Information that should be given to consumers in advance, confirmation of the contract on paper, termination of the contract, supply of goods, other specific obligations
Obligations in online commerce
A trader selling goods online has to provide storage for his goods which fulfils the minimum technical requirements for which he/she must request approval
from the territorially competent state office.
In cases where the trader offers only services, or the goods which they offer are delivered to the consumer directly from the suppler/producer without the need for intermediate storage, the trader is not obligated to file a request for approval with regard to minimum technical requirements.
In particular, when the trader intends to provide an agency wherein the distributer/producer directly sends goods to consumers, excluding classical retail, the use of a storage or premises is not required, therefore it is not necessary to file a request for a decision on meeting minimum technical requirements for the storage.
If a trader has obtained the decision on minimum technical requirements for a regular retail and has started an online commerce, the trader has no obligation to obtain a new approval for the same premises. However, when handling goods (for example repacking) and calculating price by the trader and especially when the ordered goods first arrives at the trader’s address who then sends it to the end consumer, it is necessary to have adequate storage. In this case, it is necessary to obtain the approval for the premises.
If a trader already has a storage location, it is recommended to electronically connect the information on supplies with the online shop.
If a trader intends to sell food or feed online, he/she has to comply with special regulations on food and feed.
Check the trustworthiness of the trader from whom you purchase. If it is a trader registered in the Republic of Croatia, the company and the trade and craft registers are at your disposal, where you can check the trader’s status. In addition, you can check reviews for the particular trader, as well as the former consumer experience on a consumer forum or on the social networks.
Read the general terms and conditions on the trader’s website because the shopping of a product implies that you have agreed with them.
Always check how your personal data are used and do this before ordering a product. After an order confirmation, the contract is considered as concluded.
Save and print the order confirmation and check whether you gave the right email address when making the order.
Six rules for shopping online
Distance shopping or shopping off-premises
- Do not fall for “unbelievable” offers! If the deal sounds unbelievably good, don’t believe it. Especially be careful with terms and conditions marked with an asterisk (*) and other terms and conditions in small print.
- It’s not everything about the cash: choose a secure online payment method! Never pay in advance using any method of cash transfer because if something goes wrong, your money probably will not be returned to you. Check whether the website of the trader uses secure online payment method. In most cases, it is secure if at the bottom of your screen is an image of a key or a padlock, i.e. if the web address starts with https:// .This signifies a safe channel and a trustworthy website.
- Check whether the price is correct! A trader has to indicate the final price which includes VAT and other public levies and possible administrative costs. Costs and possibility of delivery should be clearly defined, and their price clearly indicated.
- Don’t talk to “strangers”! Ignore unwanted email (spam) and be careful with unsolicited email. Do not send your personal information or information on your finances. If they are requested via email, do not click on suspicious links or open unknown attachments.
- Especially be careful when getting “fast” loans online or via SMS! Always be careful when you are requested to give your personal data; your ID card number and your personal identification number (OIB), and in some cases even a copy of your ID card. Check whether the crediting company advertising on different websites and social networks is legally authorised to provide crediting services in Croatia.
- Keep your documents! Keep all documents related to your order. Thus, you will avoid problems in case of if you have objections or demands for the trader.
Distance shopping means any shopping without the simultaneous physical presence of the trader and the consumer at the same spot wherein one or more means of distance communication are used. For example by telephone or online.
Shopping off-premises refers to following cases:
Your consumer rights in distance shopping or outside business premises of the trader include the following rights:
Right to information
- The simultaneous physical presence of the trader and the consumer, in a place which is not the business premises of the trader, for example during trader’s presentation of in consumer’s home;
- During an excursion organised by the trader with the aim or effect of promoting and selling goods or services to the consumer;
- Contract concluded in the business premises of the trader or through any means of distance communication immediately after the consumer was personally and individually addressed in a place which is not the business premises of the trader in the simultaneous physical presence of the trader and the consumer. For example this would refer to a situation when the trader would approach the consumer on the street and offer to conclude a package travel contract, and immediately after that the consumer and the trader would have concluded the contract in the business premises of the trader.
Before the consumer concludes an off-premises or a distance contract, or is bound by any corresponding offer, the trader shall provide the consumer with the following information in a clear and comprehensible manner:
Concluding contracts by telephone
- the main characteristics of the goods or services, to the extent appropriate to the medium and to the goods or services;
- his/her name and head office, telephone number and, if available, electronic mail address;
- name and head office of the trader on whose behalf and/or account he/she acts (if applicable);
- the geographical address at which the trader is established or the geographical address of the business of the trader on whose behalf and/or account he/she acts, and where the consumer may address his/her complaints;
- the retail price of the goods or services, or where the nature of the goods or services is such that the price cannot reasonably be calculated in advance, the manner in which the price is to be calculated as well as, where appropriate, all additional freight, delivery or postal charges cannot reasonably be calculated in advance, the fact that such additional charges may be payable;
- the cost of using the means of distance communication for the conclusion of the contract where that cost is calculated other than at the basic rate;
- the arrangements for payment, delivery, performance, the time by which the trader undertakes to deliver the goods or to perform the services and, where applicable, the trader’s complaint handling policy;
- the conditions, time limit and procedures for exercising the right of termination and a standard contract termination form;
- where applicable, that the consumer will have to bear the cost of returning the goods in case of contract termination and, for distance contracts, if the goods by their nature, cannot normally be returned by post, the cost of returning the goods;
- that, if the consumer exercises the right of contract termination, after having made a request, the consumer will be liable to pay the trader reasonable costs;
- where a right of unilateral termination of contract is not provided for, in cases where this right is excluded, the circumstances under which the consumer loses his/her right of unilateral termination of contract;
- the existence of liability for material defects;
- the existence and the conditions of after sale customer assistance, after-sales services and guarantees;
- the existence of relevant codes of conduct of trader;
- the duration of the contract or, if the contract is of indeterminate duration or is to be extended automatically, the conditions for cancelling or terminating the contract;
- the minimum duration of the consumer’s obligations under the contract, where applicable;
- the existence and the conditions of deposits or other financial guarantees to be paid or provided by the consumer at the request of the trader;
- where applicable, the functionality, including applicable technical protection measures of digital content;
- where applicable, any relevant interoperability of digital content with hardware and software that the trader is aware of or can reasonably be expected to have been aware of;
- the possibility of having recourse to an out-of-court complaint and redress mechanism, to which the trader is subject, and the methods for having access to it;
- the number of company or other register where the trader is registered (including the register data);
- information on the competent authority for inspection visits.
If the trader makes a telephone call to the consumer, he/she will, at the beginning of the conversation with the consumer, disclose his/her identity and, where applicable, the identity of the person on whose behalf and/or account he/she makes that call, and the commercial purpose of the call, which does not exclude the trader’s obligation.
Concluding contract for services
In the case of concluding contracts for services, not for selling goods, by telephone, the trader has to provide the consumer with the offer on a durable medium in a manner that will ensure that the time of receipt of the offer can be unambiguously determined. The contract is considered concluded when the consumer, following receipt of the offer, sends to the trader his/her confirmation of consent on the conclusion of a contract.
Right of unilateral termination of contract without giving any reason
The consumer has a period of 14 days to unilaterally terminate an off-premises or distance contract, without giving any reason.
If the trader provided the consumer with the information on the right of unilateral termination of the sales contract
, the period of 14 days begins on the day on which the consumer or a third party other than the carrier and indicated by the consumer acquires physical possession of the goods. In case of delivery of a good consisting of multiple lots or pieces, that should be delivered separately or that is delivered in several lots of pieces, the period of 14 days begins on the day on which the consumer or a third party other than the carrier and indicated by the consumer acquires physical possession of the last lot or piece of goods.
In the case of contracts for regular delivery of goods during a defined period of time,
the period of 14 days begins on the day on which the consumer or a third party other than the carrier and indicated by the consumer acquires physical possession of the first lot or piece of the goods.
In the case of
contracts for the performance of services, supply of water, gas or electricity, where they are not put up for sale in a limited volume or set quantity, of district heating or of digital content which is not supplied on a tangible medium, the period of 14 days begins on the day of the conclusion of the contract.
If the trader has not provided the consumer with the information on the right of unilateral termination of the contract
the right of the consumer to unilaterally terminate the contract expires 12 months from the end of the termination period, as determined expiry of the period of 14 days.
Standard form for the unilateral termination of the contract
Before the expiry of the period for the unilateral contract termination, the consumer has to inform the trader of his/her decision to terminate the contract using for this purpose either the standard form for unilateral termination of the contract or making any other unequivocal statement setting out his/her decision to unilaterally terminate the contract. The consumer has to send the statement of the unilateral termination of the contract before the expiry of the period for the unilateral contract termination.
- The consumer may use the form for the unilateral termination of the contract which is available in the attachment of the Ordinance.
The trader may give the option to the consumer to electronically fill in and submit either the standard form for the unilateral termination of the contract or other unequivocal statement on contract termination on the trader’s website. In such case, the trader has to forthwith deliver to the consumer an acknowledgement of receipt of the statement on contract termination on a durable medium.
UNILATERAL TERMINATION OF THE CONTRACT ON SUPPLY OF WATER, GAS ELECTRICITY AND HEATING
If a consumer exercises the right of the unilateral contract termination after he/she has explicitly requested that the provision of services or the performance of the contract
on supply of water, gas, electricity (put up for sale in an unlimited volume or quantity) or the supply of heating to begin before the expiry of the period for the unilateral termination of the contract
, the consumer has to pay to the trader an amount which is in proportion to what has been provided until the time the consumer has informed the trader of the exercise of the right of the unilateral termination of the contract. The proportionate amount to be paid by the consumer to the trader is calculated on the basis of the total price agreed in the contract, and if this price is excessive, the proportionate amount is calculated on the basis of the market value of what has been provided by the trader to the consumer.
If a consumer exercises the right of the unilateral termination of the contract on the provision of services
of supply of water, gas, electricity and heating, the consumer will not have an obligation to pay an amount which is in proportion to what has been provided by the trader to the consumer during the period for the unilateral termination of the contract, if the trader has not delivered to the consumer the pre-contractual information, or if the consumer has not explicitly requested the provision of services to begin before the expiry of the period for the unilateral termination of the contract.
Unilateral termination of the sales contract for the digital content not supplied on a tangible medium
If a consumer exercises the right to unilaterally terminate the contract for the digital content
not supplied on a tangible medium, the consumer will not have to pay an amount which is in proportion to what has been provided by the trader to the consumer during the period for the unilateral termination of the contract, if the consumer has not given his/her express consent to the beginning of the performance before the end of the 14-day period for the unilateral termination of the contract, if the consumer has not acknowledged that he/she loses his/her right of unilateral termination of the contract or if the trader has failed to provide information on the right to unilaterally terminate the contract.
The right of consumer to reimbursement in case of unilateral termination of the contract
The trader has to reimburse all payments received from the consumer based on the contract not later than 14 days from the day on which he/she is informed of the consumer’s decision to terminate the distance contract and off-premises contract. If the consumer exercise his/her right to unilaterally terminate the contract, the trader has to reimburse all payments received from the consumer based on the contract without undue delay and in any event not later than 14 days from the day on which he/she is informed of the consumer’s decision to terminate the contract. The trader has to carry out the reimbursement only when he/she has received the goods back, or when the consumer has supplied the evidence of having sent back the goods to the trader.
The consumer has to bear only the direct costs of returning the goods, unless the trader has agreed to bear them or the trader failed to inform the consumer that the consumer has to bear the costs. The consumer has to be liable for any diminished value of the goods resulting from the handling of the goods other than what is necessary to establish the nature, characteristics and functioning of the goods.
When the consumer has no right to unilaterally terminate the contract?
There are certain conditions when the consumer has no right to unilaterally terminate the contract. For example, if the service contract has been fully performed by the trader, and the performance has begun with the consumer’s express prior consent; if the subject matter of the contract is the supply of goods or services for which the price is dependent on fluctuations in the financial market which cannot be controlled by the trader; if the subject matter of the contract is the supply of goods made to the consumer’s specifications or personalised; or if the subject matter of the contract is the supply of goods, which are liable to deteriorate or expire rapidly; sealed goods, which are not suitable for return due to health protection or hygiene reasons; if the subject matter of the contract is the provision of accommodation other than for residential purpose, transport of goods, car rental services, catering or services related to leisure activities if the contact provides for a specific date or period of performance and so on.
How to solve the problem with the trader?
First, it is necessary to contact the trader in writing or via email and file a complaint for the product purchased online. Email address and other contact details of the trader you may find at the trader’s website, in the general terms and conditions, or at the confirmation of the order received by the trader.
If the trader does not respond to the complaint or if after you have received the reply you still consider that your consumer rights have been violated, the following options are at your disposal:
- If the trader is registered in the Republic of Croatia, you may submit the request for the inspection visit to the market inspection at the State Inspectorate.
- Regardless to the fact whether the trader is registered in the Republic of Croatia, any EU Member State, Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein or the United Kingdom, you have an opportunity to submit a complaint to one of the bodies authorised for alternative dispute resolution for consumer cases in the Member State where the trader is registered. In addition to submitting the complaint to an authorised body for alternative dispute resolution for consumer cases, you may submit your complaint via Platform for online dispute resolution for consumers.
- You can get information on consumer rights via consumer telephone free of charge: 0800/414-414. We collect your requests each Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- You may send questions regarding your rights or requests for inspection visits via application Central Consumer Protection Information System.
- You may contact European Consumer Centre Croatia at email@example.com for advice and information on cross-border shopping in the European Union, Norway, Iceland or United Kingdom.
- If you purchased a product online, you may try to solve the dispute via Online Dispute Resolution platform for consumers. You may use the Platform if:
- 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 Lihtenštajnu.
- You want to solve a dispute arising from online purchase of goods or services.
- You may write at firstname.lastname@example.org regarding any question about starting e-commerce and not relating to consumer rights
Competent authority and regulations
Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development
Ulica grada Vukovara 78
10 000 Zagreb
+385 1 6106 111
Electronic Commerce Act (OG 173/03
Consumer Protection Act (OG 41/14
Act on Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Cases (OG 121/2016
Trade Act (OG 87/08
Ordinance on minimum technical and other requirements referring to selling premises, equipment and instruments in selling premises and requirements for selling goods outside shops (OG 66/09
, 8/10, 108/14
Updated: 28 October 2020