Get an overview of what the Danish rules say about the two-year legal warranty and the 14-day cooling-off period.
In Denmark, special rules apply to consumer purchases. A consumer purchase is a purchase which a consumer makes from a trader.
You are a trader when you are acting for purposes related to your business or profession, while customers are consumers when they are mainly purchasing for purposes unrelated to their business or profession.
If a purchase is a consumer purchase and you are marketing yourself to Danes or establish your enterprise in Denmark, the customer is protected by Danish consumer rules.
You are marketing yourself to Danish customers if, for example, the price of a product is indicated in Danish kroner (DKK).
Two-year legal warranty
According to the Danish Sale of Goods Act consumers have a two-year legal warranty. It means that the consumer has the right to complain to you about faulty goods for a period of 2 years. After 2 years, the consumer may no longer make a complaint.
The two-year legal warranty applies regardless of whether the product was sold online, in a physical store or via telephone sale or mail order. The two-year legal warranty applies regardless of whether the product is new or second-hand.
It is not possible to make agreements that put your customers in a worse position than under the rules of the Danish Sale of Goods Act. For example it is not possible to make the legal warranty shorter than 2 years or chose that the right of complaint does not apply to all parts of the product.
New rules for the supply of digital content/services
If digital content/digital services are involved, including products with digital elements that are received by the customer on an ongoing basis over a period of time, special rules apply. In these cases, the customer will be able to file a complaint about faults:
at the end of the delivery period for products with digital elements, and
in other instances up to two months after the delivery period has ended
If the product is faulty
Not all products’ faults are defects under the Danish Sale of Goods Act. There is a defect only if the fault or cause thereof was present when the product was delivered to the consumer.
If the fault is covered by the rules in the Danish Sale of Goods Act, the consumer has the right to:
have the product repaired (remediation)
have the product exchanged for a new one (replacement delivery)
receive a pro rata reduction in the price
cancel the purchase if the fault is not insignificant.
If the fault relates to the digital content/service, including digital elements in a product that the customer receives on an ongoing basis, you, as the seller, can choose between remediation, e.g. repair or replacement delivery of a new product.
Remedial action or exchange must be done within a ‘reasonable time’, which is typically a few weeks. It must also be free to consumers and not cause them any significant inconvenience.
If it is not possible to repair or replace the product, the consumer may request another solution, such as a reduction of the price or cancellation of the purchase.
Burden of proof
From 1 January 2022, the rule of presumption in the Danish Sale of Goods Act was extended to apply basically for up to one year for products or digital content/services purchased after 1 January 2022. This means that if a fault appears within the first year after supply, the Danish Sale of Goods Act generally provides for a ‘presumption’ that the fault was present at the time of delivery. For the purchase of live animals, the period of presumption is still six months, however.
The fault appears 12-24 months after delivery
If the product fault appears more than 12 months after delivery, the consumer must prove that the product fault or cause thereof was present when the product was delivered and that the fault is thus covered by the rules under the Danish Sale of Goods Act.
Products purchased before 1 January 2022
For products purchased before 1 January 2022, the previous presumption period of six months applies.
Ongoing supply of digital content and services
In cases of faults in digital content or services that the customer receives on an ongoing basis, you, as the seller, must prove that the digital content or service was not flawed during the agreed period of delivery. The rules apply to digital content/services provided to the customer after 1 January 2022, even if the supply agreement was entered into before 1 January 2022.
In cases of ongoing supply of the digital content or service in a product with digital elements, such as a gaming console, you, as the seller, must prove that the digital content or service was not flawed during the agreed period of delivery or within two years.
Withdrawal for distance selling
Under Danish law, the consumers generally have a 14-day cooling-off period if an item is sold by distance selling, e.g. online or by telephone.
This means that the consumer has the right to withdraw from the contract without giving a reason why.
The right of withdrawal applies to purchases of both goods and services.
The 14-day cooling-off period starts when the consumer receives the product.
The Consumer has 14 days to notify you of the withdrawal from the contract. You then have 14 days to refund them their money.
If the consumer uses his right of withdrawal, you must refund all payments, including the original delivery costs. However, the consumer must pay the costs for transporting the product back to you, unless you have agreed otherwise.
If the consumer has used the product, he still has the right to cancel, but may be liable if the item has decreased in value. It is you as a seller that, based on a specific assessment, must be able to prove that the item has decreased in value and by how much. This assessment must take into account, for example, the type of product, how the item has been used, and the price for which it can be resold to others.
Consumers are entitled to try out and inspect an item in the same way as in a physical store, without having to pay for any potential decrease in value.
Excemptions to the right of withdrawal
There are a number of cases in which the consumer does not have a statutory 14-day cooling-off period, even if the product or service was sold by distance selling.
This applies, for example, to:
products which are specifically designed for the consumer
tickets for, for example, concerts, theatre, flights and hotel bookings
purchases for less than DKK 350 if the consumer purchases the product away from the premises where you normally have your business. That could be, for example, a party at home or similar. However, in this case it is a prerequisite that the consumer receives the product on the spot
delivery of food, drinks or other items of general household consumption
certain sealed goods if the seal is broken, such as sound and image recordings, computer software and goods sealed for hygiene reasons
Right of withdrawal in physical shops
If you have a physical shop in Denmark, it is subject to all of the Danish rules on sales to consumers. In Denmark, there is not automatically a right of withdrawal for purchases made in a physical shop.
It is up to businesses individually whether they give their customers the option of returning or exchanging the product.
Businesses are largely free to decide for themselves which rules will apply in terms of the right of withdrawal for items sold in a physical shop. The terms of the right of withdrawal must be agreed upon at the time of purchase, e.g. stated in the shop’s terms and conditions.
Offering product guarantees to your customers is voluntary.
The guarantee does not replace the statutory two-year legal warranty. Even if you have given a guarantee on a product, the consumer will also have a two-year legal warranty for all faulty goods.
To a great extent, you can determine the terms of a guarantee, e.g. its duration and what faults it covers. However, the terms of a guarantee may not be unfair.
If a product proves to be faulty, it is you as the guarantor who must prove that the fault is not covered by the guarantee.
If the fault turns out to be covered by the guarantee, the terms of the guarantee will generally determine what the consumer is entitled to. If there are any doubts as to how the terms of a guarantee should be interpreted, they shall be interpreted in favour of the consumer.
Information about the guarantee
If your company is established in Denmark, the consumer has the right under the Danish Marketing Practices Act to receive the guarantee in writing, in the form of a guarentee certificate, for example. The guarantee must be written in Danish if the product has been marketed in Danish. The guarantee certificate must state the guarantor, how long the guarantee lasts, what it covers and what terms apply to it.
If the consumer does not receive any information on what the guarantee covers, the consumer may demand that the product works as it should with normal use for as long as the guarantee is valid.