The new Law on Consumer Protection (published in the “Official Gazette of Republic of North Macedonia” no.236 from 07.11.2022), which is harmonized with the directives of the European Union, provides better information to consumers about their rights, enables better exercise of consumer rights through effective market surveillance, and additionally puts an emphasis on unfair trade practices, fraudulent trade practices and aggressive trade practices in the sale of goods and services, all with the purpose of ensuring a high level of protection of consumer rights.
It is importat to emphasize that with the new Law on Consumer Protection, numerous obligations are imposed on traders who should act with increased care in the consumer relations, taking into account the fact that the burden of proof that they have acted in accordance with the law falls on the traders.
In the context of the replacement of goods, the new Law on Consumer Protection stipulates that at the request of the consumer who has bought goods from him, the trader has the obligation to replace the goods which are not suitable in terms of form, size, model, color, or for other reasons, with goods of suitable quality, except in the case of a product made by the customer’s order.
The trader is obliged to replace the goods within 15 days from the day the goods were handed over to the consumer. The replacement of goods with appropriate quality is carried out if the goods have not been used, if their appearance, useful properties, seals and factory markings have been preserved, as well as with the bill that was issued to the consumer along with the goods.
Article 40 of the Law on Consumer Protection provides a general provision for liability for damage caused by a defective product, according to which the manufacturer who puts a product on the market is responsible for the damage caused by the defect of that product, regardless of his fault.
Consumers whose rights have been violated by the by the trader with the use of unfair trade practices, fraudulent and aggressive trade practices, have the right to compensation for the damage they have suffered, proportionate reduction of the price, as well as termination of the contract, while fines, sanctions and prohibition of performing the business activity are provided for the traders.