Chapter Two - Consumer Interests
Section One – Health and Safety Safeguards
Traders engaging in designing, producing or manufacturing of goods or in the provisions of services, shall ensure that goods or services provided meet and comply with the contemporary technical and professional standards with reasonably expected safety requirements when placing the goods into the stream of commerce, or at the time rendering services.
All safety warnings and emergency response manuals shall be marked or labeled conspicuously on the goods or services provided which may cause harm to the lives, bodies, health or properties of consumers.
Traders shall be jointly and severally liable in violating the foregoing paragraphs and thereby causing injury or damage to consumers or third parties, provided that if traders can prove that they have not been negligent, the court may reduce damages.
Trader shall bear the burden of proof where he claims that the goods or services provided meet and comply with the contemporary technical and professional standards of reasonably expected safety requirements when placing the goods into the stream of commerce, or at the time rendering services.
Goods or services cannot be considered non-compliance with the safety requirements described in the previous paragraph for the sole reason that safer goods or services are subsequently available.
For injuries and damages caused by goods or services provided, traders engaging in distributing and marketing goods shall be jointly and severally liable with those engaging in designing, producing or manufacturing, except for traders engaging in distributing and marketing goods who exercise due care for prevention of such injuries and damages; or injuries and damages would still have occurred even if due care had exercised.
Traders, referred in the previous paragraph, repack goods, alter the packaging of goods or the content of services shall be deemed as the traders set forth in the Article 7.
Traders engaging in the importation of goods or services shall be construed as designers, producers or manufacturers of such goods or providers of such services and bear the same liability as producers in accordance with Article 7 of this act.
Trader shall immediately recall the goods or discontinue the services provided when there are sufficient facts support that such goods or services may present potential dangers to the health and safety of the consumers, except for traders have adopted necessary measures sufficient to remove or prevent such harm or danger.
Where goods or services pose potential dangers to the life, health or properties of the consumers and in the absence of any safety warning and emergency response manual marked or labeled conspicuously on the goods or services provided, the previous paragraph shall apply mutatis mutandis.
Traders set out in this section are prohibited to exclude or restrict liability as against consumers or third parties in advance.
Section Two – Standard Contracts
The terms and conditions adopted in the standard contracts shall be conformed to the principles of equality and reciprocity.
Where there is any ambiguity in the wording of the standard terms and conditions, interpretations shall be made in favor of consumer.
Traders shall provide a reasonable period, not longer than 30 days, for consumers to review all contract clauses, before entering into a standard contract.
The terms and conditions adopted by traders in standard contracts made consumer waive the right prescribe in the previous paragraph shall be invalid.
Where standard terms and conditions in violation for provisions prescribed in the first paragraph shall not constitute part of the contract, but consumers may still propose that the terms and conditions make up as part of the standard contract.
The central competent authority may select particular industries and proclaim the appropriate contract reviewing period with reference to the importance of the standard terms and conditions, the coverage and complexity of the matters related in a standard contract.
Any standard terms and conditions in violation of the good faith requirements are unconscionable to consumers, shall be rendered null and void.
The use of standard contracts are presumed unconscionable where the terms and conditions provided fall within any of the following:
1. Where the terms and conditions of the contracts are in violation of the principle of equality and reciprocity.
2. Where the terms and conditions of the contracts which are excluded by the suppletory rules are obviously contradicted to legislative intent.
3. Where the purposes of the contracts cannot be achieved due to the major rights or obligations of the contracts are restricted by such terms and conditions.
Traders shall express the standard terms and conditions in full, but where it is obviously difficult to meet with the requirements, traders shall use other conspicuous methods to put the terms and conditions in public notice, thereby such terms and conditions shall constitute as part of the contract upon consumer’s consent.
Traders shall provide consumers copies of the standard contracts except for when it is obviously difficult to provide due to the nature of the contract.
Traders shall provide consumers the original copies of standard contracts which have been signed or stamped by the consumers.
For terms and conditions not specified in standard contracts and not foreseeable by the consumers under normal circumstances shall not constitute as part of the contract.
Any standard terms and conditions shall be null and void when it is contradicted to individually negotiated terms.
Where by removing any standard terms and conditions, or part of the terms and conditions thereof are held to be null or void, or do not constitute as part of the standard contracts, do not affect the contract formation, the remaining part of the contract shall still be valid, except for it is obviously unconscionable to one party, then the entire contract shall be null and void.
In order to prevent consumer disputes, protect consumer interests, and promote the fairness for the use of standard contracts, the competent authorities at the central government may set, mandatory or prohibitory provisions of standard contracts which required certain industries to apply after approved by the Executive Yuan and proclaimed by the competent authorities.
The mandatory provisions set forth in the previous paragraph may include the following matters depending on the nature and purpose of the contract:
1. The major contractual rights or obligations.
2. The effects of contract breach.
3. The performance guarantee of the prepaid transactions.
4. The right to termination, recessions and the legal effects.
5. Other matters relating to contract performance.
The prohibitory provisions set forth in the previous paragraph may include the following matters depending on the nature and purpose of the contract:
1. Traders retain the right of interpretation and modification of contract provisions and period.
2. Limitation or waiver traders’ liability or obligations.
3. Restriction or deprivation of consumers to exercise their rights, or aggravation of consumers to fulfill their obligation.
4. Other matters obviously unfair to consumers.
Where contract in violation of the mandatory or prohibitory provisions prescribed in the first paragraph, shall be null and void. Whereas the validity of contract would be decided in accordance with previous Article.
For provisions required and proclaimed by the central competent authority not described in the standard contracts shall still constitute as part of the contract.
The competent authority may examine traders on the use of standard contracts whenever necessary.
Traders shall bear the burden of proof when asserting that the standard terms and conditions have complied with the provisions in this section.
Section Three – Special Transactions
Where traders entering contract by distance sales or door-to-door sales with consumers, traders shall provide consumers the following information clearly and conspicuously in writing:
1. The name of the traders, representatives, firms or place of business, phone number or email and contact information which consumers can get rapid and effective communication.
2. The contents, prices, payment dates, payment methods, delivery dates and method of delivery.
3. The period and procedure for consumers to exercise the right to rescind in accordance with Article 19.
4. The right to rescind, prescribed in the first paragraph of Article 19, cannot be exercised upon the application of provisions prescribed in accordance with the second paragraph of Article 19.
5. Consumer complaint handling procedure.
6. Any other matters proclaimed by the competent authorities.
Distance sales made via the Internet shall provide consumer with recoverable and savable information in electronic format.
Consumers of distance sales or door-to-door sales may return the goods or rescind the contract in writing within 7 days upon receipt of goods or services without stating the reasons or be responsible for any expenses or costs, except in the case of distance sales with reasonable matters.
Reasonable matters prescribed in the previous paragraph shall be proclaimed by the Executive Yuan.
When traders do not provide consumers with information prescribed in the third subparagraph of the first paragraph of previous Article on matters related for consumer to rescind contracts upon receipt of goods or services, the 7 days period set forth in the first paragraph shall not be counted until the date the information is provided. The right to rescind would be deprived if the 7 days period set forth in the first paragraph has lapsed for 4 months.
The contract would be deemed rescinded when the consumers have delivered or issue in writing within the period set prescribed in the first and third paragraph.
Any agreement made in distance sales or door-to-door sales in violations of provisions prescribed in this Article shall be null and void.
When consumers make notification to traders to rescind the contract in writing according to the first or third paragraph of Article 19, traders shall retrieve the goods onto the premises of the original delivery or agreed between the parties within 15 days from the next day of receipt of the notification, except for parties have agreed otherwise by individual negotiation.
Traders shall make refund within 15 days from the next day of retrieving the goods, receipt of returned goods, or receipt of notification to rescind the service contract.
After rescinding the contract, the restitution provision shall be null and void if it is more adverse to the consumers than the provision prescribed in Article 259 of the Civil Code.
Consumers shall not be responsible for keeping custody of unsolicited goods.
The goods set forth in the previous paragraph shall be deemed have been abandoned if the sender does not retrieve the goods after a reasonable period of time set by the consumer after the notice is given. Or although without notice, the senders do not retrieve the goods one month after the consumer does not accept the goods, shall be deemed have been abandoned.
Consumers may claim for damage caused by shipping the goods and request for reimbursement of expenses necessary to handling the shipping.
Contracts of installment sales between traders and consumers shall be made in writing.
The above mentioned contract shall include the following :
1. The amount of the down payment.
2. The difference between the cash price and the total price by adding up the amount of each installment and other incidental charges.
3. The interest rates.
Where traders fail to specify the interest rates in accordance with the previous paragraph, the interest rate shall be calculated at 5% per annum of the cash transaction price.
For traders in violation provisions prescribed in the second paragraph, first and second subparagraphs, the consumers shall not be liable to pay any price above the cash transaction price.
Section Four - Consumer Information provisions
Traders shall ensure the accuracy of the contents of advertisements and be under the obligations not to provide less than what is stated in the advertisements.
After the contract is made and entered between traders and consumers, traders shall fulfill the contents of the advertisements of goods or services.
Trader shall express the annual percentage rates of all the costs of borrowing over the term of the credit in their advertisements when engaging in credit transactions.
The scope of the costs of borrowing over the term of the credit, and the methods of calculating the annual percentage rate as expressed in the previous paragraph, shall be set by the competent authorities of each relevant industry.
Where media knows or should have known that the contents of the advertisements are inconsistent with the facts, shall be jointly and severally liable to consumers for their reliance upon such advertisements.
Damage liability set forth at previous paragraph cannot be restricted or waived by any agreement in advance.
Traders shall properly label the products or services provided in accordance with labeling laws and other relevant laws and regulations.
For imported goods or services, traders shall attach labels and instructions in Mandarin and the content of which shall not be less comprehensive than those required in the country of origin.
For imported goods or services at the country of origin are accompanied with warning, the previous paragraph shall apply mutatis mutandis.
Traders shall proactively furnish written warranties to consumers to warrant the quality of goods or services provided.
Warranties prescribed in previous paragraph shall at least include the following:
1. The name, type and quantity of goods or services and, the serial numbers or batch numbers if any.
2. The warranty coverage.
3. The period and the commencement of the warranties.
4. The names and addresses of the manufacturers.
5. If sold by distributors, the names and addresses of the distributor.
6. The date of the transaction.
In order to ensure the quality of goods and the safety of consumers, traders shall provide shockproof, dust-proof or moisture resistant, or any other packaging necessary to preserve the goods in accordance with the nature of the goods and the trade of practice, but not include excessive packaging or packaging which may exaggerate the contents thereof.