Legal guarantee in Sweden

Updated: 8/7/2019

Every consumer purchase made in the EU, Norway or Iceland is covered by a mandatory legal guarantee which the seller cannot contract away. The application of the rules can however differ from country to country. This article covers the legal guarantee according to Swedish law.

What is the duration of the legal guarantee for new and second-hand goods?
– The duration is three years for both new and second-hand goods.

Who is responsible for repairing or exchanging a faulty product?
– The seller is responsible. But be aware that the seller does not necessarily provide the platform through which the sale was made. It’s therefore important that the actual seller’s identity is clearly visible before a product is bought through a platform. If you purchased the product from a private individual, the legal guarantee only applies if the sale was made through a commercial intermediary.

By when must the consumer notify the seller of any defects?
– The consumer must inform or make a complaint to the seller within reasonable time from noticing the defect. A complaint made within two months from noticing the fault is always considered to have been made within reasonable time. Also complaints made later then two months from noticing the fault can be assessed as within reasonable time depending on the circumstances of the individual case.

Who has to prove that the product is defective?
– During the first six months after the sale, the seller must prove that the item was not defective upon delivery (so called reversed burden of proof). After that the consumer must prove that the product was faulty upon delivery (so called original fault).

Is there an independent party that helps consumers prove original fault?
– A consumer can for example ask a repair shop for an expert statement which can be used in the complaint. The repair shop is however not obliged to provide such a statement if they don’t want to and there’s no guarantee that the seller will accept the statement. Ultimately, it is up to a judge to evaluate the statement in a court process if the dispute is pursued that far.

To what remedies is the consumer entitled free of charge? Is there a deadline for implementing the solution?
– There is a hierarchy of remedies. The consumer can demand that the faulty goods is repaired or replaced within a reasonable time frame and free of charge. If the goods cannot be repaired or replaced within reasonable time or without major inconvenience to the consumer, the consumer has a statutory right to demand a price reduction corresponding to the fault or to demand cancellation of the purchase. The consumer may cancel the purchase and demand a refund if the defect is of material significance. The consumer may also be entitled to claim damages or withhold payment. The consumer and the trader should agree on a remedy within reasonable time from the complaint.

Is the legal guarantee extended with three new years when the faulty goods has been repaired or replaced?
– The legal guarantee is not extended for the entire goods. However, after the remedy the consumer is given a right for three years to notify the trader that the repaired or replaced product doesn’t work, provided that it is the same fault that was remedied that has reappeared.

Can the consumer take action against the importer or any intermediary in the supply chain up to and including the producer?
– Yes. If the seller is insolvent, has ceased trading, or cannot be located for another reason, the consumer is instead entitled to demand a remedy directly with other traders in the supply chain.

If no amicable solution can be found, what is the deadline for taking the case to court?
– On the consumer's side, the prescription period is ten years from the delivery date. On the trader's side, the prescription period is instead three years. Provided that a complaint has been made in time, the consumer therefore has ten years to bring the dispute to court. For any claim that the trader has against the consumer the prescription period is however only three years.

Are there any other legal guarantees in Sweden that benefits the consumer, beyond the legal guarantee for consumer purchases of movable goods?
– Yes. There is a legal guarantee of ten years for faults on immovable property or faults on work undertaken on immovable property.

Additional guarantee or insurance
Traders are free to offer an additional guarantee or insurance during the sale and to decide the conditions for the additional guarantee or insurance. Such conditions do however not affect the legal guarantee.

Who is responsible for additional guarantees or insurances?
– The party that offers the additional guarantee or insurance, be it the seller, the producer or another party.

How can the additional guarantee or insurance be used?
– How the additional guarantee or insurance can be used should be stated in the conditions.

What is the average duration of an additional guarantee or insurance?
– One to five years. More expensive goods usually have a longer additional guarantee or insurance which often applies to specific parts or functions of the product.

Does an additional guarantee or insurance cost anything?
– Not necessarily. The trader can choose to charge extra but can also offer the additional guarantee or insurance free of charge to all consumers.

Does the trader have to inform about the an additional guarantee or insurance in a specific way?
– The trader must inform the consumer about the additional guarantee or insurance in writing or in another durable and accessible form. The information must be given in a clear way.