Shopping from the EU

When you buy goods or services from a trader based in an EU country, some of your rights may depend on the laws of that country. But some consumer rights laws are broadly the same across the EU. 

This includes the Consumer Contracts Regulations, while others, such as the Consumer Rights Act, depend on the legislation of a particular country. 

Check what the seller’s terms and conditions say about returns before placing your order. The law sets out the minimum requirements for returns, but some traders may choose to go further than this. 

Will my rights to return goods to EU sellers be affected after Brexit?

Your rights to return products bought from the EU will stay the same after Brexit, and until at least the end of the transition period on 31st December 2020. 

Read our Brexit and consumer rights guide for more information.

Returning an item bought on holiday

If you buy something while on holiday within the EU then, from a legal point of view, the contract is seen as being concluded in that country.

This means your rights will depend on the laws in that country should your product develop a fault or isn’t of satisfactory quality. 

But getting redress is now easier thanks to the European small claims court procedure

This system has been standardised across all EU countries, making it simpler for consumers to make a claim. 

Credit card payments 

If you bought something on a credit card, you may be protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act

This means you may be able to claim against your credit card company to get your money back for items that cost more than £100 but not more than £30,000.

If you used your debit card or credit card, you may be able to use chargeback to recoup the cost. This is particularly useful if the item or service cost less than £100.

If you bought your item online

Online sellers from other EU countries may target their products or services to the UK market – by offering prices in pounds sterling and delivery options to the UK, for example.

If you buy from such a seller online and something goes wrong, you can argue that your UK statutory rights apply to the contract, despite it being subject to the laws of another country. 

So, if you purchased your item online from a trader from another EU country, then you should be protected by the Consumer Contracts Regulations, which is the UK law that implements the EU Consumer Rights Directive.

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