On 13 September 2018, the new Consumer Protection Law No. 181 of 2018 ("New Law") was issued. The law abolished the former Consumer Protection Law No. 67 of 2006, and came into force as of 14 December 2018.
Delivery of Invoices
Suppliers are mandatorily required now to hand in to the consumer an invoice (a receipt) of their transaction, including all the details of the transaction i.e. date, time, price of the product and the supplier's details. Refraining from submitting such receipt shall impose the supplier to a fine ranging between a minimum of 30,000 EGP and a maximum of 1,000,000 EGP, or double the value of the disputed product, whichever is greater.
Any applied taxes or other financial obligations must be included in the price that the supplier states for the provided good or service.
Durable Products’ Warranty
Suppliers of durable goods shall warrant such goods against manufacturing defects for at least 2 years from the date the consumer receives them. The warranty shall cover inspection, repair and supply of original spare parts to the products, as well as bearing the costs of transportation of such products if they need to be repaired outside the consumer's premises, including installation and operating expenses.
In this regard, the New Law has introduced a new significant obligation on the supplier whereby it is committed to replace the product if the defect is repeated twice within 1 year of its repair.
Product Exchange and Refund Policy
Consumers are generally allowed 14 days of the date of purchasing the product to exchange or refund the product, without giving any reasons; provided that the product is in its original status and the receipt is available. Such period is extended to 30 days in case the product turns out to be defective or non-conforming.
Transactions in the Real Estate Market
The Law prohibits real estate developing companies from advertising any real estate projects or lands for sale without obtaining a construction license for the project first in accordance with the Construction Law No. 119 of 2008. Moreover, the Law abolishes any fees or percentage these companies used to collect from owners of units in their projects in exchange for registering sale transactions over these units. Such percentage used to range between 5-10% of the value of the sold property.
To cope up with the electronic market spread where many people now perform their shopping online, the Law has devoted some provisions to regulate key aspects of online shopping to protect the consumers in their electronic transactions.
The Law mainly addresses the data that should be made available for the consumer at the time of the transaction, the time limit for cancelling the online order which is 7 days of its placement, and the right to refund the purchased item within 14 days of its receipt and not of the placement of the order.
Detailed information and Clear Arabic Language
Arabic language must be used in all documents related to transactions with consumers such as adverts, product data, invoices, receipts and contracts, including any e-documents. Other language can be used beside the Arabic. Moreover, the supplier's contact details, registration details and trademark (if any) shall be affixed to all of these documents.