Directive (EU) 2019/771 (purchase of goods) - Richtlinie (EU) 2019/771 (Warenkauf)
Directive (EU) 2019/771
|Title:||Directive (EU) 2019/771 of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 20, 2019 on certain contractual aspects of the sale of goods, amending Regulation (EU) 2017/2394 and Directive 2009/22 / EC and repealing Directive 1999 / 44 / EG|
|Sale of Goods Policy|
|Legal matter:||Commercial law|
|Basis:||TFEU , in particular Article 114|
|Procedure overview:|| European Commission |
Transform into national law to:
|July 1, 2021|
|Reference:||ABl. L 136 vom 22.5.2019, S. 28–50|
|Full text|| Consolidated version (not official) |
|The regulation must currently be implemented in national law.|
|Please note the information on the current version of legal acts of the European Union !|
The Sale of Goods Directive (unofficial abbreviation : WKRL; Directive (EU) 2019/771, English : concerning contracts for the sale of goods Directive )  creates a legal framework for contracts for the sale of goods, which is largely standardized in must be implemented in all EU member states and should lead to consumer rights being further strengthened in the European Union (Article 1 WKRL). 
The directive on certain contractual aspects of the supply of digital content and digital services (DIRL) and the counterpart to  , the Sale of Goods Directive (WKRL)  serve both to strengthen consumer rights and have the origin in the sale of consumer goods directive 1999 / 44 / EG. Subsequently, after the adoption of the Consumer Goods Sales Directive, further harmonization steps of the national law of the Union member states were deemed necessary  and suggestions were made (examples):
- Action Plan 2003 on a coherent European contract law,
- Draft Common Frame of Reference (2008),
- Green Paper Option for the Introduction of European Contract Law for Consumers and Entrepreneurs (2010),
- Proposal for a Common European Sales Law (2011, withdrawn in 2014),
- two proposed directives on the digital single market (2015), which already carried out preparatory work for the later directives DIRL and WKRL.
Finally, in 2019, the DIRL and the WKRL were passed, 20 years after the consumer goods directive was issued.
Objectives and purpose of the guideline
The ERD aims to support the strategy for a harmonized internal market in Europe for the benefit of consumers and businesses and to remove the main obstacles to the development of cross-border trade in the Union.  By far the largest proportion of cross-border trade in the EU is in online shopping. The WKRL aims to eliminate differences in national contract law both for retailers who use distance selling channels and traditional retailers and to encourage them to expand their activities across borders. Therefore, the WKRL includes all sales channels that sell goods to consumers. 
The WKRL supplements Directive 2011/83 / EU (Consumer Rights Directive) and the DIRL.  The Consumer Rights Directive is mainly aimed at regulating pre-contractual information requirements, the right of withdrawal for distance or off-premises contracts and provisions on the delivery of goods and the transfer of risk. The WKRL supplements these provisions of the Consumer Rights Directive with provisions on: 
- Requirements for sales contracts between sellers and consumers
- the conformity of the goods with the contract,
- the remedies in the event of a lack of conformity and
- the modalities for obtaining these remedies as well
- about commercial guarantees.
Scope of the Directive
Like the DIRL, the WKRL is only applicable to consumer transactions (Article 3 WKRL or Article 3 DIRL). Both directives are also applicable to goods, i.e. movable physical objects of any kind, but the DIRL only applies to a limited extent to digital content or services. The WKRL applies to the purchase of goods, including goods with digital elements. The central distinguishing feature between the scope of the DIRL and the WKRL is that the content of the contract must be "digital" when the DIRL is used (the goods or the service). Examples of contract contents that are subject to the WKRL: 
- Goods with and without digital elements, 
- Goods with which digital services are connected, which allow the creation, processing, storage of or access to data in digital form (e.g. software as a service, which is provided in a cloud computing environment, the continuous provision of traffic data in a navigation system or the continuous provision of individually adapted training plans in the case of an intelligent wristwatch (smart watch ).
The WKRL is largely adapted to the DIRL, but not completely. This allows z. B. In the case of goods with digital elements, there may be gaps in legal protection with regard to the more comprehensive protection from the DIRL with regard to goods with digital content.
The WKRL explicitly does not apply to: 
- digital content that is made available on physical data carriers such as DVDs, CDs, USB sticks and memory cards, as well as for the physical data carrier itself, provided that the physical data carriers are used exclusively as carriers for the digital content . The DIRL is to be used for these goods,
- Goods sold as a result of foreclosure or other legal action .
The EU member states can exclude live animals and used goods that are sold in a public auction from the scope of this directive (Article 3 (5) lit. a and b WKRL).
- The WKRL names the seller as the supplier of goods , the DIRL the same person as an entrepreneur . From the definition of the term in Article 2 no. 3 WKRL and Article 2 No. 5 DIRL shows that due to the identical wording of the regulation, the same person is meant as the service provider in both cases, i.e. that there is no systematic difference between the term seller and entrepreneur in the sense of the WKRL or DIRL.
Conformity of services
In the WKRL, the contractual fulfillment of agreed services from the sales contract is based on subjective and objective requirements that must be present at the time of delivery  in order to properly process a legal transaction within the meaning of these guidelines. 
A reduction in the objective requirements is only possible under certain, narrowly interpreted conditions, e.g. B. if the buyer has expressly and separately agreed to such a reduction in the objective requirements for a service. 
The guarantee is generally based on national law. Consumers are primarily entitled to free of charge restoration of the contractual condition without significant inconvenience for them  within a reasonable period of time (repair or replacement - see Article 13 (1) WKRL). If a repair or replacement is not possible or possible  , the consumer can request a price reduction or dissolve the contract (conversion - see Article 13 Paragraph 4, Articles 15 and 16 WKRL).
The consumer is not obliged to pay for a period of use of the goods if this has a relevant defect. Not even if he can use part of the goods without any problems, but not others (Article 14 Paragraph 4 WKRL). The EU member states can introduce or maintain an obligation to notify consumers in order to be able to assert a defect against the entrepreneur (Article 12 WKRL).
The warranty period is generally at least two years (Article 10 WKRL) after provision for a one-time service and also for goods with digital elements. In the case of continuous provision of services with digital elements, the entrepreneur is liable for the entire duration of the service provision (even if this is provided by third parties, see also Article 10 WKRL). The EU member states can maintain or introduce longer periods (Article 10 (3) WKRL). In the case of used goods, the EU member states can also set shorter deadlines, but at least one year (Article 10 (6) WKRL).
As with DIRL, there is a basic legal presumption that a product is defective if it has one or more relevant defects within one year of delivery or final assembly (Article 11, Paragraph 1 of the WKRL).  The EU member states can extend this period of one year to two years (Article 11 (2) WKRL). In the case of goods with digital elements in the sales contract, the continuous provision of the digital content or the digital service over a period of time, so in the event of a lack of conformity that becomes apparent within the period specified in Article 10 (2), the seller bears the burden of proof that the digital The content or the digital service was in accordance with the contract within the period specified in the cited article (also beyond two years, see Article 11, Paragraph 3 of the WKRL).
The rules on withdrawing from the contract have largely been left to national law (Article 16 WKRL).
The limitation periods in connection with the WKRL are still regulated by the Union member states according to national law. However, it must be ensured by the EU member states that such limitation periods actually enable the consumer to take the remedies under Article 13 of the WKRL in the event of a lack of conformity for which the seller is liable under Article 10 (1) and (2) of the WKRL and which is within the scope of these paragraphs mentioned period becomes apparent (Article 10 Para. 4 and 5 WKRL). The Union Member States can provide that in the case of used goods, the seller and the consumer can rely on contractual clauses or agreements on shorter liability periods or limitation periodsthan mentioned in paragraphs 1, 2 and 5 of Article 10 WKRL, provided that these shorter deadlines are not less than one year .
Delimitation of the DIRL and WKRL
The DIRL and the WKRL complement each other. In contrast to the WKRL, the DIRL also applies to: 
- digital content that is provided on physical data carriers such as DVDs, CDs, USB sticks and memory cards, as well as
- for the physical data carrier itself (...), provided that the physical data carrier is used exclusively as a carrier for the digital content . In addition to the provisions of the DIRL, provisions of the Consumer Rights Directive  apply to these physical data carriers and the digital content provided on them .
- If there is any doubt as to whether the supply of digital content or digital services is part of the sales contract, Directive (EU) 2019/771 should apply in order to avoid uncertainty among both traders and consumers . 
Scope of the Directive
The DIRL applies from the entry into force of the national implementation measures (no later than January 1, 2022  ). In contrast to contracts that are subject to the DIRL, the WKRL does not apply to contracts concluded before January 1, 2022 (Article 24 (2) WKRL).
According to Article 4 WKRL, the member states of the Union are in principle not allowed to maintain or reintroduce any provisions in national law that deviate from the provisions of this Directive. This also expressly applies to stricter or less stringent regulations to ensure a different level of consumer protection .
Appropriate and effective sanctions
The EU member states must ensure that adequate and effective means are in place to ensure compliance with this directive (Article 19 (1) WKRL).
The WKRL grants persons or organizations that, under national law, have a legitimate interest in protecting the contractual rights and the data protection rights of consumers (e.g. consumer associations or similar), the right to appeal to a court or an administrative authority that decide on complaints or take appropriate legal action to ensure that the national provisions transposing this Directive are applied. 
The adoption of Directive (EU) 2019/771 was based in particular on Article 114 TFEU (measures to approximate legal and administrative provisions of the EU member states, which have the establishment and functioning of the internal market as their object).
The directive was adopted by the Council and the European Parliament as part of the ordinary legislative procedure .
Structure of Directive (EU) 2019/771
The Directive (EU) 2019/771 has the following structure:
- Article 1 (subject and purpose)
- Article 2 (definitions)
- Article 3 (scope)
- Article 4 (degree of harmonization)
- Article 5 (conformity of goods)
- Article 6 (subjective requirements for conformity with the contract)
- Article 7 (objective requirements for conformity with the contract)
- Article 8 (improper assembly or installation of the goods)
- Article 9 (third party rights)
- Article 10 (Seller's liability)
- Article 11 (burden of proof)
- Article 12 (obligation to notify)
- Article 13 (remedies for lack of conformity)
- Article 14 (repair of goods or replacement)
- Article 15 (price reduction)
- Article 16 (termination of the sales contract)
- Article 17 (commercial guarantees)
- Article 18 (rights of recourse)
- Article 19 (law enforcement)
- Article 20 (consumer information)
- Article 21 (mandatory character)
- Article 22 (amendments to Regulation (EU) 2017/2394 and Directive 2009/22 / EC)
- Article 23 (repeal of Directive 1999/44 / EC)
- Article 24 (implementation)
- Article 25 (review)
- Article 26 (entry into force)
- Article 27 (addressees)
Implementation of the directive
According to Article 24 of Directive (EU) 2019/771, the directive is to be implemented in national law by the EU member states by July 1, 2021.
With the full implementation of this directive and the entry into force of the national provisions in the Union member states, Directive 1999/44 / EC will be repealed without replacement from January 1, 2022. References to Directive 1999/44 / EC in other legal acts of the Union or of the Union member states then apply as references to the WKRL and must be understood in accordance with the correspondence table in the Annex to the WKRL (Article 23 WKRL).
The directive is characterized by very extensive recitals (72), which together make up around 70% of the text of the directive (including the footnotes). The text of the directive to be implemented by the member states of the Union therefore only comprises around 30% of the total scope of the directive.
- Directive (EU) 2019/771 of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 20, 2019 on certain contractual aspects of the sale of goods, amending Regulation (EU) 2017/2394 and Directive 2009/22 / EC and repealing Directive 1999 / 44 / EG (OJ EU No. L 136, 28 to 50).
- See also recitals 2 and 3 of the WKRL.
- See Recital 13 of the WKRL and Recital 20 of the DIRL.
- ABl L 305, S. 66 ff.
- See also Recital 9 of the DIRL.
- See recitals 1 to 8 of the WKRL.
- Recital 9 of the WKRL.
- See recitals 11 and 13 of the WKRL.
- See Article 1 and Recital 11 of the WKRL.
- See also Article 2 no. 5 to 7 WKRL and examples in recitals 15 and 16 of the WKRL.
- Goods with digital elements are those that require digital content or a digital service in order to be able to fulfill their functions (see Recital 13 of the WKRL). In contrast, digital contents are those in which the physical function z. B. the storage medium has no primary function for z. B. has the software.
- See Article 3, Paragraph 4 and Recital 13 of the WKRL.
- Artikel 10 Abs. 1 WKRL.
- See Articles 6 and 7 WKRL or Articles 7 and 8 DIRL.
- See Article 7 Paragraph 5 WKRL or Article 8 Paragraph 5 DIRL.
- Artikel 14 Abs. 1 WKRL.
- See Article 13 para. 2 and 3 WKRL and also the case law of the ECJ in the Weber / Putz case, C-65/09 and C-87/09.
- In the original draft of this guideline, two years were planned with regard to legal presumption.
- See Recital 20 of the DIRL.
- Directive 2011/83 / EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on consumer rights, amending Directive 93/13 / EEC of the Council and Directive 1999/44 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as well repealing Directive 85/577 / EEC of the Council and Directive 97/7 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, ABl. L 304, p. 64.
- Recital 21 of the DIRL.
- See long title of the guideline.
- Artikel 24 WKRL.
- Artikel 19 Abs. 2 WKRL.
- Regulation (EU) 2017/2394 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2017 on cooperation between the national authorities responsible for enforcing consumer protection laws and repealing Regulation (EC) No. 2006/2004.
- Directive 2009/22 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of April 23, 2009 on injunctions for the protection of consumer interests.
- Directive 1999/44 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 25, 1999 on certain aspects of the sale of consumer goods and guarantees for consumer goods.