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Slovakia preparing new Consumer Protection Act: Here's what you should know

June 2023 – Companies operating in Slovakia are facing new compliance obligations, as the government has recently proposed a comprehensive consumer protection act (“New Law”) for parliamentary debate. One of the main reasons for introducing the New Law is to transpose the so-called New Deal for Consumers introduced by the European Commission, consisting of three directives—the Omnibus Directive[1], the Sale of Goods Directive[2] and the Digital Content Directive[3].

The New Law is expected to replace existing consumer protection legislation in Slovakia. It aims to strengthen the rights of consumers, providing them with greater protection against unfair business practices, such as deceptive advertising and hidden costs. As a result, companies operating in Slovakia will need to review and adapt their practices, and potentially their terms and conditions, to ensure compliance with the New Law.

With the digital economy and e-commerce playing an increasingly prominent role in consumer transactions, the New Law is also expected strengthen the rights of consumers online and to address issues such as contracting through online marketplaces. In this article, we explore the key elements of the new legislation and what companies need to know to remain compliant and protect their consumers in Slovakia.

The key elements of the New Law include:


  • Substantial increase in fines

If the trader breaches the obligations under the New Law, the regulator can impose fines ranging between 1% to 5% of the trader's annual turnover, depending on the gravity and extent of the infringement. Annual turnover includes subsidies paid to the trader and, if the infringement involved other EU Member States, the annual turnover will be calculated on the basis of the trader’s turnover in all the Member States where the infringement took place.


  • Enhancing consumer protection in relation to discounts

When displaying discounts, traders must also display the lowest price at which the goods have been sold in the last 30 days.


  • Extension of the period of withdrawal without cause for consumers

In general, consumers have been entitled to withdraw from a contract without cause within 14 days from the conclusion of the contract. The New Law however extends this period to 30 days in specific cases – if the contract was concluded during an unsolicited visit or at a sales event.


  • Transparency of customer reviews

Traders must inform consumers on whether and how the traders ensure that the customer reviews of its products are real, i.e., whether these reviews come from customers who have actually bought the product.


  • Transparency of search engine algorithms

If a trader provides a search engine on its online interface, it must inform consumers about the main parameters that determine the ranking of products in the search result and on the relevance of those parameters in relation to other search parameters.


  • Introduction of new concepts in relation to digital content

The New Law introduces definitions on new concepts such as an item with digital elements, digital content and digital service in line with the Digital Content Directive. In addition, the New Law introduces a consumer contract with digital counter performance. Such a contract is deemed to have been concluded even if the consumer does not pay in money but gives his or her personal data in exchange for a digital service or digital content.

              The New Law is still subject to approval by the Slovak parliament. It is expected to come into force on 1 August 2023.

              [1] Directive (EU) 2019/2161 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 amending Council Directive 93/13/EEC and Directives 98/6/EC, 2005/29/EC and 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the better enforcement and modernisation of Union consumer protection rules (Text with EEA relevance)         
              [2] Directive (EU) 2019/771 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2019 on certain aspects concerning contracts for the sale of goods, amending Regulation (EU) 2017/2394 and Directive 2009/22/EC, and repealing Directive 1999/44/EC (Text with EEA relevance.)
              [3] Directive (EU) 2019/770 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2019 on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services (Text with EEA relevance.)

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