Legal Alert-Judgment of ECJ-Consumer Protection
JUDGMENT OF THE EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE FROM 16.06.2011 ON JOINED CASES C-65/09 AND C-87/09
(CONSUMER PROTECTION – REPLACEMENT OF GOODS)
Judgment of the First Chamber of the European Court of Justice (“the ECJ”) from 16.06.2011 in joined cases C-65/09 and C-87/09 was published in the Official Journal of the European Union C 226 from 31.07.2011, p. 2.
The judgment is given in relation to references for preliminary ruling by two German courts for interpretation of Articles 3(2) and (3) of Directive 1999/44/EC on certain aspects of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees. These provisions are implemented in articles 112 and 113 of the Bulgarian Consumer Protection Act.
Key issues to be addressed:
- Sale to a consumer of goods lacking conformity through no fault of the seller;
- Goods correctly installed by the consumer;
- National legislation under which, in the absence of other forms of remedy, the seller is not obliged to replace goods lacking conformity if the cost would be unreasonable;
- Compatibility of such legislation with the Community provisions cited above;
- If incompatible, interpretation of the concept of ‘replacement free of charge’ in Article 3(3) of the above Directive;
- Liability of the seller for the cost of replacing goods lacking conformity correctly installed by the consumer.
Short summary of the operative part of the judgment is presented below.
Judgment of the ECJ
The legal problem that the ECJ is called upon to deal with addresses the issue of the scope of seller’s liability for delivery of defective goods or, seen from the angle of consumer’s protection, the question as to which remedies should be available to the consumer in the event of goods delivered to him which are not in conformity with the contract of sale.