Guarantees and returns – Netherlands
Affected by Brexit?
How long is the legal guarantee for new and second-hand goods?
The duration is based on the expected lifespan for both new and second-hand goods.
If the product is defective, who is responsible for putting things right?
The seller, even for purchases made on an internet platform. However, the platform may have agreed to act as an intermediary so read the terms and conditions.
By when must the consumer notify the seller of a defect?
The consumer must act within a reasonable period (2 months) of noticing the defect.
Who has to prove the presence/absence of a defect and how long do they have to do this?
The seller must prove that the item was not defective for the first 6 months after the delivery of the product ("reversal of burden of proof"). After this time the consumer must prove that it was defective.
Is there a third party testing body that can help to provide proof?
The consumer can ask any repair shop for an expert opinion, but this opinion might not be accepted by the seller. In the event of a court procedure, the judge may accept the consumer's expert's opinion, or ask for an independent expert opinion. The consumer might have to pay the expert's costs, but can be reimbursed by the seller if the judge upholds the complaint.
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 (the seller decides which option is most convenient), within a reasonable timeframe and free of charge
- Secondly, refund or reduction of the purchase price if repair or replacement is impossible, but only under certain conditions
The solution must be implemented within a reasonable time period.
Is the repaired/replaced product covered by a new guarantee?
No. The guarantee period is only extended by the time necessary for repair or replacement.
Can the consumer take action against the importer or any intermediary in the supply chain up to and including the producer?
No. There is no heirarchy to make a claim against the importer, the producer or an earlier seller in the chain.
If no amicable solution can be found, what is the deadline for taking the case to court?
The prescription period is 2 years from the date on which the seller was notified of the defect, unless there is a suspension of the statutory limitation period.
Are any other legal guarantees laid down in national law coexisting with the legal conformity guarantee?
Yes. Article 6:228 of the Dutch Civil Code provides for cancellation of a purchase on the grounds of lack of consent and error.
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, and in most cases 2 years, as with the legal guarantee. More expensive goods usually have a longer warranty which often applies 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?
The seller has to provide the commercial warranty in a written document or in a durable and accessible format on request of the consumer.
What information is required?
It must include the content of the warranty, all essential elements such as duration and geographical coverage, details of the company offering it and a reminder of the legal guarantee.