By George Skampoulos, Associate LL.M
On 2022, the Greek legislator reformed the sales law, as contained in articles 513 et seq. of the CC, incorporating the European Union Directives 2019/770 and 2019/ 77. The justification for the regulation was the fact that the modern economy and the rapid development of technology imposed the special regulation of the sale of digital objects as a special category of the sales contract.
First and foremost, the Greek legislator defined a digital object as “any movable object that incorporates or is interconnected with digital content or digital service in such a way that the absence of the digital content or service prevents the performance of its functions“. It is worth noting that the above concept was not regulated by law prior to the adoption of the new provision, as the sale of a digital object was a typical sale, without any specific regulation.
In addition, a central pillar of the new regulation is the more modern approach of the defective performance of the sales contract. In particular, the new regulation retains the concept of a defect as a condition for the seller’s liability (Article 535 CC), but limits to a secondary role the concept of the agreed features of the object. The concept of the object’s defect becomes broader and it exists when the object does not meet the subjective and objective requirements (Articles 535 A and 535 B CC). The difference between subjective and objective requirements lies in the fact that the former are determined on the basis of the parties’ agreement, while the latter are determined by more objective criteria.
The seller is liable, regardless of his fault, if the goods have a defect, unless the buyer was aware of the non-response. When the seller is liable for the abovementioned reason, the buyer is entitled to: 1. demand restoration of the defect; 2. reduce the price; 3. terminate the contract; 4. demand compensation. Compensation is the only case of the seller’s liability depending on his fault.
In conclusion, the new sales law, although not having numerous changes compared to the old legal regime, it resolves authentically and effectively contemporary issues that the previous twenty-year regulation failed to resolve with complete success. The regulation is also likely to affect the corresponding provisions regarding e-commerce. In particular, the market for NFTs is not regulated in Greece, but it is possible that there will be developments in the near future.