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Changes in consumer law

Due to  the introduction of the pandemic  in Poland and according to the Act of Parliament which was passed  on 31 March 2020, the so-called the Anti-Crisis Shield, the changes  in consumer law have been postponed to come into force  until 1 January  2021.

The proposed amendments impose on entrepreneurs a number of changes related to the creation of a “third category of entities” with whom a contract can be concluded (consumers, entrepreneurs and natural persons carrying out  business  activities concluding a contract of a non-professional nature). Thus, entrepreneurs have gained additional time to adapt their documentation (in particular, contracts, general terms and conditions of sale or product regulations) to the upcoming changes.

According to the new wording of Art. 3855 of the Civil Code, provisions on the consumer  contained in Art. 3851 – 3853 of the Civil Code shall apply to a natural person concluding a contract directly related to his/her business activity, when the contents of this contract shows that he/she does not have a professional nature for it, arising in particular from the subject-matter of his/her business activity, made available under the provisions of the Central Register and Information on Business Activity (CEiDG).

The introduced changes to consumer law give sole proprietors the same protection as consumers have, in particular:

  • the possibility of making complaints about purchased items, while the sellers will be liable for defects under the warranty;
  • the possibility of withdrawing from a contract concluded at a distance within 14 days of receiving the purchased item;
  • it will not be possible to apply unfair contract terms to an entrepreneur running a business, the so-called abusive clauses.

The changes indicated above, impose a number of obligations on sellers related to the adaptation of the regulations of the online store, the rules for dealing with complaints, changes in contractual provisions and the applied models of statements used in terms of the new category of the recipient.