Are you ready for selling online in Italy?
The Directive on Consumer Rights, n. 2011/83/EC, replaces, as of 13 June 2014, among others, Directive 97/7/EC (reguarding consumer protection in respect of distance contracts) and Directive 85/577/EC (on the protection of consumer in negotiated off-premises contracts), and introduces new specifical rules for distance and off premises contracts.
Among others changes, the Directive lays down the information requirements for distance and off-premises contracts (including information about the functionality and interoperability of digital content) and regulates the right of withdrawal (length of the withdrawal period, procedure and effects of the withdrawal, including a standard withdrawal form that must be provided by traders and may be used by consumers to notify the withdrawal from the contract).
This Directive shall apply, under the conditions and to the extent set out in its provisions, to any contract concluded between a trader and a consumer, except specifically contracts (social and financial services, gambling, construction of new buildings, etc), and when the value of a transaction is above 50 EUR.
For companies who want to sell online or in case of direct selling, it means that they will need to update and amend their web sites and make changes to their contracts, materials and processes.
Consumer rights and protection in Italy
The Directive n. 2011/83/EC has been receipted in Italy by the D.Lgs 21/2014, and several important changes will affect distance and off premises contracts concluded in Italy too.
In particular, Italy’s transposition of the Consumer Rights Directive amends the articles 45-67 of the Consumer Code (Legislative Decree no. 206/2005), providing more pre-contractual information requirements (such as: i) the existence, the conditions and procedures for exercising the right of withdrawal (as well as a model withdrawal form); ii) a reminder of the existence of a legal guarantee of conformity for goods and, where applicable, the existence of commercial guarantees; ii) in the case of provision of digital content, the functionality, including applicable technical protection measures, of such content as well as any relevant interoperability of digital content with hardware and software) and reinforcing the withdrawal right (with a withdrawal period of 14 days, instead of the current period of 10 days)
These changes tends to protect the consumer, who is traditionally considered the weaker part of the contract, and to prevent lack of information about important aspects of the transaction that is going to be concluded.
Transpositions of the Directive into national laws, due by 13 December 2013, have created specific peculiarities and differencies beetween them, so, it’s important to consider every aspect in order to update contracts and avoid the sanctions that may be imposed by the Italian Competition Authority.
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