Consumer rights in the purchase and sale of goods, digital contents and services
On October 18th, 2021, it was published in “Diário da República” the Decree-Law No. 84/2021, which enhances the consumer rights in the purchase and sale of goods and establishes the consumer protection legal framework of supply contracts of digital contents or services, transposing into national law the Directive (EU) 2019/771 and the Directive (EU) 2019/770 of the European Parliament and of the Council, both of May 20th, 2019.
Among the several rules introduced, we highlight the following:
(i) Non-existence of barriers to the exercise of consumer rights during the guarantee period of the goods.
(ii) The trader is obliged to deliver/provide the consumer with goods, digital contents or services that meet all the subjective and objective requirements set forth in the decree-law (e.g. description, type, quantity, quality, functionality, suitability, among others), otherwise they will not be considered compliant.
(iii) The trader is liable for any lack of conformity that becomes apparent within three years of the good delivery and during the period of the contract, when the contract stipulates the continuous supply of digital contents or services.
(iv) Any lack of conformity which becomes apparent within two years of the good delivery shall be presumed to have existed at the time of the good delivery unless this is not compatible with the nature of the goods or with the characteristics of the lack of conformity.
(v) In the event of lack of conformity of the goods, digital contents or services, the consumer has the right to “remedy the lack of conformity”, by means of the repairing or the replacement of the goods, the proportional reduce of the price or the termination of the contract.
(vi) The consumer may choose directly between the replacement of the good and the termination of the contract, without complying with any particular condition, when there is a lack of conformity that becomes apparent within 30 days from the delivery.
(vii) Establishment of trader’s obligations regarding the repair period (as a rule, it should not exceed 30 days), the collection and removal of the goods for repair and the reimbursement of the price paid in the event of termination of the contract.
(viii) The trader is obliged to provide the necessary pieces for the repair of the goods purchased by the consumer for a period of 10 years after the last unit of the good has been placed on the market.
(ix) In the case of movable property subject to registration, the trader must provide an after-sales service for a period of 10 years.
(x) Extension of the guarantee period for immovable property to 10 years, in case of a lack of conformity regarding structural construction elements, maintaining the current period of 5 years for other lack of conformity.
(xi) The consumer may demand the repair or replacement of the good in the event of a lack of conformity, directly before the producer.
(xii) The trader has a right of recourse against a person at earlier stages of the contractual chain, when that person is responsible for the lack of conformity.
(xiii) The voluntary guarantee is maintained, but with increased reporting obligations, and is now designated "commercial guarantee".
(xiv) Establishment of a sanctions framework, which assigns to Autoridade de Segurança Alimentar e Económica ("ASAE") and to Instituto dos Mercados Públicos, do Imobiliário e da Construção, I. P. ("IMPIC, I. P."), the power to supervise, initiate administrative offence proceedings and apply the respective fines and accessory penalties, being IMPIC, I. P.'s powers limited to the framework applicable to immovable property.
The Decree-Law No. 84/2021, of October 18th, 2021, will enter into force on January 1st, 2022.
To access to the entire wording of the diploma, please click here.