In May 2019, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have enacted Directive (EU) 2019/771 on certain aspects concerning contracts for the sale of goods, amending Regulation (EU) 2017/2394 and Directive 2009/22/EC and repealing Directive 1999/44/EC (the “Directive”).
The Directive aims to contribute to the proper functioning of the internal market while also providing a high level of consumer protection, by laying down common rules on certain requirements concerning sales contracts concluded between professionals and consumers. Moreover, the Directive aims to contribute to the achievement of a genuine digital single market, increasing legal certainty and reducing transaction costs, in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises.
The Directive has been transposed in Romania by the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 140/2021 (“G.E.O. 140/2021”).
G.E.O. 140/2021 has been adopted by the Romanian Government on December 28, 2021 and entered into force on January 1, 2022, with the exception of Article 18 concerning the applicable sanctions, which entered into force on January 10, 2022. On the date of entry into force of G.E.O. 140/2021, Romanian Law no. 449/2003 on the sale of goods and associated guarantees has been repealed.
G.E.O. 140/2021 is applicable to sales contracts concluded between a consumer and a seller after January 1, 2022. While this does not normally include contracts for the supply of digital content or digital services, G.E.O. 140/2021 applies to digital content or digital services incorporated in or inter-connected with goods and are provided therewith.
In the sections below, we will analyze the main novelties brought by the Directive and its transposition by G.E.O. 140/2021.
2. Conformity of goods
The Directive contains in-depth provisions regarding the conformity of goods sold to consumers and G.E.O. 140/2021 has transposed the same.
Thus, goods sold to consumers must fulfill certain subjective requirements, such as:
(i) to be of the description, type, quantity and quality, and possess the functionality, compatibility, interoperability and other features, as required by the sales contract;
(ii) to be fit for any particular purpose for which the consumer requires them and which the consumer made known to the seller at the latest at the time of the conclusion of the sales contract, and in respect of which the seller has given acceptance;
(iii) to be delivered with all accessories and instructions, including on installation, as stipulated by the sales contract; and
(iv) to be supplied with updates if and as stipulated under the sales contract.
In addition, goods must fulfill objective requirements, such as:
(i) to be fit for the purposes for which such type of goods are normally used;
(ii) to be of the quality and correspond to the description of the sample/model made available to the consumer before the sale, if the case;
(iii) to be delivered along with accessories, including…