The principal domestic legislation that specifically regulates online contracts for goods and services is the European Union (Consumer Information, Cancellation and Other Rights) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 484/2013) which give effect to Directive 2011/83/EU on consumer rights. The Regulations set out detailed information requirements with which traders must comply before consumers are bound by online contracts and, subject to certain specified exceptions, give consumers the right to cancel such contracts within fourteen days of the day on which the consumer acquires physical possession of the goods in the case of sales contracts or within fourteen days of the conclusion of the contract in the case of services contracts. Additional protections for online contracts are provided by Regulation (EU) 2017/1128 on cross-border portability of online content services and Regulation (EU) 2018/302 on unjustified geo-blocking. Online contracts are subject also to the provisions of general consumer protection legislation, in particular the Sale of Goods Act 1893, the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980, the European Communities (Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts) Regulations 1995 (S.I. No. 27/1995), the European Communities (Sale of Consumer Goods and Associated Guarantees) Regulations 2003 (S.I. No. 11/2003) and the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 2007 on unfair, misleading and aggressive commercial practices. Legislation for which the Minister for Finance has responsibility regulates the distance marketing of consumer financial services.
Directive (EU) 2019/770 on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services which was adopted in April 2019 and which must be transposed by July 2021 contains new protections for consumers in relation to the supply of digital content and digital services and their conformity with the contract and provides remedies for failure to supply and lack of conformity. Directive (EU) 2019/771 on certain aspects concerning contracts for the sale of goods which was adopted in April 2019 and which must be transposed by July 2021 amends and, in some respects, strengthens current consumer rights and remedies in sales contracts, including for goods purchased online. In March 2019, the European Council and Parliament agreed amendments to Directive 2011/83/EU on consumer protections that provide for additional consumer information requirements for contracts concluded on online marketplaces. Amendments were also agreed to Directive 2005/29/EC on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices which provide for greater transparency of the results to online search queries by consumers and of reviews of goods or services on online and other sales channels. These amendments are expected to be formally adopted in the near future and are likely to have to be transposed before the end of 2021.