Guarantees and returns – Czechia
How long is the legal guarantee for new and second-hand goods?
The duration is normally 2 years but can be less for goods with a shorter expected lifespan. This can also be reduced to 1 year for second hand goods.
If the product is defective, who is responsible for putting things right?
The seller, even for purchases made through an internet platform. However, the platform may have agreed to act as an intermediary so check the terms and conditions. Even if the seller informs the consumer to contact an authorised service organisation, they are still responsible for the legal guarantee.
By when must the consumer notify the seller of a defect?
It should be done without unreasonable delay.
Who has to prove the presence/absence of a defect and how long do they have to do this?
In the first 6 months after delivery of the product, the seller must prove that there was no defect at the moment of handover ("reversal of burden of proof"). After this time, the consumer has to prove that the defect already existed at the moment of handover. According to Czech legislation, the consumer can claim for defects occurring up to 2 years after the purchase.
Is there a third party testing body that can help to provide proof?
Both the seller and the consumer can contact the Ministry of Justice who have a list of independent experts that can be consulted. The consumer is responsible for the costs if an expert opinion is required, although they can get this cost reimbursed by the trader if the expert assesses the claim as valid.
What remedies is the consumer entitled to free of charge? Is there a deadline for implementing the solution?
There is a "hierarchy of remedies":
- Firstly, repair or replacement (depending on the nature of the defect), within a reasonable time of the complaint and free of charge
- Secondly, refund or reduction of the purchase price if repair or replacement is impossible or not implemented within 30 days, but only under certain conditions
The deadline for applying the guarantee is 30 days (this can be extended if the consumer gives their agreement).
Is the repaired/replaced product covered by a new guarantee?
No, only by the original legal guarantee.
Can the consumer take action against the importer or any intermediary in the supply chain up to and including the producer?
No, the consumer should only take action against the seller.
If no amicable solution can be found, what is the deadline for taking the case to court?
The general prescription period is 3 years from when the claim is made.
Are any other legal guarantees laid down in national law coexisting with the legal conformity guarantee?
There is a legal guarantee of 5 years for immovable property defects.
Who is responsible for application of the warranty?
The party offering the warranty, be it the seller, the producer or a third party guarantor. Always refer to the documentation provided.
On average, how long is a commercial warranty?
1 to 5 years, but in most cases 2 years as with the legal guarantee. More expensive goods usually have a longer warranty which may apply to specific parts of the product.
Is it free of charge?
Not necessarily. The trader can fix the conditions, so it can be free of charge or offered against payment.
Does it have to be confirmed in writing?
Consumer are advised to ask for confirmation of the commercial warranty in writing.
What information is required?
A reminder of the legal guarantee is required.