Obligations of a trader buyer

In the case of sales between traders, the buyer is required to investigate the purchased item (in a time and manner customary for the type of the item) and to immediately report any defects to the seller. If a defect is identified later on (i.e. a careful investigation of the item immediately after the transaction did not reveal it), the buyer should promptly notify the seller about it.

 

Failure to meet the above obligations leads to loss of  warranty rights. It needs to be emphasized that the buyer is not required to immediately formulate a specific demand (e.g. repair or replacement). All they need to do is to report the defect to the seller.

 

The above obligations apply only if the buyer is a trader. They do not apply to all types of sales other than consumer sales. If the buyer is a foundation or an association that does not engage in business activity, then the transaction is not consumer sales, but it is not a trader-to-trader transaction either. In such cases the buyer is not obliged to investigate the purchased item after the transaction or to immediately report any defects to the seller.

 

Warranty rights are not lost if the seller was aware of the defect or assured the buyer that the item is defect-free.

 

Importantly, a recent amendment removed the previously applicable one-month time limit for notifying the seller about a defect. Currently such notification should be done “immediately”. The said change may weaken the position of trader buyers. In the light of the previous legislation a trader buyer could be sure that statutory time limits would be observed if the seller was notified about a defect within 1 month (or if a notification was sent by registered mail within 1 month). On the other hand, the term “immediately” is imprecise and will surely cause doubts in many cases.