Due to the consumer rights directive of the EU, there is a right of withdrawal for consumers in distance selling transactions in all member states of the EU . The EU directive applies only to business-to-consumer (B2C) contracts and gives the consumer certain rights which, unless otherwise provided for in the individual provisions of the directive, fully harmonized are. This means that the individual member states can in principle provide neither stricter nor less strict regulations. In Switzerland, the Consumer Rights Directive was primarily implemented in the form of the Distance and External Business Act (FAGG). Some provisions were inserted directly into the Consumer Protection Act (KSchG).

The directive does not apply to B2B transactions. There is therefore no such statutory right of withdrawal in the B2B sector.

Withdrawal or revocation?

Both terms mean the same thing. While the consumer rights directive uses the internationally customary term "revocation", the Austrian FAGG speaks of "withdrawal". This is noticeable in the model cancellation policy and the model cancellation form, both of which were published in an appendix to the FAGG. While the FAGG itself speaks of "withdrawal", the templates use the term "revocation". The reason for this is that the patterns should also be able to be used in Germany.

How long can the consumer withdraw (§ 11 Para. 1 FAGG)?

The withdrawal period for distance contracts (not just online shops) is 14 calendar days. Within this period, the consumer can therefore withdraw from such contracts without giving reasons and largely free of charge. Personalized items are excluded!

Attention: The 14-day cancellation period applies fully harmonized throughout the EU! So it can by law neither a longer nor a shorter withdrawal period can be provided. Compatible This period can of course be extended, but under no circumstances shortened.

When does the withdrawal period begin (Section 11 (2) FAGG)?

In the case of sales contracts, the day on which the consumer or a third party designated by the consumer who is not acting as a carrier has acquired physical possession of the goods


  • if the consumer or this third party has ordered several goods as part of a single order, which will be delivered separately, from the date of receipt of the last good,
  • in the case of delivery of goods in several partial consignments or pieces, on the day on which the consumer or this third party comes into possession of the last partial consignment or the last piece,
  • in the case of contracts for the regular delivery of goods over a specified period of time (e.g. magazine subscription), on the day on which the consumer or this third party comes into possession of the first goods.

In the case of contracts for the supply of water, gas, electricity (each in unlimited volume or unlimited quantity) or district heating on the day the contract is concluded.

The day on which the period begins (receipt of the goods) is not included in the count.

Attention: The regulations also apply if the contract relates to the delivery of goods as well as services. In this case, too, the period begins with the receipt of the goods by the consumer.

Warning: the consumer can withdraw from the contract beforehand, namely from his own contractual declaration (order), and does not have to wait for the entrepreneur to accept this order; the contract is only concluded with the acceptance of this order.

Can the deadline be extended (§ 12 FAGG)?

The withdrawal period is automatically extended around 12 months if the entrepreneur is his information requirements does not comply with the right of withdrawal according to § 4 Para. 1 Z 8 FAGG (instruction on the existence, the conditions, the deadlines and the procedure for exercising the right of withdrawal, this by providing the statutory model withdrawal form). The extended withdrawal period is therefore 12 months and 14 days. If the instruction is made up for within the 12 months, the period ends 14 days after receipt of this information.

What must be instructed about the right of withdrawal?

If the right of withdrawal exists, the entrepreneur must inform the consumer of this by providing the model withdrawal form

  • the fact that there is a right of withdrawal
  • the conditions of the right of withdrawal
  • the deadlines for the right of withdrawal and
  • how to proceed when asserting the right of withdrawal.

If the entrepreneur wants to pay the costs of returning the goods in the event of withdrawal charged to the consumer, he must also provide information about this obligation to bear the costs. If the goods in question are not usually sent by post due to their nature, the exact amount of the return costs must also be stated. If there is no right of withdrawal (see below, "There is also no right of withdrawal with"), this must even be informed.

When and how must information about the right of withdrawal be provided (Sections 4 and 7 FAGG)?

In any case, the instruction (as well as the provision of all other information according to § 4 Para. 1 FAGG) must take place before the conclusion of the contract or the declaration of the contract (order) by the consumer. This in a clear and understandable form in a manner adapted to the specific means of distance communication chosen. In this phase, the mere provision of information (e.g. on the website) is sufficient. However, the information can already be made available (readable!) on a durable medium at this point in time. These information obligations of the entrepreneur are also fulfilled if the entrepreneur has correctly filled out the statutory model cancellation policy and sent it to the consumer. A sample revocation must also be made available to the consumer. The model cancellation policy and the model cancellation were published in the Federal Law Gazette as an appendix to the FAGG (see appendices 1 and 2 in this document).

As a further consequence, the entrepreneur must provide the consumer with a confirmation of the concluded contract including cancellation instructions and numerous other information (cf. § 4 Para. 1 FAGG) on a durable data medium within a reasonable period of time after the conclusion of the contract, at the latest at the same time as the goods are delivered place. This can be omitted if this information, as just described, has already been made available to the consumer on a durable medium.

Personalized items are excluded!

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