Amendments to the rules on the sale of goods and provision of certain services to consumers became effective as of 18 October 2012. The rules affect the sale of goods by sample, sale of certain types of goods (i.e. medicinal preparations and medical-purpose articles, perfumes and cosmetics etc.), sale of non-food goods on consignment, and goods sold over the internet or through telecommunications channels. There are also new rules concerning the provision of consumer services and public catering services. The main changes are outlined below.

For instance, the revised rules on the sale of goods by sample require that a consumer purchasing goods on credit be informed, among other things, about the amount of the loan and the full repayment amount and repayment schedule. In addition, according to the rules, if a seller fails to deliver the prepaid goods on time, the buyer has the right to claim a penalty (0.5% of the prepaid amount for each day of the delay).

Moreover, if the buyer of a high tech product discovers a defect in the goods within 15 days of delivery, the buyer can require the goods to be replaced or refunded. After 15 days, the buyer can exercise the above options if:

  1. the defect discovered is material;
  2. the defect was not eliminated within the period set forth by law; or
  3. the idle time caused by the defect exceeds 30 days in aggregate in each year of any relevant warranty period. 

Similar “defective product” provisions can be found in the rules on the sale of non-food goods on consignment. For this category there is also an additional new rule that early termination of a commission agreement by the consignee is expressly prohibited.

The revised rules on the sale of certain types of goods require that the seller inform the buyer about any defects both orally and in writing (e.g. by placing the information on labels or sales receipts, etc.).

The rules on selling goods over the internet or through telecommunications channels (“distance sales”) were amended primarily to clarify the term “distance sale of goods”. Distance sales imply, among other things, the possibility of obtaining information about the goods via the internet, TV or radio broadcasting channels. The seller has an additional obligation to inform the buyer in writing of:

  1. the name and address of the manufacturer/seller, and the relevant repair and maintenance centre for the goods; and
  2. the energy efficiency of the product.

The rules also regulate the ways of providing the required information to the consumers.

The amendments clarify existing statutory provisions and resolve a number of practical issues that have been previously outstanding.

[Decree No. 1007 of the Russian Government “On Amending Certain Acts of the Russian Government concerning the Sale of Goods and Provision of Services”, dated 4 October 2012]