What are the changes brought forth by the “Consumer Law”?

consulting2-300x213The Hamon law of March 17, 2014 on consumption came into effect on June 13 of this year. This law has been transposed from a European Directive of 2011 that aims to enhance consumer protection.





A summary of the changes brought about by this law:

Pre-contractual obligation of the trader to provide information on a shopping website according to the new Articles L111-1, L111-2, L.121-17, et L.121-19 of the Consumer Code: Where exactly should these information appear in your online shop?
Information on the identity of the trader, namely:name of the seller and legal form where appropriatepostal address

 telephone number and fax number

 email address


Legal notices
The main characteristics of the good or the service Product page and on the last page of the check-out process (before confirmation)
Information on the features and the interoperability of the digital content if applicable Product page
The price of the product or service, or the pricing policy Product page and on the last page of the check-out process (before confirmation of the order)
For permanent contracts or subscription contracts: the total amount of the costs for each billing period Product page and last page of the check-out process
The costs of using distant communication means (e.g. premium rate number) Right where this means of communication is proposed (e.g.: next to the telephone number)
The date on or the deadline by which the trader commits to deliver the good or to perform the service Before executing the contract, in a way that can be easily read and understood”On a page of the website, at the check-out stage, on the product pages…
Shipping costs for France and all other covered areas Link to a “Delivery” page that must appear on all product pagesRight on the product page
Proposed payment options and delivery restrictions (e.g. geographical) Product pageNot later than the basket stage (“at the start of the check-out process”)
The right to withdraw, the terms and conditions, the time limit and the procedures for exercising this right, as well as the standard withdrawal form. General terms and conditions“Before executing the contract, in a way that can be easily read and understood”
The fact that the consumer bears the return shipping costs of the goods in case of withdrawalAmount (estimated if need be) of the return costs for any products weighing more than 30 kg General terms and conditions
The obligation of the consumer to bear the costs of withdrawing from a service contract, a water distribution, gas or electricity supply contract and a subscription contract to a district heating network for which he expressly requests performance before the end of the withdrawal period General terms and conditionsWhen the consumer makes the express request (check-out process)
Information that the consumer does not have the right of withdrawal under a statutory exception, or if applicable, the circumstances in which the consumer loses his right of withdrawal General terms and conditionsRelevant product page if different rules applyRight before the act causing the loss of the right of withdrawal
Information relating to the existence of warranties and to the procedures for their implementation (legal guarantee of conformity, commercial guarantee) General terms and conditions
The existence of codes of conduct (if applicable)Methods of dispute resolutionOption to apply for alternative dispute resolution General terms and conditionsLabel on the website with a link to the certificate
Information regarding the the minimum duration of the buyer’s obligations under the contract where applicable General terms and conditionsPage that provides a description of the services under the contractReminder at the check-out stage before confirmation
For permanent contracts: communicate the duration of the contract, the means of terminating the contract and if applicable, the automatic renewal of the contract General terms and conditions
Communicate the information and the procedures related to warranties if applicable General terms and conditions


According to the Hamon law, a consumer should be provided with a number of information about his order on a «durable medium» after executing the contract. In practice, this concerns the general terms and conditions that contain the complete clause on the right of withdrawal and the standard withdrawal form, as well as a summary of the order (product or service ordered, price, delivery time). In practice, there are 3 options:

  • Send the general terms and conditions and the form in PDF format as an attachment to the confirmation email
  • Insert the text of the general terms and conditions and the form in the body of the confirmation email
  • Print the general terms and conditions and the form, and attach them to the parcel containing the goods ordered


These do not apply to B2B websites:

  • “Order with obligation to pay” feature
  • Right of withdrawal
  • Automatic responsibility for transportation risks
  • Penalty scheme andwithdrawal from the contract in case of late delivery


The following continues to apply to B2B websites:

  • Obligations relating to the protection of personal data (CNIL notices, privacy policy, cooky rules)
  • Complete legal notice
  • Permanent feature allowing for an order to be confirmed at the check-out stage


These are not new additions brought forth by the Hamon law.


This article contains general recommendations but does not, in any case, constitute a legal opinion for which Dreyfus can be held liable in case of inaccuracy. Do not hesitate to contact us for advice regarding your specific situation.