15.01.2021 Business law

Changes to consumer law from January 2021

1 January 2021 was the effective date of legal regulations which granted entrepreneurs-natural persons legal protection so far available to consumers only. This means that an entrepreneur -consumer currently has the right, inter alia, to withdraw from a contract concluded remotely or outside the entrepreneur’s premises.

Particular provisions of the Act of 31 July 2019 on Amendments to Certain Acts in Order to Limit Regulatory Burdens applicable since 1 January 2021 have introduced the following amendments to the Civil Code and the Act on Consumer Rights:

I. Entrepreneur-natural person as a consumer

The new regulations award legal protection so far given solely to consumers to entrepreneurs entered in the Central Registration and Information on Business, i.e. being natural persons, provided that:

  • They have entered into a contract which does not have a professional nature, but is directly related to their business, namely that the contents of the contract shows that the contract is not of a professional nature for that person, arising, in particular, from the objects of their business (specified based on the relevant PKD code) made available under the provisions on the Central Registration and Information on Business.

More information about the professional nature of the contract: Changes to e-commerce in 2021

II. Right to withdraw from a contract concluded remotely

From 1 January 2021 the category of entrepreneurs-natural persons gained, so far only consumers’, right to withdraw from a contract concluded remotely or outside the company’s premises. This right may be exercised within 14 days of receipt of goods or conclusion of a contract, without the need to specify the reasons for withdrawal and pay any costs, except for costs paid additionally due to the choice of a different method of delivery or related to direct costs of return of the item, except for a situation where the seller agreed to pay them or did not inform about the need of their payment.

Learn more: January 2021: Obligation to file a report on payment deadlines in commercial transactions

III. Warranty for defects

The new regulations which came into effect on 1 January also introduced to the Civil Code Article 556(4) and Article 556(5) which give entrepreneurs-natural persons the right to benefit from provisions concerning warranty for physical and legal defects of an item. It will still be possible to exclude, extend or limit seller’s warranty liability by way of a contract. Moreover, if the seller pays costs on account of warranty for physical defects and the defect resulted from an action or omission of the previous seller, the former will be able to claim remedy of damage from the previous seller.

Note! All of the amendments discussed above do not concern contracts concluded before 1 January 2021.

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