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The Slovak Republic: New Consumer Protection Act

8. 7. 2024

Newsletter

bpv BRAUN PARTNERS

On 01.07.2024, Act No. 108/2024 Coll. on Consumer Protection and on Amendments and Additions to Certain Acts came into force. The Act also amends the Civil Code.

The most significant changes concerning traders are:

regulation of discounts – the trader is obliged to indicate the lowest price at which he sold the goods in the period of 30 days before the reduction in the price of the goods, or from the beginning of the sale of the goods if he sold the goods in a period of less than 30 days before the reduction in the price (in the case of a gradual reduction in the price of the goods, he may indicate as the previous price of the goods the original price of the goods prior to the first reduction in the price, regardless of the time of the sale or provision of the goods);

the consumer’s right to withdraw from a contract concluded on an unsolicited visit/sale event in connection with it within 30 days of the date of conclusion of the contract;
new rules on the obligations of operators of online marketplaces;
providing information on whether and how the trader ensures that the product reviews it sells or provides come from consumers who have actually bought or used the product, if it provides consumers with access to product reviews;
providing information on the main parameters that determine the ranking of products in the online search result and their importance, as well as the indication of paid advertising;
Amendment to the Advertising Act, which imposes an obligation on the advertiser who states the selling price of goods in an advertisement to also state the unit price if the goods are required to be labelled with the unit price under the Consumer Protection Act.

In order to ensure that the fines imposed are effective and proportionate, the penalties for breaches of the obligations imposed by the Consumer Protection Act are modified. In contrast to the previous regulation, the upper limit of fines is set as a percentage of the trader’s turnover, while the maximum amount of fines is set at a fixed amount. For example, in the case of a breach of a trader’s information obligations, the amount is EUR 200,000.

In addition, the Act also introduces completely new legal institutes, on the basis of which traders who violate their obligations in the field of consumer protection will not be sanctioned or will be sanctioned with a lower penalty. Such is the institute of voluntary action, which is a binding declaration in writing by the trader that he will voluntarily put an end to the breach of the obligation, or remedy the situation for the benefit of the injured consumers.

Major changes to the Civil Code concern the provisions on consumer sales contracts and the new special regulation of consumer contracts with digital performance. The liability for defects in consumer sales contracts is also changing. In case of exercising the right of liability for defects, the consumer is first entitled to choose to have the defect remedied by replacing or repairing the item, and only if this is not possible (e.g. if the seller has not repaired or replaced the item, or if the item has the same defect despite repair or replacement), the consumer may claim a discount on the purchase price or withdrawal from the contract.

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