Two-year legal warranty

In Denmark you have a two-year legal warranty if you have bought a product which proves to have a fault

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In Denmark special rules apply to consumer purchases. A consumer purchase is a purchase which a consumer makes from a trader.

You are a consumer if you are acting mainly for purposes which are outside your area of business. A trader is a party who is acting for purposes relating to his business. If, for example, you as a private person shop in a store, the purchase is a consumer purchase and you are then protected by certain special rules, including the rules on complaining about a product’s lack of conformity.

When you as a consumer in Denmark purchase a product from a company, you always have a two-year legal warranty. The legal warranty means that you have the right to make a complaint to the seller about a fault on your product. The time limit for complaining means that you must make the complaint within the time limit, that is to say within two years. After two years you may no longer make a complaint.

The two-year legal warranty applies regardless of whether you have purchased the product online, in a physical store or via telephone sales and mail order.

You also have a two-year legal warranty regardless of whether the product is new or second-hand.

It is not possible to agree a shorter time limit than two years or for the legal warranty not to apply to all parts of the product.

The legal warranty does not in itself mean that the seller of the product has an obligation to rectify the fault. This will be the case only where the fault – the lack of conformity – was present, or the cause of the fault was present, when the product was delivered.

If you purchased the product from another private individual and the product is less than two years old, there is still a two-year legal warranty if it was originally sold to a consumer by a company in Denmark. You must therefore make sure that you obtain the original receipt when you purchase the product. If there is still a valid guarantee connected to the product, you should also have the guarantee certificate if you wish to make use of the guarantee.

New rules for the supply of digital content/services

In cases of digital content/digital services, including products with digital elements that you receive on an ongoing basis over a period of time, special rules apply. In these cases, you will be able to file a complaint about faults:

  • at the end of the delivery period for products with digital elements, and
  • in other instances up to two months after the delivery period has ended.

When you purchase goods at an auction, for example online, either the auction company normally acts as the seller of the product or the auction company functions as the broker of the sale.

Since there is a commercial seller or broker, your purchase at the auction will as a rule be a ‘consumer purchase’. This means that as a rule you will have a two-year legal warranty.

If the product proves to be faulty within the first two years after the purchase, you should contact the seller who sold you the product as soon as possible.

If the fault on the product proves to be covered by the rules governing lack of conformity laid down in the Danish Sale of Goods Act, the seller is liable for, for example, having the product repaired or replaced with a new one, or – if the defect is significant – for refunding your money back.

You should be aware that not all faults in the product constitute a defect under the Danish Sale of Goods Act. There is a defect only if the fault or cause thereof was present when you purchased the product.

Further reading is available in the section ‘What solutions must the seller offer if the product has a defect?’

The seller cannot disclaim liability and refer you to the manufacturer or importer itself.

In cases of digital content/digital services, including products with digital elements that you receive on an ongoing basis over a period of time, special rules apply. In these cases, you will be able to file a complaint about faults:

  • at the end of the delivery period for products with digital elements, and
  • in other instances up to two months after the delivery period has ended.

When you discover a fault on the product, you must notify the seller within a reasonable time after you discovered the fault.

It is difficult to say precisely what a ‘reasonable time’ is, but the seller has the option of rejecting your complaint, if you take too long time to notify the seller about it.

If you notify the seller within two months of discovering the fault, you will always have notified within a reasonable period.

Complaints about faults affecting the digital content and digital services and products with digital elements

The length of the complaint deadline will depend on whether the digital content/service or the product with digital elements is delivered all at once or whether you have entered into an agreement for ongoing supply.

Supply that is not ongoing:

If your case does not involve the ongoing supply of the digital content/service, you must file a complaint before the complaint deadline, which is two years.

Ongoing supply:

If the fault concerns digital content/services, including products containing digital elements that you receive on an ongoing basis, you must file a complaint about faults in the product: 

  • at the end of the delivery period for products with digital elements, and
  • in other instances up to two months after the end of the delivery period.

In other words, if your case involves the ongoing supply of digital content/service in a product with digital elements, e.g. a gaming console, the warranty period will expire when the supply has ended at the earliest.

From 1 January 2022, the rule of presumption in the Danish Sale of Goods Act was extended to apply basically for up to one year for products or digital content/services purchased after 1 January 2022. 

This means that if a fault appears within the first year of receiving the supply, the Danish Sale of Goods Act generally provides for a ‘presumption’ that the fault was present when the product was delivered to you.

After one year, you, as a consumer, must prove that the fault, which is the object of your complaint, was present at the time of delivery.

For the purchase of live animals, the period of presumption is still six months, however.

Products purchased before 1 January 2022

For products purchased before 1 January 2022, the previous presumption period of six months applies. 

Ongoing supply of digital content and services:

If the fault relates to digital content or services that you receive on an ongoing basis, the seller must prove that the digital content or service was not flawed during the agreed period of delivery. The rules apply to digital content/services delivered to you after 1 January 2022, even if the supply agreement was entered into before 1 January 2022.

In cases of ongoing supply of the digital content or service in a product with digital elements, such as a gaming console, the seller must prove that the digital content or service was not flawed during the agreed period of delivery or within two years.

If the product has a fault for which the seller is liable, you, as a consumer, have the right to:

  • have the product repaired (remediation)
  • have the product exchanged for a new one (replacement delivery)
  • receive a pro rata reduction in the price 
  • cancel the purchase if the fault is not insignificant.

In cases of a fault in the digital content/service, including digital elements in a product that you receive on an ongoing basis, the seller can choose between remediation, e.g. repair or replacement delivery of a new product.

If the seller offers, for example, to repair the product or replace it, you may not request a price reduction or that the purchase be cancelled. The seller must repair or replace within a reasonable time.

The seller may refuse your request for repairment/replacement if it would be disproportionately expensive or impossible to replace in comparison with repairment.

The seller must repair/replace within a reasonable time

As a rule, the seller may attempt to repair or replace your product only a few times – typically one or two. Furthermore, it must be done within a ‘reasonable time’, which is typically a few weeks.

In some cases, the seller has the right to take longer and make more attempts, for example if there is a periodic fault which only appears occasionally.

If it is not possible to repair or replace the product, you may request another solution, for example a price reduction, or you can cancel the purchase and get your money back.

In Denmark you as a consumer may have your complaint case handled either by the Consumer Complaints Board or an approved appeal board, if you and the seller are unable to find a solution to the problem.

It costs between DKK 0-500 (2022) in complaint fees to have the case handled by a complaints board. Several of the complaints boards make use of expert opinions in their handling of complaint cases. An expert examination is free of charge to you and it is the complaints board which ensures that it is carried out.

If you as a consumer win your complaint case in full or in part at the Con-sumer Complaints Board or one of the approved, private complaints or appeal boards, the decision is binding on you and the business company, if the business company accepts the decision, or if the business company has not contested the decision 30 days after it received it. If the business company contests the decision, you must bring the case to court to have your claim enforced. You can have the costs of the case covered by the Boards House (Nævnenes Hus) if they are not covered by your own private insurance.

If there is a fault on the product, and you and the seller are unable to agree on a solution to the problem, you may proceed with a complaint case.

In Denmark there is a consumer complaints system which consists of the Centre for Complaint Resolution and the Consumer Complaints Board. They handle complaints in a large number of areas where there is no approved appeal board and are the primary complaints bodies for the purchase of products.

In addition, there are a number of approved appeal boards and statutory complaint boards which aim to assist consumers in their respective areas. Each individual complaints board has its own rules and procedures. It is normally faster and cheaper to use them than to go to court. If you are uncertain as to which board covers your complaint, you can contact the Centre for Complaint Resolution at the Boards House for assistance.

If you have purchased a product or a service from a seller in another EU country, and problems arise with your purchase, you can contact the European Consumer Centre Denmark for advice and guidance on your rights or for assistance with a particular complaint case. The European Consumer Centre Denmark is part of a European network (European Consumer Centres Network, ECC-Net) with offices in each EU country and in Norway, Iceland and the UK.

You can also submit a complaint about online purchases from companies in other EU countries via the European online complaints portal (ODR platform). On the complaints portal you can make a complaint and find information on your complaint options in one of the 24 official languages of the EU. If you are uncertain how to use the ODR platform, you can contact the European Consumer Centre Denmark.


Last updated: 07 September 2022