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    European legislator publishes guidance document on the new online trading rules

  • In an effort to help online traders comply with the new consumer rules, the European legislator published a guidance document on these new rules in June, almost concurrently with their introduction.

    Numbering almost 80 pages, this document offers a useful guide for online traders on issues such as the information obligation, right to return goods, delivery and passing of risk.

    Its introduction expressly states that it is a 'living' document, so updates can be expected. That is a good starting point. Take the right to return goods, for example. The guidance document contains a number of practical pointers regarding this right, such as the starting date of the right to return goods, the information to be provided and questions regarding the cost of returning the goods. However, the document does not address whether you may expect the consumer to bring back the goods to the shop, instead of returning them by ordinary post. In the spirit of the Directive, this is probably permitted provided that you also offer to collect the goods at the consumer’s home, at your own cost. This allows the consumer to efficiently avail himself of his right to return goods without cost.

    Another question is: who will bear the cost and risk if a package is delivered to the wrong address? If you do not know the answer to this question or have any other questions also not included in the guide, feel free to contact our Privacy & E-Commerce expert of Van Doorne's Consumer Goods & Retail Sector GroupElisabeth Thole.