Representative actions

Representative actions are a joint EU tool for improving consumer rights. They are based on the EU Representative Actions Directive.

A representative action may be brought on behalf of consumers only by a so-called qualified entity. A qualified entity may be a consumer organisation or an authority laid down by law. A consumer organisation must apply to the Ministry of Justice for designation as a qualified entity in order to represent a consumer group. An individual consumer cannot bring a representative action. 

In addition to consumer trade, a representative action may also be brought in matters concerning data protection, financial services, transport, or electronic communications, for example. A representative action may be brought to prohibit a practice of a trader and to claim compensation for damage caused to consumers.

the EU Representative Actions Directive

Application for designation as a qualified entity  

A consumer organisation may apply for designation as a qualified entity by submitting a free-form written application to the registry of the Ministry of Justice. 

The application must contain the information necessary for assessing compliance with the criteria concerning qualified entities. The application must specify the types of action referred to in section 1, subsection 1 of the Act on the Designation of Organisations Promoting the Collective Interests of Consumers as Qualified Entities (1102/2022) that the application concerns. An organisation may apply for designation for the purpose of bringing actions of one or more of the types.

Criteria concerning qualified entities

An organisation promoting the collective interests of consumers may be designated as a qualified entity if:

  1. it is a registered association referred to in the Associations Act (503/1989),
  2. it has had at least 12 months of actual public activity in the protection of consumer interests prior to submitting its application for designation,
  3. its statutory purpose demonstrates that it has a legitimate interest in protecting consumer interests as provided for in the provisions of Union law referred to in Annex I to the Representative Actions Directive,
  4. it has a non-profit-making character,
  5. it has not been declared bankrupt,
  6. it is independent and not influenced by persons other than consumers, in particular by traders or external funding providers, who have an economic interest in the bringing of any representative action,
  7. it has established procedures to prevent influence by persons other than consumers, as referred to in paragraph 6, and to prevent conflicts of interest between itself, its funding providers and the interests of consumers,
  8. it makes publicly available in plain and intelligible language by any appropriate means, at least on its website, information that demonstrates that the association complies with the criteria referred to in paragraphs 1–7 and information about the sources of its funding in general, its organisational, management and membership structure, its statutory purpose and its activities.

Qualified entities in Finland currently laid down by law   

Consumer Ombudsman
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority
Financial Supervisory Authority 
Finnish Transport and Communications Agency 
Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea 
National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health
Data Protection Ombudsman

Consumer organisation designated as a qualified entity

Consumers’ Union of Finland


Anne Hallavainio, Senior Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of Justice, Department for Private Law and Administration of Justice Telephone:0295150049   Email Address: