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

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 Malta.

Short summary

EU Directive 1999/44/EC on the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees has been implemented by Malta. This offers consumers a right to a minimum guarantee of two years on products.

The Consumer Affairs Act provides that, traders are obliged to deliver goods which are in conformity with the description and specifications provided in the contract of sale. When a trader provides a product lacking in conformity with the contract of sale at the time of delivery, the consumer is entitled to have the goods brought back to conformity through repair or replacement free of charge. If repair or replacement cannot be effected, the consumer is then entitled for either a reduction in the price of the goods bought, or rescission of the contract of sale. If the lack of conformity is detected within the first six months after delivery, it shall be presumed to have existed at the time of delivery, unless proved otherwise.
After this six-month period consumers are still protected against hidden defects in goods.
The trader can be held liable for any lack of conformity for a period up to two years from date of delivery of goods. However, after the initial six-month period, it is then up to the consumer to prove that the lack of conformity existed at the time of delivery.

Voluntary guarantees, also known as ‘commercial guarantees’ given by a trader, do not restrict the
statutory rights of consumers. This commercial guarantee is given on a voluntary basis by the seller to the consumer. This guarantee can in no way put the consumer at a disadvantage.

Research evidence

This sharing rule can be found on European Consumer Centre Network website.

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