The seller has to deliver goods to the buyer that are compliant with the contract.

What is Meant by Conformity?

Subjective and objective (established by the contract) criteria have been defined to assess conformity. The goods must:

  1. comply with the description given by the seller.
    Example: if you  ordered a two-metre long and 90-centimeter deep sofa, the sofa must have the required dimensions and may not, therefore, be larger or smaller;
  2. be fit for the purpose intended and declared by the consumer.
    Example: if you buy a mobile phone to use a specific function and you inform the seller, then the device must be equipped with this function;
  3. be delivered with all attachments and instructions, as specified in the contract.
    Example: a package of a consumer-mounted cabinet must contain every piece mentioned and the promised instructions for use;
  4. be able to be updated as stated in the contract.
    Example: un computer with an operating system that need regular updates in order to work safely and to be compatible with the most recent software.
  5. be fit for the purposes for which goods of the same type are ordinarily used. For example, a food processor must be able to mix, chop, etc.;
  6. when applicable, be as qualitative as and true to the description of a sample or model that is made available to the customer by the seller before the signature of the contract.
    Example: if the seller shows you a smart watch with sapphire glass, he or she cannot provide you with a smart watch with another glass type;
  7. when applicable, be delivered with attachments, including packaging, instructions for use or any other instruction that the customer may reasonably expect;
    Example: a Bluetooth speaker is provided with a charger and necessary connection instructions;
  8. have the quantity, quality and other characteristics, in particular with regards to durability, functionality, compatibility and safety, which are normal for the same type of consumer goods and which the customer may reasonably expect, having regard to the nature of the consumer goods and taking into account public statements made by or on behalf of the seller or any other person at the initial stages of the contractual chain, including the producer, in particular in advertising or on the labelling

A lack of conformity is also deemed to include faulty installation (e.g. of a kitchen), provided that this is part of the contract of sale.
If the consumer installed the product incorrectly himself due to incorrect installation instructions, this is also a lack of conformity.

For goods containing digital pieces, the seller has to make sure that updates, including security updates, that are necessary to maintain conformity, are made available to the customer and be delivered within the time frame reasonably expected by the customer or within the time frame stated by the sales contract for continuous supply of digital content or of digital service. The customer has to make the updates himself. If he or she does not, the seller may not be held responsible for resulting lack of conformity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Disputes and Complaints

Breaches of the Legislation

Compliance with the application of the guarantee legislation is monitored by the Directorate-General for Economic Inspection. You can report any illegal or unfair commercial practice to this body at

Settle Your Dispute Amicably

The Consumer Mediation Service can help you with this. To use this service, you must prove that you have tried to reach an amicable agreement (in writing) with the company.

Consumer Mediation Service
North Gate II
Boulevard du Roi Albert II 8 bte 1
1000 Brussels

Tel.: +32 2 702 52 20
Fax: +32 2 808 71 29

The Consumer Mediation Service provides various online complaint forms.

Cross-Border Disputes and Complaints

The European Consumer Centre has a service providing advice and assistance to consumers in the event of a dispute with a company established in another Member State of the European Union, Norway or Iceland.

European Consumer Centre
Rue de Hollande 13
1060 Brussels

Tel.: +32 2 542 33 89
Fax: + 32 2 542 32 43

Last update
11 July 2022