The Consumer law regulatory framework in Cyprus consists of various regulations and statutes which provide tools of protection for buyers in the free market and prevent sellers from acting fraudulently or making misrepresentations in the course of their dealings with consumers. In particular, a consumer is broadly defined as an individual who purchases goods or services from any physical person or entity (e.g. manufacturers, suppliers, traders or retailers).
The Sale of Goods Law, 10(I)/1994 sets out the rights and obligations of both buyers and sellers, heavily protecting the consumer/buyer when a breach of a contract of sale occurs in a standard business relationship with a seller. This law enables the buyer to seek certain remedies and damages from the seller under certain conditions and requirements which have to be satisfied by the buyer first.
Also, a number of EU Directives have been effectively incorporated into national Cypriot law and grant protection to consumers, providing, inter alia, the following:
- Unfair Commercial Practices from the Enterprises to the Consumers Law, 103(I)/2007 (Directive 2005/29/EC), which guarantees a uniform protection to all consumers irrespective of the place of purchase or sale within the EU.
- General Safety of Products Law, 41(I)/2004 (Directive 2001/95/EC), which provides a high standard of safety of the products that the public purchases in a European level. The suppliers have a responsibility towards the consumer in case of incorrect or misleading descriptions of goods or services.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes Law, 85(I)/2017 (Directive 2013/11/EU), which provides an alternative tool for the consumers to resolve any contractual dispute arising from their dealings with traders.
- Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Law, 1996-2004 (Directive 93/13/EEC), which aims to protect consumers from unfair terms and conditions included in any contract for goods and/or services. It introduces the notion of ‘good faith’ to avoid any significant imbalance in mutual rights and obligations.
- Consumer Rights Law, 133(I)/2013 (Directive 2011/83/EU), which harmonises EU principles in relation to the provisions which govern a consumer contract, either for the sale of goods or services, (e.g. water supply, oil and gas, electricity, digital content).
- Certain Aspects of the Sale of Consumer Goods and Associated Guarantees Law, 7(I)/2000 (Directive 99/44/EC), which obliges traders to remedy defects which existed at the time of delivery of a product and which become apparent within two years. The law provides that the good condition/performance of the products shall be guaranteed for at least two years even though the seller has not provided a guarantee to the consumer.
- Credit Agreement for Consumers Law, 106(I)/2010 (Directive 2008/48/EU & Directive 2017/17/EU), relating to credit granted to consumers by individual borrowing in order to finance the purchase of goods and services (e.g. new car, holidays).
Our firm is in a position to provide advice to individuals, corporations and governmental institutions in relation to interpretation and implementation of the above-mentioned legal instruments, providing, amongst others, the following services in consumer dispute resolution:
We advise our clients as to their rights and obligations on the basis of the consumer contracts they enter with retailers, suppliers, manufacturers or traders.
We advise businesses on how to approach a potential contract for the sale of goods and provide guidance on how to build their practice by drafting and advertising consumer contracts in line with the EU and national law on consumer protection.
We also represent clients before the Consumer Protection Service, the governmental authority under the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry responsible for addressing complaints by consumers in Cyprus.
We also litigate on behalf of consumers and advise on their rights regarding consumer credit agreements, as well as in relation to the sale and supply of goods and provision of services.