New regulations on consumer law

On September 1, 2022, new changes came into effect that give consumers a stronger protection.

The background to the changes in Swedish law is the revision of several EU directives with the aim of modernising the legislation and adapting it to digitalisation within the sector.

Sweden has implemented the changes by updating the Marketing Act (sv. marknadsföringlagen), the Distance Contracts Act (sv. distansavtalslagen), the Contract Terms Act (sv. avtalsvillkorslagen) and the Price Information Act (sv. prisinfrmationslagen) with new provisions.

We've listed some of the most important changes, which all businesses selling to consumers should be aware of.

Obligation to provide information 

For traders who offer goods and services to consumers at a distance, e.g. over the internet, the information obligation is tightened. The Distance Contracts Act (sv. distansavtalslagen) lists information that the trader must provide the consumer with before entering into an agreement.

Right of withdrawal 

The main rule is that a consumer always has the right to cancel a purchase of a product or service when an agreement is entered into at a distance. The consumer must be informed about the right of withdrwal before the purchase is made. The Distance Contracts Act (sv. distansavtalslagen) states certain exceptions when the right of withdrawal does not apply.

Transparency requirements when marketing price reductions

A new information obligation has been introduced in the Price Information Act. If a product is provided with an indication that the price has been reduced, the previous price must also be indicated. The requirement entails an obligation to state the lowest price for which the product was sold during the last 30 days before the price reduction was made. If the price reduction took place gradually during this time, the price for which the product was sold before the first price reduction took place must be stated. However, the previous price does not need to be stated for goods that can quickly deteriorate or become too old.

Transparency requirements regarding customer reviews

There have also been updates to the Marketing Act. If the trader uses consumer reviews, the consumer must be informed that it has been ensured that the reviews are from consumers who have used or bought the products, and how this is done. The trader must not state that reviews have been posted by consumers who have used or purchased a product without taking reasonable steps to ensure that the reviews are actually from such consumers.

Information requirements for search results

Traders who offer consumers the opportunity to search digitally for products on offer are, according to the Marketing Act, obliged to state which criteria determine the ranking of the products presented in such a search. The information must be provided in a special section of the online interface and be directly and easily accessible from the place where the search results are presented.

Enhanced sanctions

In order to make the sanctioning system more effective, rules have been introduced on sanctioning fees for breaches of certain consumer rules. The penalty fee can be set at a minimum of SEK 10,000 and a maximum of 4% of the trader's annual turnover.

Who is affected by the new regulations?

All businesses selling to consumers should be aware of the changes that came into effect in September 2022. Many changes will particularly affect those selling goods and services over the internet.

If you want to know more or have any questions, you are welcome to contact Michelle Cranmer.

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