The European Commission has announced plans that could see shoppers afforded more protection when buying online.

In particular, the proposals are aimed to protect EU shoppers who opt to buy products from one of the 27 states within the Union but not from their own country.

The EC's recommendations include giving consumers a 2-week cooling-off period to back out of a sale.

In about half of the EU's 27 countries, consumers only get 7 days to change their mind.

Customers would also get the right to demand a refund if their product is delivered late.

The measures also include stronger guarantees of repairs, replacements and refunds for faulty goods, and clearer information on price and any additional charges.

In these times of financial worries, EU consumer affairs commissioner Meglena Kuneva, said in a statement that it has never been more important for shoppers to be able to shop around for the best price.

She pointed to the fact that a camera made by one manufacturer cost cost 110 euros or £86 more if bought online in Finland, rather than in Britain.

The Commssion hopes that the proposals will be approved next year.