On 15 June 2020, the Hungarian parliament adopted Government Decree No. 270/220. (VI.12.), which amends two other decrees regarding one-, two- and three-year warranties for goods sold in the country.

Specifically, this decree amends Government Decree No. 151/2003. (IX. 22.) on the statutory warranty for certain non-perishable consumer goods and Government Decree No. 249/2004. (VIII. 27.) on the statutory warranty for certain repair and maintenance services.

By virtue of the amending decree, warranty periods will depend on the purchase price for goods as follows:

  • One-year warranty period in case of a sales price of at least HUF 10,000, but not exceeding HUF 100,000;
  • Two-year warranty period in case of a sales price exceeding HUF 100,000, but not exceeding HUF 250,000;
  • Three-year warranty period in case of a sales price exceeding HUF 250,000.

The above periods will qualify as limitation periods, which means once elapsed, the warranty rights can no longer be exercised. If defective goods are handed over for repair during the warranty period, however, the respective warranty period will be prolonged as of the date of the handover for the time the consumer was not able to use the defective goods.

The amending decree sets forth the use of e-warranty certificates: businesses will be allowed to provide the consumer with the warranty certificate electronically. The e-warranty certificate should contain the same mandatory elements as a paper-based warranty certificate.

The amending decree explicitly states that businesses will be prohibited from making the exercise of warranty rights conditional upon the return of the goods' opened packaging.

The Amendment imposes replacement or refund obligations on businesses regarding defective products:

  • If it turns out that the goods handed over for repair are non-repairable, the business will have to replace the goods within eight days, unless otherwise provided by the consumer.
  • If the consumer goods need to be repaired again after having been repaired three times during the applicable warranty period according to warranty restrictions, the business will have to replace the goods within eight days.
  • If the goods are not repaired within 30 days as of the date of handover for repair, the business will have to replace the goods within eights days upon the end of the 30-day period, unless otherwise requested by the customer.

In any of the cases specified above, the business will have to refund the purchase price of the respective goods within eight days if replacement is not possible. The replacement or refund obligations will not be applicable for certain non-perishable consumer goods, such as cars, camper vans, quads and electric bikes.

The amending decree confers competence on the consumer protection authority to act in case of infringement and also extends the type of goods to which the mandatory warranty applies, such as solar collectors and panels, CCTVs and alarms.

The Amendment will enter into force on 1 January 2021.

Article co-authored by Mercédesz Farkas.