ECOVIS MiÅ¡kinis, Kvainauskas ir partneriai advokatÅ³ kontora
Pylimo g. 6, Vilnius
Tel. 8 5 2124084; fax: 8 5 2122741
According the Law on Consumer Protection of the Republic of Lithuania, a producer means a person functioning (established) in accordance with the procedure laid down by legal acts in the Republic of Lithuania or any other state of the European Economic Area, who: 1) has produced a product or has publicly announced it by marking it with his own name, trademark or some other distinctive sign; 2) acts as a representative of the producer when the producer has not been established in a state of the European Economic Area, or imports the product when there is no representative of the producer who has been established in a state of the European Economic Area; 3) as a participant in the supply of the product may influence the quality and safety of the product which is supplied to the market.
A consumer means a natural person who expresses his intention to buy, buys and uses goods or services to meet his own personal, family or household needs that are outside his business or profession.
This means that even though a legal person as a buyer could, practically, be in the status of a so-called consumer, he cannot be judged as a consumer according to the Law on Consumer Protection of the Republic of Lithuania. From the practical point of view, a producer in most cases is a legal person, who is judged as a professional 's so is the stronger party of the contract. The consumer, as mentioned, is a natural person and is not prejudged as a professional 's so is the weaker party of the contract. According to this, the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority of the Republic of Lithuania, which coordinates state institutions' activities on the protection of consumers, protects only the rights of natural persons. It means that the legal person as a buyer, unsatisfied with the quality of the product and who failed to solve the dispute with the producer peacefully, brings an action according to the general rules of the civil procedure, while a natural person is protected by the state authorities.
Another important issue is the difference between the period of warranty of quality of products and the term within an action can be brought, according to the allowance of limitation of actions.
Article 6.335, points 2, 3 and 4 of the Civil Code determine the calculation of the period of warranty of quality of products 's 2. The period of warranty shall start from the moment of delivery of the product, unless the contract provides otherwise. 3. Where obstacles within the seller's control prevent the buyer from using the product for which a period of warranty of quality has been set, the warranty period shall not start until the seller removes the obstacles. 4. Unless otherwise determined in the contract, the period of warranty shall be extended for the period the buyer was unable to use the product due to defects, provided the buyer duly notified the seller of the perceived defects. Article 6.363 point 9 says that the buyer may bring an action for the recovery of the price paid by him within a two-year period allowed by the limitation of actions. This term is the same within all of the European Union.
The Supreme Court of the Republic of Lithuania has determined the proportion between these two different periods (civil case Nr. 3K-3-43/2007). When the period of warranty of quality of the product ends, the responsibility of the producer of the improper quality product, which occurred after the end of the period of warranty, ends too. Generally, the period of warranty means the latest moment from the start of the term for which an action can be brought. If a person brings an action after the period of warranty, his claim is rejected because it is groundless, not because the term within an action can be brought according to which the allowance of limitation of actions has passed.