Poland: Traders' Obligations Under The New Consumers Protection Act

Last Updated: 21 May 2015
Article by Katarzyna Terlecka and Mateusz Rogoziński

The new consumers protection act ("Act") which came into force on 25 December 2014 changed the obligations that traders (entrepreneurs) have with regard to the execution of sales contracts with consumers (relating to both goods and services) and warranty rules relating to the provided goods.

The Act implemented provisions of the EU Directive on Consumer Rights of 25 October 2011 (2011/83/EU) and abolished the previously binding Polish act on the protection on certain consumers' rights and dangerous products. The new regulations implemented by the Act relate to "traditional" transactions, as well as to distance sales (including those conducted online, by email or traditional mailings, or by phone, fax or SMS) and off-premises sales (e.g. at a consumer's home).

The changes introduced by the Act will affect not only the sellers of goods, but also entrepreneurs providing services to consumers, including banks, insurance companies or leasing entities providing financial services on the basis of distance sales contracts.

Wider information obligations

Before entering into a sales contract with a customer, each merchant must provide the consumer with information explicitly enumerated in the Act, e.g. the trader's exact contact details, the main characteristics of the goods or services that are the subject of the contract, the total price of the goods or services inclusive of taxes, the regulations regarding trader's liability for the goods or services, a description of post-transaction services and warranty rules, etc.

Under the Act, this obligation to inform consumers relates to "traditional" sales contracts, as well as to distance and off-premises sales contracts (previously, such obligation applied only to the latter). The list of specific information that has to be made available to a consumer with respect to distance and off-premises contracts is much wider than was previously the case, as it has been increased to more than 20 items, compared to 11 under the previous act. As regards "traditional" sales contracts, the Act specifies that 9 items of information must be made available to consumers.

Right of withdrawal

With respect to distance and off-premises contracts, a consumer has a right to withdraw from a contract within 14 calendar days without any cause and a trader must respect a consumer's withdrawal (previously, the deadline was 10 days). The above period starts running: (i) with respect to a sale of goods, from the hand-over of goods, or (ii) with respect to services, from the contract's execution date.

The withdrawal is effective if the relevant statement by the consumer has been sent to a trader within the above 14-day deadline, i.e. the actual delivery of the statement to the trader may take place after the lapse of the deadline. In the event of a withdrawal, the trader should return all payments received from the consumer, including the costs of delivering the goods to the consumer, while the consumer must cover the costs of returning the goods to the trader.

The right of withdrawal is excluded only in situations explicitly listed in the Act. Such exceptions include, for example: the sale of services if they were performed in full, the sale of goods prepared in accordance with a specification prepared by a consumer, or the sale of newspapers and magazines. The catalogue of exclusions is much wider compared with the previous act.

Additional costs

The Act provides that the trader must inform consumers in advance and in a clear manner regarding all of the costs associated with a contract. At the same time, the Act establishes a rule that consumers cannot be charged with any fees which were not explicitly enumerated in the sales contract or to which they did not explicitly agree.

Statutory warranty rules

The previous regulations contained specific rules relating to the warranty for goods provided to consumers that differed from the general rules included in the Polish civil code. Now, these specific rules have been amended (so that they are similar to the general rules) and introduced directly into the Polish civil code.

Generally, a trader is liable towards a customer for physical and legal defects. Polish civil code contains a catalogue of examples of such defects, e.g. when goods do not have qualities described in a sale contract or do not have qualities whose existence a trader or a producer had assured to the customer (physical defect) or when goods are owned by a third party or are encumbered with a third parties' right (e.g. pledge) (legal defect).

In case of a defect, a customer has the right to: (i) file a statement on a proportional decrease of the purchase price, or (ii) withdraw from the contract; in both cases, they can exercise this right only if the trader fails to immediately replace or fix a defect (but such replacement or fixing of a defect may only be undertaken one time). Furthermore, a customer has a stand-alone right to request a replacement or repair of defective goods.

If a trader does not reply to a consumer's request within 14 days after receiving it the request is deemed to have been accepted.

The liability under statutory warranty for defects terminates two years after the hand-over of goods to the consumer (in the case of buildings that term extends to five years).

With respect to warranty relating to services, nothing has changed following the Acts implementation: a trader (service provider) remains liable for non-performance or improper performance of the services under the general rules of Polish law, i.e. is liable for damage suffered by a recipient of services.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions