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Does the right of withdrawal apply to off-premises contracts or has it been extended to purchases on premises?

The right of withdrawal can only be exercised for contracts concluded at a distance or negotiated away from business premises (Art. 52 of the Consumer Code), so it cannot be exercised in the case of purchases made in the store. 


Is the right of withdrawal extended over time?

The period for exercising the right of withdrawal is normally 14 days.

The withdrawal period of fourteen days is extended to thirty days for contracts concluded in the context of unsolicited visits by a trader to a consumer’s home or excursions organised by a trader with the purpose or effect of promoting or selling products to consumers. This provision does not apply to contracts concluded in the context of home visits by a professional, requested by a consumer and not organized by him in a collective form. (See Art. 52 Consumer Code).

The withdrawal period is also extended if the trader has not fulfilled the obligation to inform the consumer about the existence of the same right, in violation of art. 49, paragraph 1, lett. h) of the Consumer Code. In this case, the period for its exercise is extended to 12 months, which is longer than the initial 14 days.

If the trader provides the consumer with information on the right of withdrawal within twelve months of the conclusion of the contract (or, in certain cases, since possession is acquired) the withdrawal period ends fourteen days after the day on which the consumer was informed (See Art. 53 Consumer Code). 


Are there any exceptions to the right of withdrawal?

Yes, the right of withdrawal for distance and off-premises contracts is excluded, for example, with regard to:

  • The supply of goods likely to deteriorate or expire rapidly;
  • The supply of goods, which, after delivery, are, by their nature, inseparably mixed with other goods;
  • Contracts in which the consumer has specifically requested a visit by the trader for the purpose of carrying out urgent repair or maintenance work. If, on the occasion of such a visit, the trader provides services in addition to those specifically requested by the consumer and goods other than spare parts necessary for maintenance or repairs, the right of withdrawal applies to such additional services or goods.
  • Contracts for the supply of digital content through a non-material medium if performance has begun and, if the contract imposes an obligation on the consumer to pay, where:
  1.  The consumer has given his prior express consent to commence performance during the period of right of withdrawal;
  2.  The consumer has acknowledged that he has thus lost his right of withdrawal;
  3.  The trader has provided confirmation in accordance with Article 50, paragraph 2, or Article 51, paragraph 7 of the Consumer Code.

(For the complete list, see art. 59 of the Consumer Code)


Are minor contracts negotiated away from business premises taken into account by national laws in relation to the right of withdrawal? What are the limits stipulated in national legislation?

The national rules on the right of withdrawal do NOT apply to minor contracts negotiated off-premises (Article 47, paragraph 2, of the Consumer Code). For the purposes of classifying a "minor contract", the limit laid down by national law is EUR 50, in accordance with EU law.


Should telephone contracts be subject to written consent? If so, is it necessary to do so in a specific format (e-mail, letter, etc.)?

Where a distance contract is to be concluded by telephone, the trader must confirm the offer to the consumer, who is bound only after signing the offer or having accepted it in writing. The trader shall also provide the consumer with confirmation of the contract concluded on a durable medium within a reasonable time after the conclusion of the distance contract and at the latest at the time of delivery of the goods or before the performance of the service begins. Art. 51, paragraph 7 of the Consumer Code lists the information that must be included in the confirmation (See Art. 51, paragraphs 6 and 7 of the Consumer Code). 


Can an operator request payment during the withdrawal period of 14 days after the consumer has signed a contract negotiated off-premises?

The trader can request payment during the withdrawal period of 14 days provided that the consumer, pursuant to art. 57, paragraph 3, of the Consumer Code has submitted a request for activation of the supply, provision of service or delivery of the goods during the withdrawal period. The Consumer shall be responsible for paying the trader an amount proportionate to the amount provided until the consumer has informed the trader of the exercise of the right of withdrawal. 

For more information please visit the website of the Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy [Ministero delle imprese e del made in Italy (MIMIT)], available in both Italian and English:


Relevant Legislation

Consumer Code:

  • Article 47: (Exclusions);
  • Article 49: (Information obligations in distance and off-premises contracts);
  • Article 50: (Formal requirements for off-premises contracts);
  • Article 51: (Formal requirements for distance contracts);
  • Article 52: (Right of withdrawal);
  • Article 53: (Failure to comply with the obligation to provide information on the right of withdrawal);
  • Article 57: (Obligations of the consumer in the event of withdrawal);
  • Article 59: (Exceptions to the right of withdrawal).


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