Liability of the seller for material defects of a product
The seller is liable for material defects of a product that it had at the moment of the transfer of risk to the buyer (i.e. at the moment of delivery of the product to the consumer), including for all material defects arising after the transfer of risk to the consumer if they arose as a result of the cause that existed prior to it.
Deadlines in case of liability for material defects of products
The seller is liable for material defects of a product within the period of two years from the day of delivery of the product. The seller is liable for defects arising after the expiry of two years from the day of delivery of the product only if the seller was aware or could not have been unaware of such defects. Contractual parties may agree a shorter deadline for liability for used products, but no less than one year.
Providing evidence that material defect existed at the time of the transfer of risk to the consumer
It is presumed that a defect arising within six months following the transfer of risk to the consumer, existed at the time of transfer of risk unless the seller provides evidence to the contrary or this arises from the nature of the thing or the nature of the defect.
Duty of the consumer to notify the seller on the material defect of a product and deadline for notification
The consumer may realise the rights arising from liability for material defects if he/she notifies the seller on the existence of the defect within two months from the day of its detection, and no later than two years from the moment of transfer of risk to the consumer (i.e., from the moment of the delivery of a product to the consumer).
Rights of a consumer when a product has material defects
The consumer who notified the seller on the existence of material defects in due time, first of all may request from the seller repair or replacement of a defective product or reduction of price. Along with fulfilment of additional presumptions, the consumer may terminate the contract. In addition to the mentioned rights, the consumer is entitled to the repair of damage caused by defect to his/her other properties.
The consumer may terminate a contract only after having allowed the seller a subsequent adequate time limit to perform the contract (for a repair or replacement of the product). If the seller fails to perform the contract within the subsequent time limit, the contract will terminate by force of law. In this case, the consumer may continue the contract if he/she notifies the seller without delay that the contract is to remain in force.
A consumer may terminate a contract without allowing for a subsequent time limit if the seller, after having been notified of the defects, informed the consumer of his/her intention not to perform the contract or if the circumstances of the particular case render it obvious that the seller will not be able to perform the contract even within subsequent time limit, as well as in the case where the consumer due to delay by the seller may not realise the purpose for which he/she entered into the contract.
Where a defect is an insignificant one, the consumer has no right to terminate the contract, but he/she has all other rights arising from liability for material defects of a product, including the right of repair of the damage.
The costs of removing the defect and delivery of another product without defect are borne by the seller.
Warranty of quality for a sold product (guarantee)
Liability from the warranty for a sold product exists only if the provider of the warranty warrants the quality of a product and the warranty is binding under the previously agreed terms and conditions.
A producer and a seller may warrant for the quality of a product during a specific period of time (warranty period), starting from its delivery to the consumer. A producer is a person who has manufactured a finished product, an importer and any other person presenting himself/herself as a producer by putting his/her name, a trade mark or any other distinguishing feature on the product.
Form and content of the warranty of quality for a sold product
The warranty is binding regardless of its given form (written warranty, oral statement, accompanying advertisement), but the consumer is entitled to demand delivery of the warranty in written form or on any other durable medium available to the consumer.
The warranty has to contain information on the consumer’s rights arising from the warranty, a stipulation that the warranty does not affect other rights belonging to the consumer as per other legal rights (e.g. arising from liability of the seller for material defects of a product), details required by the consumer to be able to exercise his/her rights, especially the warranty period, regional scope of the warranty and information about the person who issued the warranty. If the listed information is not contained in the warranty, this will not have effect on the validity of the warranty.
Warranty period referred to in the warranty of quality for a sold product
Warranty period is not regulated by law, but the warranty period is stipulated by the person who issued the warranty. There is no special time limit within warranty period during which the consumer should notify the person who issued the warranty about a defective product in order to exercise his/her right to remove the defect.
Rights of a consumer arising from the warranty of quality for a sold product
If a seller is the person who issued the warranty, then the seller is liable for fulfilment of the obligations. If a producer is the person who issued the warranty, then both the producer and the seller are liable for fulfilment of the obligations, and therefore the consumer may choose whether he/she will contact the producer or the seller in case of a defective product.
If the seller warrants the quality for a sold product, the consumer may request the seller to repair the product within reasonable period of time. If a product becomes defective during warranty period, and the producer warrants the quality of the product, the consumer may request either the producer or the seller to repair the product within the reasonable period time. If the seller or the producer fails to repair the product within reasonable period of time, the consumer may request a replacement of a defective product.
The consumer is entitled to compensation for damage suffered by not being able to use the product, starting from the moment he/she requested repair or replacement until they were effected.
If a seller fails to repair or replace the product within a reasonable period of time, the consumer is entitled to terminate the contract or to the reduction of price and is entitled to the right of repair of damages.
Fulfillment of the consumer contract
A trader needs to fulfil a consumer contract in accordance with provisions of the contract itself and the Consumer Protection Act, as well as of the Civil Obligations Act. As regards the sales contract, the trader needs to fulfil the contract within the time provided under the contract. If the time limit is not specified in the contract, the trader needs to fulfil the contract immediately, and at the latest within 30 days from the day of its conclusion.
If the trader fails to fulfil the contract within the specified time limit, he/she has to, inform the consumer thereof in writing without delay. The consumer is entitled to terminate the contract only if he/she has given to the trader an additional, reasonable time period to perform the contract.
Unsolicited supply of goods
If a trader sends to a consumer certain goods or provides a certain service to a consumer, without prior consent of the consumer, such goods or services will be considered as trader’s promotional gift, and such practice of traders will be considered as unfair commercial practice.
The provision in trader’s general terms, offer, order, or any other document, which the trader has delivered to the consumer along with the unsolicited goods or services, and which would imply that the consumer’s silence means the acceptance of the offer, will be considered null and void.
Resolution of disputes – Who can you contact to protect your consumer rights?
If your consumer rights have been breached, you may send a written complaint
- A trader or a service provider; they have to send a reply within 15 days from the day of receiving the complaint.
Procedure for realisation of consumer rights (users of public services):
- A trader providing a public service has to provide a consumer with an option of sending a written complaint and has to send the reply, within 15 days without delay;
- When receiving the reply on the written complaint, the consumer may submit a claim to a consumer claims commission set up by traders providing public services: supply of electricity, supply of natural gas, supply of heat, electronic communication services, public water supply and sewage system, public gas supply, chimney-sweeping activities, electricity supply as part of universal service, postal services, public transport and collection of mixed and biodegradable municipal waste;
- The consumer claims commission has to respond in writing to the consumer’s claims within 30 days from the day of their receipt of the complaint;
- Only when the consumer has used the procedure of a written complaint to the trader, i.e. after the consumer has exhausted the procedure of filling a claim for public services to the consumer claims commission, he/she may turn to the market inspection of the State Inspectorate or initiate court or out-of-court proceedings with regard to further realisation of his/her consumer rights.
If your dispute with a trader was not successfully resolved via written complaint, court proceedings is not the only solution at your disposal. In this case you can submit a proposal for resolution of dispute with a trader to one of the authorities dealing with alternative consumer dispute resolution in the Republic of Croatia.
There is a variety of benefits due to which the citizens should in certain cases decide for alternative dispute resolution, instead of initiating regular proceedings at courts.
Benefits of alternative consumer dispute resolution
- significantly more flexible in comparison to filing a complaint to a court;
- carried out in more informal surroundings;
- more cost-effective solution both for consumers and traders.
Furthermore, if an agreement is achieved in such disputes, this is acceptable solution for both sides in a dispute.
The following authorities are in charge of the alternative consumer dispute resolution:
Court of Honour:
1. Court of Honour of the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts, Zagreb, Ilica 49/II, firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Mediation Centre at the Croatian Chamber of Economy, Zagreb, Rooseveltov trg 2, email@example.com
2. Mediation Centre at the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts, Zagreb, Ilica 49/II, firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Mediation Centre at the Croatian Insurance Bureau, Zagreb, Martićeva 71, email@example.com
4. Mediation Centre at the Croatian Mediation Association, Zagreb, kneza Mislava 12/I, firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Profi Test d.o.o., Mediation Centre “Medijator“, Bjelovar, Petra Hektorovića 2, email@example.com
Competent authority and regulations
- You live in any EU Member State or Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or United Kingdom;
- A trader is established in any EU Member State or Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or United Kingdom;
- You want to solve a dispute arising from online purchase of goods or services.
Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development
Ulica grada Vukovara 78
10 000 Zagreb
+385 1 6106 111
Competent authority and regulations
Ministry of Justice and Public Administration
Ulica grada Vukovara 49
10 000 Zagreb
+385 1 3714 000
Consumer Protection Act (OG 41/14
Act on Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Cases (OG 121/16
Civil Obligations Act (OG 35/05
– Act on Deadlines for Settlement of Financial Liabilities, 78/15
Updated: 28 October 2020