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How can warranty period and level of consumer protection be determined (Italy)

Manufacturers, retailers and sellers are responsible for the quality and fitness of the goods they provide for consumers. Therefore it is necessary to set out warranty periods and reasonable level of consumer protection in case of defective goods.



What challenges does it focus on?

Establishing a reasonable level of consumer protection and warranty periods in Italy.

Short summary

EU Directive 1999/44/EC on the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees has been implemented by Italy.
As a result of this legislation, all consumers, who buy goods in Italy have the right to a minimum guarantee of 2 years on products. Within the first six months of purchase, any lack of conformity or defect shall be presumed to have existed at the time of delivery, unless proved otherwise. After the first six months, it is up tothe consumer to prove that the lack of conformity existed at the time of delivery.

Within this period of 2 years the consumer is entitled to have the goods brought into conformity free of charge. In the first place, the consumer may require the seller to repair the goods or he may require the seller to replace them, unless this is impossible or disproportionate.

The consumers can reclaim the defect at the trader or the craftsman until 60 days after noticing the fault.  The possibility of legal action runs out 26 months after purchase.

Any repair or replacement shall be completed within a reasonable time and without any significant  inconvenience to the consumer, taking account of the nature of the goods and the purpose for which the consumer required the goods. If this should not be possible the consumer is entitled to ask for a price reduction (smaller defects) or to have the contract rescinded.  In case of a refund, the consumer does not have to accept a credit note. If the consumer agrees to accept a credit note, they are advised to pay attention to its expiry date. If there is no expiry date, it is, in theory valid for ten years.

Voluntary guarantees given by a producer do not restrict the statutory rights of consumers. Used or second hand articles: the guarantee period for second hand goods can be shortened per contract to one year, but not less than one year.

Research evidence

Thia sharing rule can be found on European Consumer Center Network website. See also this website.

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