Consumer Protection Law in Germany and What You Need to Know

The aim of the Consumer Protection Law in Germany is to provide fair conditions for commercial transactions conducted by consumers in Germany. It may include various provisions, regulations, and laws that ensure the protection of consumer rights in Germany and prevent them from being deceived or exploited, while establishing the framework that regulates the relationship between all consumers and merchants.

In this article on the Almanypedia encyclopedia,, we will together explore everything you need to know about consumer protection law in Germany, as one of the most important laws in Germany without a doubt.

We will also explain the types of consumer rights in Germany and other interesting information that will add a lot to your knowledge as you progress through the lines of this article. So let’s get started.

Who is the consumer in the Consumer Protection Law in Germany?

Consumer Protection Law in Germany

The consumer, or the person covered by consumer protection laws in Germany, can be described as anyone who enters into a contract with a company, which does not necessarily have to be associated with professional or independent business entities.

Or an ordinary person who purchases a commodity, product, or obtains a specific service from one of the institutions or stores located in Germany.

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Thus, we can say that consumer protection law in Germany is characterized by comprehensiveness, as it fulfills the role of ensuring fairness in all transactions that take place in society.

This can be achieved by protecting consumers as they represent the weakest link in the business transaction process, which will inevitably impose fairness on the German market.

Consumer rights in Germany and the seller in transactions

The German Consumer Protection Act ensures numerous rights for all consumers that they should receive from stores or businesses, while also considering certain conditions that protect the rights of merchants. We will now review the most important of these rights.

Defect-free goods

Sellers throughout Germany are required by law to ensure that the goods offered for sale are free from any defects that would make them non-compliant with the required specifications for that product. This ensures that consumers have the opportunity to benefit from the goods as intended.

If it is determined that the goods do not conform to the specifications and contain some defects, during the period prescribed by law in Germany, the buyer is entitled to request the seller to repair the product or replace it with another product that meets the specifications, while allowing the seller a reasonable timeframe to carry out the repair.

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Timing of Damage Occurrence

Despite the fact that consumer protection law in Germany considers the buyer as the weaker party, it has not left any room for the buyer to deceive the seller, taking the time factor into account.

Therefore, if the consumer purchases a specific product that does not perform as expected, the timing element is taken into consideration, and it is verified whether the seller is actually responsible for this defect, or if it occurred due to the consumer’s misuse of the goods.

Proof of harm exposure

Due to the difficulty for consumers to detect technical defects in goods, the consumer protection law in Germany operates on the principle that if any defect appears in the product within the first six months from the date of delivery, it is presumed that the defect existed at the time of sale.

However, the seller retains the right to prove that the goods were in conformity with the standard specifications at the time of sale.

Once the first six months have elapsed from the date of product receipt from the store, full responsibility is transferred to the consumer, and it is assumed that any malfunction or defect appearing in the goods or product has occurred due to misuse, rather than commercial fraud.

The law guarantees both parties the possibility to seek the opinion of an expert in assessing goods and products under legal supervision that ensures equal opportunities.

Warranty period

Usually, the warranty period covered under consumer rights in Germany is two years from the date of purchase. However, it is permissible for both parties to agree on a warranty period of only one year.

This condition is sometimes accepted by the consumer due to the fact that the burden of proving the existence of a defect at the time of sale is transferred to them after six months from the date of purchase. They prefer to avoid the lengthy procedures followed to provide evidence in the event of a defect occurring after this period.

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Commercial warranty in German consumer protection law


The commercial warranty comes as a separate provision in the German Consumer Protection Law, distinct from what is known as the statutory warranty, as it goes beyond the protection provided by the statutory warranty.

To illustrate this point, we can use the following example:

Let’s assume, for example, that the seller and the buyer have agreed that the product will perform in a certain manner during an agreed-upon period of time. This period is referred to as the commercial warranty, which is also known as the durability warranty.

The seller reserves the right to determine the duration of the warranty, as guaranteed by the German consumer protection law, and also grants the seller the right to specify the terms that should be included in the warranty, and whether it will be provided to the consumer free of charge, or subject to nominal fees that the consumer must pay.

It is crucial to clarify a point of utmost importance, namely that a commercial warranty does not limit the rights granted by the legal warranty. The commercial warranty is provided by the entity that manufactured the product. However, I believe you may need an example to simplify the information, so here is an illustration for you.

For example, let’s say that Mohammed, a Syrian citizen living in Germany, bought a television from a vendor. After a while, a malfunction appeared in the TV, and in this case, the vendor cannot demand that Mohammed directly contacts the manufacturing company and asks them to repair the malfunction under the commercial warranty. Here, Mohammed can assert his rights from the vendor under the legal warranty without any obstacles.

So, which one of them can be used in case of emergencies?

This is granted by the Consumer Protection Law in Germany to the consumer themselves, as they have the right to claim the use of legal warranty against the seller or commercial warranty against the manufacturer.

It is worth mentioning that the terms of commercial warranty and legal warranty in Germany are stipulated in the German Civil Code, specifically in Articles 433 and 479.

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Handling disputes under the Consumer Protection Law in Germany

Consumer protection

The German Consumer Protection Law grants both parties, whether the consumer or the seller, a certain degree of flexibility, allowing them to resolve disputes that may arise between them without resorting to the courts or hiring lawyers. In Germany, there are specialized bodies that handle the settlement of disputes between conflicting parties.

This process is carried out by assigning one of the employees and providing the consumer with all the information about the reconciliation process. The employee ensures that the consumer’s suggestions are in line with the established laws according to the provisions of the German Consumer Protection Act.

The number of organizations working to mediate between consumers and sellers in Germany has now reached 27 bodies, covering all disputes in both the economic sector and business transactions.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Consumer Protection Law in Germany

What are non-compliant goods in Germany?

Unless there is a prior agreement between the seller and the buyer regarding the specifications, expected performance, or the expected characteristics of the goods or product, according to German law, a non-conforming product is one that does not meet the recognized quality standards expected for the intended use of that item.

What happens if the seller fails to repair the non-conforming product they sold to the buyer within the agreed-upon period?

According to the laws in Germany, the buyer can then request the seller to grant a discount on the price of the product or goods. Furthermore, the buyer is entitled by law in Germany to request a complete withdrawal from the commercial transaction or contract.

What are the provisions in the German Consumer Protection Act regarding warranties?

The legislation on consumer protection in Germany includes provisions regarding the legal warranty period for goods, which are outlined in Sections 434 to 442 of the German Civil Code. Additionally, Sections 474 to 477 of the relevant German laws also address this matter.

What are the conditions for declaring a commercial warranty in Germany?

The term “warranty declaration” refers to the warranty conditions in the contract entered into between the seller and the buyer, and it should include the following conditions.
– Commercial warranty terms should be clear, understandable, and free from ambiguity or contradictory meanings.
It must be emphasized that the commercial warranty in no way limits the consumer rights guaranteed by the legal warranty in Germany.
– Explanation of the terms of applying for the warranty and all the essential information that governs the implementation of this warranty.
The commercial warranty in Germany must include the name and detailed address of the warranty provider.
The consumer has the right to demand that the warranty provider provide them with a written warranty statement in a verified text format.

Are fees imposed for mediating between the conflicting parties?

No, this process is actually carried out free of charge, and reconciliation can also be done online.

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