Key requirements related to consumer protection
Consumer legislation key requirements for the entrepreneurs are set out in the following important regulations.
Act No. 634/1992 Coll., on Consumer Protection stipulates various responsibilities during the sale of products (the prohibition of unfair trade practices, the prohibition of discrimination of the consumer, requirements to provide information about the characteristics and uses of the product, information on the application of consumer complaints and complaint procedure).
Act No. 102/2001 Coll., on General Product Safety imposes general responsibilities on manufacturers and importers to market only safe products.
Act No. 89/2012 Coll., the Civil Code contains the provisions of the purchase agreement (sale of goods in a store, provisions on the so-called consumer contracts, contracts concluded at a distance or outside of the usual commercial premises, regulation of liability for damage caused by defective product).
Act No. 311/2006 Coll., the Fuels Act; Act No. 110/1997 Coll., the Foodstuffs and Tobacco Products Act provide information about buyer’s rights, or the corresponding responsibilities of entrepreneurs during the manufacture, import, distribution and sale of products.
Act No. 258/2000 Coll., the Protection of Public Health Act describes the safety requirements for the materials used in products for children under three years of age, or some other requirements for safety of products.
The seller is obliged to sell products and to provide services for prices agreed in compliance with pricing regulation (Act No. 526/1990 Coll.). According to the Act No. 634/1992, on Consumer Protection, the seller is obliged to charge correct prices when selling products or providing services. The seller shall inform consumers about the price of products or services by clearly marking the price on every product or service. In connection with the used payment method, the seller may not request an extra fee from the consumer that would exceed the costs that arise for the seller in connection with this payment method.
If the purchased product exhibits any defects, the customer has the right to claim warranty. Different ways of handling the claim are specified by the Act No. 634/1992, on Consumer Protection. When making a claim, the consumer has the right to receive a written confirmation about the fact, that the seller received the claim and it is being worked on. After the end of the claim process, the seller has the duty to provide the consumer with a confirmation. In general, if the seller is responsible for the fault, the consumer may demand repair or exchange of the goods, discount off the price or withdrawal from the contract. Read more in Claims for Defective Goods and Services
When the consumer has problems with a trader regarding a product or service, they can settle their dispute out-of-court through the Alternative Dispute Resolution procedure (ADR). The ADR procedures are not designed to replace court procedures and should not deprive consumers or traders of their rights to seek redress before the courts.
Subjects of out–of-court resolution of consumer disputes are:
- Financial Arbiter Office (in the area of financial services)
- Czech Telecommunication Authority (in the area of electronic communication and post services)
- Energy Regulatory Office (in the area of electro-energetics, gas industry and heat industry)
- Czech Trade Inspection Authority (in other cases)
The consumer can turn to consumer associations listed on the web pages of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
As regards contracts concluded online the consumer can use the ODR platform to resolve disputes with the trader. The ODR platform was developed by the European Commission and allows consumers to submit their disputes online in any of the 23 official languages of the European Union.
The Czech Trade Inspection Authority (CTIA) monitors and inspects legal entities and individuals, who supply or sell goods on the market, provide services and consumer credit and operate marketplaces, unless, as a result of special legislation, these activities fall under the authority of another administrative institution. The CTIA does not inspect the quality of foodstuffs, prepared meals, and tobacco products. The CTIA only inspects the correct sale of such products and services. . Detailed information about the powers of the CTIA and relevant legal framework can be found on its web pages by visiting Czech Trade Inspection Authority.
The quality of food products is enforced by the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority. The health and safety of foods of animal origin, as well as the prevention of dangerous infections and their carriers come under the jurisdiction of the State Veterinary Administration of Czech Republic.