Amendments to the Spanish Consumer Law
Published on 22nd Jun 2021
On 1 January 2022 the amendments to the Spanish Consumer Law will enter into force. Such amendments are introduced by Royal Decree-Law 7/2021 on the transposition of various Directives of the European Union, among which are Directive (EU) 2019/770 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2019 on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services, and Directive (EU) 2019/771 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2019 on certain aspects concerning the sale of goods (the "Directives").
Achieving a digital single market and reinforcing legal certainty for consumers are among the main goals of the Directives. Below you will find the most important changes introduced into the Spanish legal system as a result of their transposition.
Scope of Application
The scope of application of the the Spanish Consumer Law (the "TRLGDCU") will be extended to all those contracts for the supply of digital content or digital services in which consumers provide or undertake to provide their personal data.
For this purpose, the TRLGDCU will apply where digital content or digital services are not supplied in exchange of a price but in exchange of personal data, except where the personal data provided by the consumer are exclusively processed by the trader for the purposes of supplying the digital content or digital service.
Conformity will be assessed based on the fulfilment of both objective and subjective requirements, including installation and durability. In the event of lack of conformity of the goods and services with the contract, the consumer is entitled to have the lack of conformity remedied by repair or replacement. Repair or replacement must be free of charge (including shipping or transportation) and shall take place within a reasonable time and without significant inconvenience for the consumer.
In addition, if the goods cannot be repaired or replaced or those remedies are impossible or disproportionate, the consumer will be entitled to have the price reduced or the contract rescinded.
In order to ensure a higher level of protection for consumers, the legal warranty period is extended from 2 to 3 years from the delivery date. Likewise, the presumption of lack of conformity increases from 6 months to 2 years, being the burden of proof on the seller.
Thus, the seller will be liable to the consumer for any lack of conformity that becomes apparent within a period of three years after supply, and any lack of conformity which becomes apparent within two years as from delivery of the goods or services will be presumed to have existed at the time of delivery, unless proved otherwise by the seller.
As one of the main goals of the Directives is to enhance longer durability of goods and, therefore, achieve more sustainable consumption patterns, the minimum period for which the seller is obliged to ensure the availability of spare parts and an adequate technical service will be extended from 5 to 10 years from the date on which the goods are no longer manufactured.
The transposed Directives represent a necessary evolution of consumer regulations in aspects related to the sale of goods and, especially, contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services. These kind of contracts have gained great importance in recent years, especially contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services. One indicator of this process is the exponential increase in e-commerce and the significant evolution in the forms of contracting experienced last year.