1. Error and reclamation rules change
The period of complaint for the purchase of goods will continue to be at least two years across the EU.
Earlier proposals for the EU directive suggested that the time of complaint would be one and the same across the EU, which would have facilitated matters considerably for companies with sales in several countries. This was lost in negotiations and, as in the past, the period of complaint will likely vary in different EU countries.
The presumption period for defects in goods is extended – from six months to one or two years.
According to current rules, a consumer does not need to prove that there was a defect in the goods when the consumer purchased it if the defect in question occurs within six months of the goods being delivered. Instead, as many people are aware, a reversed burden of proof is applicable, which means that it is the seller who will have to show that there was no error.
In practice, this means that many companies regularly grant complaints that are made within six months of the purchase in order not to have to spend time and resources on refuting the consumer's claim of defects in the goods. The new law extends this so-called presumption period from six months to one or two years, depending on what the legislators in each member state decides. This means that different presumption times will also continue to apply in different EU countries.