The New Consumer Protection Law
The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia enacted the new Law on Consumer Protection (hereinafter referred to as the “Law”) on 09 September 2021. The main goal of the Law is to provide a higher level of consumer protection than the law enacted in 2014 as amended in 2016 and 2018.
One of the most important novelties of the Law is obligation of traders to participate in the out-of-court disputes of the customers. New Law obliges traders to participate in out-of-court disputes (mediation), while the consumer will be able to initiate an out-of-court procedure only if he/she has previously submitted a complaint or filed an objection against the trader. In the case the trader contests the consumer’s claim, the trader’s answer must include the trader’s allegations supported by evidence. The Law also provides an obligation for traders to display a notice on premises that the seller is statutorily bound to participate in out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes.
The Law introduces the “Do Not Call” registry, which provides that no telemarketing calls by phone, fax or e-mail are allowed without prior consent of consumers, and that consumers will be able to request to be placed on the “Do Not Call” list.
Another important change introduced by the Law is the obligation of the trader to prepare a cost estimate when providing services whose value is 5,000 RSD or higher. The trader is required to make the cost estimate on a durable medium, together with the specification of the contracted service, and needs the consumer’s written consent before starting the provision of the services.
The Law shall enter into force on the eighth day after its publication in the Official Herald, and becomes effective three months thereafter, i.e. on 20 December 2021, except for certain provisions that shall become effective six months thereafter, i.e. on 20 March 2022.