New provisions on consumers’ rights in the EU

On the 13th June 2014, new national regulations implementing the Directive 2011/83/EU dated 25 October 2011 of the European Parliament and the Council on consumer rights should come into force in all Member States of the EU. The main aim of the Directive is to simplify and update regulations applicable to contracts concluded over a distance and away from premises of a company. The changes are important especially for the entrepreneur which run a business in the area of e-commerce as well as mail order if consumer are the second parties of transactions.

 

 

  Poland Germany France
Name of the legal act Act on Consumer’s rights of 30th May 2014  

Act of 30th September 2013 implementing the Consumer Rights Directive and changing the provisions of the Act on housing services

 

Consumer Act of 18th March 2014 (no. 2014-344)
Date the act comes into force December 2014

(6 months after the date of publication)

13th June 2014 13th June 2014

 

 

The Directive contains the regulations concerning i.a.:

 

  • The right to withdraw from a contract

 

The directive extends the deadline for withdrawal without cause from a contract concluded over a distance or away from premises of a company to 14 days of receipt of goods, and in case of a services contract of the date such contract is concluded. Unless a trader does not inform of the right to withdraw, a consumer will be allowed to exercise the above right within 12 months of expiry of the original 14-day time limit. A trader shall be obligated to provide a consumer with a specimen statement of withdrawal.

 

 

  • Information requirements towards the consumers

 

An entrepreneur must provide a consumer with all required information before contract is concluded – in a manner clear and understandable to a consumer. The information that a trader should provide includes: (i) characteristics of goods or services offered and the manner in which an obligation is to be fulfilled and, if necessary, the term of a contract; (ii) data identifying a trader; (iii) any costs involved in concluding a contract (in particular price including taxes, cost of distance communication, shipping charges, etc.); (iv) the right to withdraw from a contract together with a specimen form of withdrawal.

 

  • Delivery of goods

 

Delivery of goods should be within 30 days of concluding a contract unless the parties agree on another date. If a trader does not fulfil his obligation on time, a consumer may call on the trader to deliver goods within an additional deadline set by the consumer in accordance with the circumstances. If such additional deadline is not met, the consumer acquires the right to terminate the contract, and the trader shall be obligated to return without undue delay the full amount paid under the contract. In addition, pursuant to article 20 of the Directive the risk of loss of or damage to goods shall not pass to a consumer until the consumer comes into possession of goods.

 

Provisions of the Directive will apply to specific contracts concluded between traders and consumers after the date of 13th June 2014.

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