The original Icelandic text, as published in the Law Gazette (Stjórnartíðindi), is the authoritative text. Should there be discrepancy between this translation and the authoritative text, the latter prevails.
2000 No. 46 16 May
Article 1 Scope
This Act applies to contracts for the sale or lease of goods and services to consumers when a vendor engages in selling or providing services by distance sales (distance contracts) or door-to-door selling (door-to-door sale contracts) in a professional capacity, subject to the provisions of Articles 3 and 4 on contracts exempted from the provisions hereof.
A consumer may not waive the rights conferred on him by this Act.
Article 2 Definitions
1. A consumer in this Act is a natural person who is a buyer in a transaction covered by this Act for purposes unrelated to his profession.
2. A vendor is a natural or legal person who, for the transaction in question, acts in his professional capacity and enters into contracts with consumers, as well as anyone acting in the name of or on behalf of the vendor in a professional capacity.
3. Door-to-door selling is the sale of goods or services organised by a vendor away from his fixed business premises, e.g. in the home of the consumer or his place of work, when the consumer has neither requested nor was aware that the delivery of goods or services was a part of the sales or service operation of the vendor, as well as any other type of itinerant sales.
4. Door-to-door sale contract is contract between a vendor and a consumer on the purchase of goods and services concluded in the course of door-to-door selling.
5. Means of distance communication is any means which can be used for the conclusion of a contract between a consumer and a vendor without a need for them to meet.
6. Distance selling is the organised sale of goods or services where one or more methods of distance communication are used for the conclusion of a contract.
7. A Distance contract is a contract between a vendor and a consumer on the purchase of goods or services concluded by a means of distance communication.
8. Telephone selling is distance selling where the consumer makes a contract or an offer (order) by telephone after receiving a telephone call from a vendor offering goods or services.
Article 3 Exemptions
The provisions of this Act do not apply to:
1. Contracts on the manufacture, construction or other rights concerning real estate. The Act does, however, apply to lease contracts.
2. Contracts on the purchase of securities, insurance or other financial services.
3. Contracts on participation in the right of use of holiday premises.
4. Sales from automatic vending machines.
5. Contracts on the use of public payphones.
6. Auctions of new and second-hand goods, provided that such auctions are public and that a large number of the participants in the auction are present at the place of auction.
Article 4 Further Exemptions Regarding Door-to-Door Selling.
In addition to the above, the provisions of this Act do not apply to the following door-to-door sale contracts:
1. Contracts of a value of ISK 4,000 or less, but never higher than the equivalent of EUR 60, based on the official exchange rate as posted at any time.
2. Contracts presupposing continuity of contact between the consumer and the vendor's agent in relation to on-going transactions or other subsequent transactions.
3. Contracts on the regular delivery of foodstuffs, beverages or other goods for use in the household.
Notwithstanding the provisions of Item 1 of Article 3, the provisions on door-to-door sales contracts apply to contracts on the provision of goods and their incorporation in immovable property.
Article 5 Vendor's Obligation to Provide Information
The consumer is entitled to the following information within a reasonable time before a contract covered by this Act is made:
1. The name and address of the vendor.
2. The principal characteristics of the goods or services covered by the contract.
3. The price of the goods or services, including all public levies, as well as the cost of delivery, if applicable.
4. Arrangements for payment, delivery and time of delivery.
5. Right to withdraw from the contract, subject to the provisions of Article 10.
6. The cost of using a means of distance communication which is calculated in another manner than as a basic rate.
7. The period of validity of the offer and the offer price.
8. The minimum duration of the contract.
The information referred to in Paragraph 1 shall be clear and comprehensible and accessible to the consumer.
The vendor in a telephone sale is furthermore obliged to state his name each time, and the consumer shall be informed at the beginning of the conversation that the call is being made for commercial purposes.
The provisions of Paragraphs 1 and 2 shall apply, as applicable, in door-to-door selling.
Article 6 Written Confirmation of Information Provided
The consumer shall be provided with written confirmation, or, in the case of distance sales, confirmation by another durable medium available and accessible to the consumer, of the information listed in Items 1-6 in Paragraph 1 of Article 5.
The consumer is entitled to information according to this Article within a reasonable time before the performance of the contract and at the latest at the time of delivery. In the case of services, the information shall be supplied at the time that the contract is made and never later than as of the sixth day following the conclusion of the contract. The consumer is at all times entitled to:
1. Written information on terms and other items of importance in the event that the consumer wishes to exercise his right to withdraw from the contract pursuant to Article 8. The consumer should, furthermore, be informed if he does not have such rights owing to the exemption provisions in this Act, including the circumstances described in Article 10.
2. Information on the address of the vendor (including nationality) where customer complaints will be received in a valid manner.
3. Information on warranties and service provided by the vendor following the purchase of goods or services, if applicable.
4. Information on the conditions for cancelling the contract, where it is of unspecified duration or a duration exceeding one year.
The provisions of Paragraph 2 do not apply to a distance communication service provided and delivered on one specific occasion where the operator of the distance communication service charges a fee, e.g. call-centre services. However, the consumer is always entitled to information regarding the vendor's address pursuant to Item 2 in Paragraph 2.
When door-to-door selling or distance selling covered by this Act is directed towards Icelandic consumers, or the marketing activities of a vendor in other respects are conducted in Iceland and in Icelandic, information under this Act shall be supplied to consumers in Icelandic.
If a vendor fails to fulfil the provisions of this Article regarding information to the consumer within the time limit stated in Paragraph 2, the contract shall not be binding for the consumer.
Article 7 Exemptions from the Obligation to Provide Information
The provisions of Article 5 on the obligation to provide information do not apply to contracts concerning:
1. The sale of foodstuffs or other daily consumables delivered to the home or place of employment of the consumer.
2. The sale of hotel accomodation, transport, catering or other comparable services where it is contracted that the services shall be provided at a specific time or within a specific period and this is clearly stated in the contract.
3. The sale of leisure services, such as contracts concerning the sale of access to sports and cultural events or other comparable leisure services where it is contracted that the services shall be provided at a specific time or within a specific period and this is clearly stated in the contract.
Article 8 The Right to Withdraw from a Contract
A door-to-door sale contract or a distance contract is not binding for the consumer until fourteen days after its conclusion, and the consumer may withdraw from the contract within that period without giving any reason and without penalty.
In the event that a consumer exercises his right under Paragraph 1, the vendor shall be obliged to reimburse any sums paid by the consumer, free of charge. Such reimbursement shall be carried out as soon as possible and in any case not later than after thirty days. The consumer is obliged to return or send back the goods to the vendor. The consumer may only be required to pay direct costs of returning the goods.
If a consumer has exercised his right to withdraw from a contract pursuant to this Article, any credit agreements entered into with the vendor or a third party acting as intermediary for the provision of credit for the purchase shall be cancelled.
Article 9 The deadline to exercise the right of withdrawal from a contract pursuant to Article 8 shall be calculated from the date that the consumer takes delivery of the goods, or, in the case of services, from the date that the contract is made, but in any case no later than as of the sixth day following the making of the contract when the vendor has fulfilled his obligation to provide information pursuant to Article 6.
Article 10 Exemptions on the Right to Withdraw from a Contract
The provisions of Article 8 do not apply to the following contracts:
1. Contracts for services if the consumer has consented to the provision of the services before the passing of the deadline to withdraw from the contract pursuant to Article 8 hereof.
2. Contracts on the purchase of video tapes, audio recordings or software if the consumer has broken the vendor's seal.
3. Distance contracts for goods which are made to the consumer's own specifications or adapted by other means to his personal needs, or which by reason of their nature will deteriorate or expire before the deadline.
4. Distance contracts on participation in lotteries or other legal games.
Article 11 Performance of Contracts and Delivery of Goods
A vendor shall execute a consumer's order within 30 days from the date it was made. In the event that a vendor fails to perform his side of a contract on the grounds that the goods or services are unavailable, he must inform the consumer of the situation immediately. If the consumer has paid the purchasing price in part or in full it shall be refunded without delay and no later than after thirty days. However, the vendor may provide the consumer with goods (services) which are equivalent in every respect with regard to quality and price, provided that the vendor has informed the consumer of this eventuality prior to the conclusion of the contract with the consumer. In such cases, all costs shall be borne by the vendor if the consumer returns the goods following exercise of his right of withdrawal, and this shall be specified in the vendor's terms.
Article 12 Payment by Card
Companies that issue payment cards shall establish clear rules on the means by which a consumer may request cancellation of a payment if his card has been fraudulently used in the making of a distance contract covered by this Act. They shall furthermore stipulate the means by which refunds may be effected to the consumer in the event of fraudulent use of his card.
Article 13 Inertia Selling
Goods and services requiring payment may not be sent to a consumer without their being ordered by the consumer.
The silent consent of consumers in the case of selling methods covered by Paragraph 1 shall never be valid.
Article 14 Prohibition of the Use of Certain Means of Distance Communication
The use of facsimile machines or automated calling systems in selling activities covered by this Act is prohibited without the specific consent of the consumer to the use of such distance communication methods.
Vendors of goods and services covered by this Act are under obligation, prior to the organisation of direct marketing activities, to consult the register maintained by Statistics Iceland [the Statistical Bureau of Iceland] of persons who decline to have their names used in marketing activities pursuant to the provisions of the Act on the Protection of Individuals with regard to the Processing of Personal Data. If a consumer has requested to have his name entered in the registry, any direct marketing addressed to him is prohibited.
In the event that a consumer has not notified Statistics Iceland as described in Paragraph 2, or if a subscriber to a distance communication service has not requested special registration in a telephone directory in accordance with the provisions of the Telecommunications Act, and a vendor sends him electronic mail in the course of direct marketing, the consumer shall be given the opportunity to give his consent to the continued use of the distance communication method in question. If the consumer does not specifically consent to continued electronic mail messages they are prohibited from that time.
Article 15 Legal Protection for Consumers
Consumer organisations may protect the interests of consumers in courts of law and outside them pursuant to the provisions hereof.
Article 16 Applicable Law
In the event that a contract covered by this Act stipulates that its governing law is the law of a State outside the European Economic Area, such law shall not apply to contracts covered by this Act unless it affords the consumer better protection.
Article 17 Surveillance
The Competition Council is responsible for monitoring business practices pursuant to this Act.
Article 18 In the event that a consumer exercises his right to withdraw from a contract covered by this Act, the legal effects shall be subject to the Act on the Sale of Goods, particularly with regard to refunding of payment for provided goods or services and the return of received goods, unless otherwise provided in this Act.
Article 19 Violation of the provisions of this Act and regulations pursuant to this Act is subject to fines or imprisonment for up to three years, unless more stringent sanctions apply under other legislation.
Article 20 The Minister of Commerce is responsible for the implementation of this Act and is authorised to lay down further provisions for its implementation by means of a government regulation.
Article 21 This Act is effective as of 1 June 2000.
This Act is enacted with reference to the decision of the EEA Joint Committee No. 7/1994 on incorporating into the EEA Agreement and into national legislation the provisions of Council Directive No. 85/577/EEC of 20 December 1985 to protect the consumer in respect of contracts negotiated away from business premises, and the decision of the EEA Joint Committee No. 15/1998 on incorporating into the EEA Agreement and into national legislation the provisions of the European Parliament and Council Directive No. 97/7/EB of 20 May 1997 on the Protection of Consumers in respect of Distance Contracts.