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  • Period during which consumers do not have to prove goods were faulty from the beginning to be extended from six months to a year.
  • Member States now have two years to transpose new rules into national legislation.

 

Dublin, Monday 10th June 2019 – A new EU legislative package aims to provide clear, up-to-date and harmonised rules ensuring that consumers in each Member State will, in the near future, be able to avail of certain remedies when digital content is faulty. The burden of proof will also be extended from six months to one year for all goods (including digital content) found to be not in conformity.

The European Consumer Centre (ECC) Ireland has welcomed the recent adoption by the Council of the European Union of a package comprising a directive on contracts for the supply of digital content and services (Digital Content Directive) and a directive on contracts for the sales of goods and associated guarantees, the latter of which will repeal existing EU sale of goods legislation after 20 years in force.

ECC Ireland spokesperson, Martina Nee, said: ‘The new rules will modernise EU legislation so that it is fit for purpose in an age of ever-increasing digital cross-border purchases. When the legislation is transposed into the national legislations of all Member States, consumers across the EU will benefit from the same rights when digital content, digital services, or ‘smart goods’ are found to be not in conformity (e.g. faulty goods, failure to supply) as they do currently with more traditional products.

The Digital Content Directive provides consumers with the right to remedy, such as price reduction or full reimbursement, for digital content or service and when a consumer provides data in exchange for a digital service. The updated Sale of Goods Directive will apply to all goods, including products with a digital element (e.g. smart fridges). It will also extend the reversed burden of proof in favour of the consumer from six months to one year, meaning that if the lack of conformity becomes apparent within the first 12 months it will be presumed to have existed at the time of delivery and it will be up to the seller to prove otherwise. ECC Ireland welcomes this move as a major step forward for EU consumer protection’.

Following the European Parliament approval of the legislative package on 26th March 2019, the Council of the European Union then formally adopted the new rules on 15th April. Following publication in the Official Journal of the European Union (20th May), Member States will have two years to transpose the new rules into their national law.

 

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Notes to Editor:

 

ECC Ireland is part of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net), which covers 30 countries (all EU countries plus Norway and Iceland), and offers a free and confidential information and advice service to the public on their rights as consumers, assisting consumers with cross-border disputes. ECC Ireland is co-financed by the European Commission and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.