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Regulation of consumer contracts to be better organized

Lithuania: Changes to the Civil Code.

The Parliament has accepted changes to the Civil Code on consumer contracts. These will enter into force on 13 June 2014. The main novelties include:

  • A 14 day term within which a consumer may cancel a distance contract (currently the term is 7 business days) or a contract negotiated away from business premises (currently the term is 7 days) without specifying reasons and essentially without incurring expenses. In addition, cancellation should be performed through a standard template. If the consumer is not informed of the right to cancel the contract, the term for cancellation will be extended to 12 months. Time starts to run when the consumer receives the goods, and not when the contract is concluded, as is the case now.
  • If a consumer cancels a contract, the seller must return all sums paid within 14 days.
  • "Hidden" charges and expenses to the consumer applicable when trading over the internet are eliminated: the seller must receive express approval from the consumer on every additional charge.
  • A 30 day term from the date of the contract within which the seller must deliver the goods to the consumer, unless agreed otherwise. If the seller does not fulfil this obligation, the consumer may set an additional term for delivery. If the seller still does not deliver the goods within the additional term, the buyer can terminate the contract.
  • Additional charges for use of telephone communications is forbidden when the consumer addresses the seller regarding the contract. The consumer need not pay more than the basic price for telephone communication services. Otherwise the seller must compensate the consumer's expenses.
  • Safeguards for consumers are set for contracts providing digital content. Consumers can cancel a contract for the purchase of digital content, but only until the moment when that content is sent.

Source: TAR, 2014, No. 2014-00069.