13/05/2022

The new Consumer Protection Act

Hanfa would like to inform the public that 28 May 2022 will see the entry into force of the new Consumer Protection Act (hereinafter: the Act), published in the Official Gazette No. 19/22.

This Act regulates the protection of basic consumer rights and defines the consumer as any natural person concluding contracts or acting for purposes which are outside his trade, business, craft or profession.

One of the significant novelties brought about by the Act relates to supervisory powers over the implementation of the Act granted to Hanfa with respect to activities of companies that obtained Hanfa’s authorisation (Article 141(3) of the Act). The supervision will be carried out in the manner prescribed by specific laws governing the 
operation of these companies.

It should be noted that, pursuant to the Act (Article 4(4)), financial services include any service of a banking, credit, insurance, voluntary pension insurance, investment or payment nature. Hanfa does not supervise the provision of banking services, credit services or payment services; however, in addition to the other financial services defined by the Act, it also supervises other services provided by companies that obtained Hanfa’s authorisation.

The application of certain provisions of the Act depends on whether a company provides services as defined by the Act or other services. For example, the conclusion of distance contracts on the sale of financial services is regulated by separate Articles of the Act (87 –102), whereas other contracts are regulated by Articles 60 – 86.

Consumers should be aware of the fact that the Act contains provisions on consumer complaints (Article 142) pursuant to which a complaint is taken into consideration only after the consumer has exhausted all legal remedies relating to written complaints filed with the trader or service provider. In this case, the complaint is made in writing and needs to contain the following information:

  • the consumer’s name, surname and address
  • information on the company claimed to have infringed a consumer’s right
  • facts supporting the claim that a consumer’s right has been infringed
  • the company ’s response to the consumer’s written complaint or the written
  • complaint filed with the company where the company failed to respond within the set period of time
  • date and signature of the consumer or their proxy.

Irrespective of the above and of Hanfa’s powers pursuant to the Act, Hanfa keeps receiving complaints of financial services consumers related to Hanfa’s scope of competence in accordance with the Act on the Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency (Official Gazette, No 140/05, 12/12). This includes complaints submitted by both natural and legal persons, as well as anonymous complaints. 

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