commercial operator, and, where applicable, the address of the registered office, the place of residence or a point of sale, name, surname or name of a commercial operator on whose behalf he is acting;
3) the final price for the product or the manner in which the price is calculated (where, due to the nature of the product, the price cannot reasonably be calculated in advance), as well as all potential additional expenses to be incurred by a consumer and delivery or postal charges or information that such additional expenses may be incurred (where these charges cannot reasonably be calculated in advance);
4) the arrangements for payment, delivery, performance of commercial practice and the complaint examination procedure if they depart from the requirements of professional diligence;
5) for transactions involving the right of unilateral withdrawal, the existence of such a right.
4. Where it is established by legal acts that any other information must be provided when performing commercial practice, such information shall be regarded as material.
Article 7. Misleading Commercial Practices that need not be proved
It shall be presumed that commercial practices are misleading if they manifest as:
1) false claiming that a commercial operator is bound by a code of conduct;
2) displaying a trust mark, quality mark or an equivalent mark without having been granted such a right;
3) false claiming that a code of conduct has an endorsement from a competent institution or agency;
4) false claiming that a commercial operator (including his commercial practices) has been granted a licence (authorisation), or a false statement that a product has been approved (a procedure for verifying the conformity of a product to the set requirements (legal acts, standards, etc.) has been performed);
5) making a commercial offer indicating the price without disclosing the existence of any reasonable grounds a commercial operator may have for believing that he will not be able to offer for supply, or to designate another commercial operator to supply, those products, or equivalent products, at that price for a period that is, and in quantities that are, reasonable having regard to the product, the scale of advertising of the product and the price offered;
6) making a commercial offer at a specified price and then refusing to show the advertised product to consumers or refusing to take orders for the product or to deliver it within a reasonable time or demonstrating a defective sample of it, with the intention of promoting a different product;
7) false claiming that a product will only be available for a very limited time, or that it will only be available on particular terms for a very limited time, in order to elicit an immediate decision and deprive consumers of sufficient opportunity or time to make an informed choice;
8) undertaking to provide after-sales product maintenance service to consumers with whom a commercial operator prior to a transaction has communicated in a language which is not an official language of the Member State where the commercial operator is located and then making such service available only in another language without clearly disclosing this to the consumer before the consumer is committed to the transaction;
9) false claiming or creating an impression that a product can legally be sold;
10) presenting the rights granted to consumers under legal acts as a distinctive feature of a commercial operator’s offer;
11) making a false claim concerning the nature and extent of the risk to the personal security of a consumer or his family if the consumer does not purchase the product;
12) promoting a product similar to a product made by a particular manufacturer in such a manner as deliberately to mislead a consumer into believing that the product is made by that manufacturer;
13) false claiming that a commercial operator is about to cease trading or change a point of sale;
14) claiming that products are able to facilitate winning in games of risk and in games of chance;
15) false claiming that a product is able to cure illnesses, dysfunction or developmental disorders;
16) passing on materially inaccurate information on market conditions or information where to find a product with the intention of inducing the consumer to acquire the product at conditions less favourable than normal market conditions;
17) making a proposal to participate in a competition or receive a prize, but not giving the specified prizes of their equivalents;
18) describing a product as “gratis”, “free” or similar if a consumer has to pay anything other than the unavoidable costs related to acquisition, collecting or paying for delivery of the product;
19) including in marketing material an invoice or similar payment document which gives the consumer a false impression that he has already ordered the marketed product;
20) false claiming or creating an impression that a commercial operator is not acting for the purposes relating to his enterprise, business or professional activities, or falsely representing oneself as a consumer;
21) creating a false impression that maintenance service in relation to a product is available in a Member State other than the one in which the product was sold;
22) establishing, operating or promoting a pyramid scheme of distribution of goods where a consumer gives consideration for the opportunity to receive compensation that is derived primarily from the introduction of other consumers into the scheme rather than from the sale or consumption of products;
23) advertising a product through the means of the mass media for payment or any other remuneration from a commercial operator where such advertising is not properly marked or separated from editorial content by images or sounds clearly identifiable by the consumer as advertising.
Article 8. Aggressive Commercial Practices
1. A commercial practice shall be regarded as aggressive if by harassment, coercion, including the use of physical force, or undue influence, it significantly impairs or is likely to significantly impair the average consumer's freedom of choice or conduct with regard to a product and thereby causes him or is likely to cause him to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise.
2. In determining whether a commercial practice uses harassment, coercion, including the use of physical force, or undue influence, account shall be taken of:
1) its timing, location, nature or persistence;
2) the use of threatening or abusive language or behaviour;
3) the exploitation by a commercial operator of any grave circumstances that may affect the economic behaviour of a consumer, of which the commercial operator is aware, to influence the consumer's decision with regard to a product;
4) any onerous or disproportionate non-contractual barriers that a commercial operator uses or intends to use to limit a consumer’s right to exercise the rights under the contract, including the right to terminate a contract or to switch to another product or another commercial operator;
5) any threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken.
3. It shall be presumed that commercial practices are aggressive if they manifest as:
1) creating an impression that a consumer cannot leave the premises until a contract is formed;
2) conducting visits to a consumer's home ignoring the consumer's request to leave or not to return except in circumstances and to the extent justified, under the provisions of other legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania, to enforce a contractual obligation;
3) Making persistent and unwanted solicitations by telephone, fax, e-mail or other remote media except in circumstances and to the extent justified, under the provisions of other legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania, to enforce a contractual obligation;
4) requiring a consumer who wishes to claim on an insurance policy to produce documents which could not reasonably be considered relevant as to whether the consumer’s claim was valid, or failing systematically to respond to the attempts of the consumer to contact in writing, orally or in any other ways, in order to dissuade the consumer from exercising his contractual rights;
5) including in an advertisement a direct exhortation to children to buy advertised products or persuade their parents or other adults to buy advertised products for them;
6) demanding immediate payment for the products supplied by a commercial operator or demanding deferred payment or demanding to return or keep such products where a consumer did not order them, except for the cases where the consumer and the commercial operator have agreed before entering into contract or under the contract that should the commercial operator faile to get the product ordered by the consumer, he can supply the consumer with another product of the same quality and price;
7) explicitly informing a consumer that if he does not buy a product, the commercial operator’s job or livelihood will be in jeopardy;
8) creating a false impression that a consumer has already won, will win, or will on doing a particular act win, a prize or other equivalent benefit, when in fact either there is no prize or other equivalent benefit, or taking any action in relation to claiming the prize or other equivalent benefit is subject to the consumer paying money or incurring a cost.
CONTROL OF UNFAIR COMMERCIAL PRACTICES
Article 9. Control Institutions of Unfair Commercial Practices
1. The State Consumer Rights Protection Authority (hereinafter referred to as the “Authority”) shall control the compliance with the provisions of this Law, except for the provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article.
2. The Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the “Competition Council”) shall control whether the advertising is not misleading and the comparative advertising in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Republic of Lithuania Law on Advertising and the Republic of Lithuania Law on Competition.
Article 10. Rights and Duties of the Authority
1. When exerting control, within its competence, the Authority shall have the right to:
1) obtain from state and municipal institutions, establishments, and other persons the information and documents necessary to investigate the infringements of this Law;
2) obtain from commercial operators the information and documents, and, where necessary, samples of goods necessary to investigate the infringements of this Law, and also require a commercial operator to specify and substantiate his statements related to commercial practices where such request deems purposeful under the circumstances of the infringement taking into account the legitimate interests of the commercial operator or the consumer;
3) request commercial operators and other persons responsible for commercial practices to come and provide oral and written explanations;
4) in the cases provided for in this Law, impose fines or issue a warning;
5) in the cases provided for in this Law, apply a temporary measure – an obligation to suspend an unfair commercial practice.
2. The Authority shall:
1) submit the material about the infringements of this Law that have elements of a criminal act to law enforcement institutions;
2) ensure confidentiality of information which constitutes a commercial secret and was received from commercial operators;
3) when investigating possibly unfair business-to-consumer commercial practice, apply for a conclusion to a state institution which exercises supervision of such commercial practice in the cases provided for in laws.
Article 11. Codes of Conduct
1. Commercial operators shall have the right to lay down their codes of conducts and control compliance therewith.
2. Commercial operators shall inform the Authority about the approval of the codes of conduct and the appointment of the code owner in accordance with the procedure established by the Authority.
3. The Authority shall promote the development of the codes of conduct and shall cooperate with the code owners and other commercial operators who have assumed or are planning to assume the obligations stipulated in the codes of conduct.
PROCEDURE FOR IMPOSING LIABILITY FOR INFRINGEMENT OF THIS LAW. APPLICATION (COMPLAINT) EXAMINATION PROCEDURE
Article 12. Liability for Infringement of this Law
Commercial operators who infringe the requirements of this Law shall be held liable under this Law and other laws.
Article 13. Fines and a Warning
1. The Authority, within its competence, may impose a fine of LTL 1 thousand to LTL 30 thousand to commercial operators for unfair commercial practices, if this fine does not exceed 3 per cent of the annual income of a commercial operator during the previous financial year. Where infringements were committed under aggravating circumstances specified in paragraph 5 of this Article, a larger fine, up to LTL 120 thousand, may be imposed to commercial operators, if this fine does not exceed 3 per cent of the annual income of a commercial operator during the previous financial year.Where an infringement is minor and no substantial damage to the consumers’ interests protected by this Law is made, the Authority, in compliance with the criteria of fairness and reasonableness, may impose the following penalty to commercial operators for unfair commercial practices – a warning without imposing a fine.
2. A fine of LTL 1 thousand shall be imposed to commercial operators for failure to execute or properly execute the Authority’s decision on application of a temporary measure for each day of failure to execute or improper execution.
3. The amount of the imposed fine shall be determined according to the average of the minimum and maximum fine specified in the first sentence of paragraph 1 of this Article. When imposing a specific fine, mitigating and aggravating circumstances referred to in paragraphs 4 and 5 of this Article as well as the nature, duration and volume of an infringement shall be taken into account. The decrease or increase in the amount of a fine shall be reasoned by decision of the Authority.
4. Mitigating circumstances shall include actions of commercial operators, who have committed an infringement, undertaken at their own initiative to prevent the harmful consequences of the infringement, cooperation with the Authority during the investigation, compensation for losses and/or elimination of damage or submission of a substantiated report from the code owner to the Authority stating that commercial operators, who have committed the infringement, have terminated unfair commercial practices.
5. Aggravating circumstances shall include actions of commercial operators, who have committed an infringement, to impede the investigation, conceal the infringement, continue the infringement despite the fine or warning imposed by the Authority’s decision or a temporary measure specified in Article 17 of this Law - an obligation to suspend unfair commercial practices.
6. The court investigating the complaint concerning the decision of the Authority and taking into account mitigating and any other circumstances (due to which a respective fine to a commercial operator, who has committed an infringement of this Law, would be too large because it would be disproportionate to the committed infringement and therefore unfair) and acting in compliance with the criteria of fairness and reasonableness, may impose a fine smaller than the minimum fine stipulated in respective subparagraph of this paragraph.
Article 14. Procedure for Investigating the Cases of Unfair Commercial Practices
The Authority shall investigate the cases of unfair commercial practices attributed to its competence under paragraph 1 of Article 9 of this Law and shall impose the fines or a warning. This Law and the Rules for Investigating the Infringements of the Law on Prohibition of Unfair Business-to-Consumer Commercial Practices approved by order of the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania shall establish the procedure for investigating the cases of unfair commercial practices and for imposing the fines or a warning.
Article 15. The Right of Initiative for Investigating Infringements of this Law
1. The right to apply to the Authority concerning infringements of this Law shall be granted to:
1) the consumers;
2) state and municipal institutions and agencies;
3) the consumer associations.
2. The Authority shall have the right to start investigating infringements of this Law on its own initiative upon taking a reasoned decision. In such case, the provisions of paragraph 3 of Article 16 and of Articles 17-21 of this Law shall apply mutatis mutandis.
3. If the Authority, when investigating the complaints (applications) of the consumers in accordance with the procedure prescribed by other laws, finds sufficient data about a potential infringement of this Law, it must adopt a reasoned decision to start the procedure of investigation of the infringement of this Law.
Article 16. Submission of an Application (Complaint) concerning the Infringement of this Law and the Time Limits for its Examination Procedure
1. An application (complaint) concerning the infringement of this Law (hereinafter referred to as an “application (complaint)”) shall be submitted in writing.Factual circumstances of unfair commercial practices known to the applicant shall be indicated in the application (complaint). The available to the applicant documents confirming this shall be attached to the application (complaint). The Authority shall, not later than within thirty days from the day of submission of the application (complaint), adopt a reasoned decision to commence or refuse to commence the application (complaint) examination procedure. A copy of the decision shall, not later than within three working days from the day of taking the decision, be sent to the persons in reference to whom the decision was adopted.
2. It shall be refused to commence the application (complaint) examination procedure if:
1) investigation of the infringement indicated in the application (complaint) is not attributed to the competence of the Authority;
2) the factual data indicated in the application (complaint) has already been checked and a decision has been adopted;
3) there is no factual data that would allow to reasonably suspect that there was an infringement of this Law;
4) more than six months have passed from the day a person specified in paragraph 1 of Article 15 of this Law became aware or should have become aware of an infringement indicated in the application (complaint) to the submission of the application (complaint), but in all the cases – more than three years have passed since the day of commitment of the infringement.
3. The Authority shall investigate the infringements to this Law that have been attributed to its competence and impose penalties not later than within six months from the day of taking a decision to commence an application (complaint) examination procedure. The Authority shall have the right to extend this time period by a reasoned decision, but no longer than for a period of six months.
Article 17. Temporary Measure
1. In urgent cases, when there is enough data about the infringement of this Law and seeking to avoid substantial damage or adverse consequences to the consumers’ interests, the Authority shall have the right to impose, by its reasoned decision, a temporary measure - an obligation to suspend an unfair commercial practice until the end of the application (complaint) examination procedure.When the fines imposed by decision of the Authority after examining the application (complaint) are paid, the temporary measure shall cease to apply.
2. Before taking a decision on application of the temporary measure, the commercial operator suspected of infringing this Law shall have the right to provide explanations within the time period established by the Authority. Reasons must be given for a decision on application of the temporary measure. The persons to whom the decision applies shall be informed about the decision immediately, not later than within three working days.
3. The decision of the Authority to apply the temporary measure may be appealed against in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Republic of Lithuania Law on Administrative Proceedings within one month from the day of taking such decision. Filing of an appeal shall not mean suspension of the application of the temporary measure, unless the court decides otherwise.
Article 18. Participants in the Application (Complaint) Examination Procedure and other Persons
1. Participants in the application (complaint) examination procedure:
1) a commercial operator due to whose acts or omissions the procedure is carried out;
2) a consumer, where the application (complaint) examination procedure has been initiated at the request of the consumer;
3) if an application (complaint) examination procedure was initiated at the request of the consumers’ association or the state or municipal institution or agency – a representative of that consumers’ association or the state or municipal institution or agency;
4) if, in the process of examination of an application (complaint), it was applied for a conclusion under subparagraph 3 of paragraph 2 of Article 10 of this Law – a representative of an institution that submitted the conclusion;
5) by decision of the Authority – experts, specialists and other persons.
2. Persons specified in subparagraphs 1, 2 and 3 of paragraph 1 of this Article shall hereinafter be referred to in this Law as participants in the application (complaint) examination procedure.
3. Participants in the application (complaint) examination procedure may be represented by their representatives.
Article 19. Notification about the Examination of an Application (Complaint)
Participants in the application (complaint) examination procedure shall be notified, not later than fourteen days before the day of examination of the application (complaint) at the Authority, by a registered letter about the potential infringements of this Law, the time and venue of the examination of the application (complaint) and they shall also suggested to get acquainted with the received documents and other information and to provide written explanations.
Article 20. Examination of an Application (Complaint)
1. An application (complaint) shall be examined when the participants in the application (complaint) examination procedure and other persons are present.
2. During the process of examination of an application (complaint), the participants shall have the right to get acquainted with the received documents and other information, provide oral or written explanations and submit additional information and other documents.
3. If the documents and information confirming the fact of infringement and required to be submitted by commercial operators under subparagraph 2 of paragraph 1 of Article 10 of this Law are not presented within the time period established by the Authority, or if the Authority believes that these are insufficient, it shall be presumed that the statements related to commercial practice are incorrect.
4. Where the participants in the application (complaint) examination procedure are not present during the process of examination of an application (complaint), the application (complaint) may be examined only if there is data that they were properly and timely informed about the time and venue of examination of the application (complaint).
Article 21. Decision Adopted after Examining an Application (Complaint)
1. The Authority, having examined an application (complaint), shall adopt the following decision:
1) to impose fines or a warning provided for in this Law;
2) in the absence of the grounds specified in this Law, to refuse to impose fines or a warning.
2. The following shall be specified in the decision:
1) the name of the institution which has adopted the decision;
2) the date and place where the decision was adopted;
3) the data about a commercial operator due to whose acts or omissions the decision was adopted;
4) the established factual circumstances of unfair commercial practices;
5) the data confirming the fact of infringement, on which the decision is based;
6) the relevant article of this Law stating liability for infringement;
7) explanations provided by a commercial operator due to whose acts or omissions the decision was adopted and their assessment;
8) the decision adopted;
9) the time limits and the procedure for appealing against the decision.
3. The decisions of the Authority shall, within three working days from the day of their adoption, be send by registered post to the persons in reference to whom they were adopted.
Article 22. Recovery of Fines
1. A fine shall be paid to the state budget not later than within one month from the day of communication of the decision on the imposition of a fine to the offenders of this Law.
2. The unpaid fines shall be recovered in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania.
Article 23. Appeal against the Decisions on Imposition of Fines or a Warning
1. Commercial operators who do not agree with the decisions of the Authority on imposition of fines or a warning shall have the right to appeal to court against the decision within one month from the day of the receipt thereof in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Republic of Lithuania Law on Administrative Proceedings.
2. An application to court shall not suspend the implementation of the decisions of the Authority to pay the fines or to enforce a warning.
Article 24. Entry into Force and Implementation of the Law
1. This Law, except for paragraph 2 of this Article, shall enter into force on 1 February 2008.
2. The Ministry of Justice and the Authority shall adopt legal acts necessary for the implementation of this Law before this Law comes into force.
I promulgate this Law passed by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania.
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC VALDAS ADAMKUS