Trade fairs and exhibitions attract many visitors. You can compare products from dealers and traders from many countries. However, do not buy in haste, even if the promotional offers are limited to the duration of the fair.

Feel free to contact us if you need more information about this topic.

Luxembourg:

The question of a right of withdrawal for a purchase at a fair raises many questions. Indeed, it is not clearly settled by the current legislation. Thus, several interpretations have been made, in particular on the “usual” nature of the professional’s activity in a fair. If a trader usually participates in a fair, it could be deduced that it is a usual business establishment for the trader and that consumers are therefore not entitled to a right of withdrawal. On the other hand, if the trader is present for the first time or occasionally at a fair, it would be possible to deduce that it is a sale outside the trader’s usual place of business, which then induces a right of withdrawal. The difficulty would be to prove whether or not the professional’s presence at the fair is unusual.

The Court of Justice opts for a different interpretation, holding that the trader’s professional activity would be less decisive than the nature of the item sold and that only a judge would then be able to assess whether or not a right of withdrawal could be granted.

Thus, in view of the legal uncertainties surrounding this issue of the right of withdrawal for a purchase at a fair, we have chosen not to expose consumers to unnecessary risks by advising them to consider that they do not have a right of withdrawal when they enter into a contract concluded at a fair in Luxembourg.

France:

When you purchase a good or service at a trade fair, exhibition or other commercial event, you do not have a right of withdrawal.

However, if the purchase is financed by a credit there is a right of withdrawal in accordance with that credit.

The trader who proposes the sale of goods or the provision of services must inform you that you do not have a right of withdrawal before any conclusion of a contract  (Article L. 224-59 of the Consumer Law).

The trader must visibly display the following sentence on a sign of a size larger than or equal to A3 and in a font size that cannot be smaller than the size of the 90th letter: “The consumer does not benefit from a right of withdrawal for any purchase made at [this fair] or [this exhibition], or [on this stand]” (« Le consommateur ne bénéficie pas d’un droit de rétractation pour tout achat effectué dans [cette foire] ou [ce salon], ou [sur ce stand] ») (Article 1 of the Decree of 2 December 2014 on the procedures for providing information on the absence of a withdrawal period for the benefit of the consumer at fairs and exhibitions).

The contract proposed by the trader must legibly mention the following sentence: “The consumer does not benefit from a right of withdrawal for a purchase made at a fair or exhibition”. The box containing this sentence must be located at the head of the contract and in a font size which may not be smaller than the size of the size twelve. («Le consommateur ne bénéficie pas d’un droit de rétractation pour un achat effectué dans une foire ou dans un salon ») (Article 2 of the Order of 2 December 2014)

If the trader does not comply with his obligation to provide information on the absence of the right of withdrawal, he shall be liable to an administrative fine of up to €3 000 for a person

Germany:

The situation in Germany is (perhaps) somewhat clearer since German case law states that a stand at a trade fair is, in principle, a commercial establishment (or a consumer can/should expect commercial offers). Therefore, there is no right of withdrawal in the majority of cases.

There are just a few exceptions to this “basic rule”, e.g. if a seller sells products which have nothing to do with the subject matter of the fair (e.g. if someone sells a vacuum cleaner at a tourist fair) .

Belgium:

“What about shopping at a fair, trade fair, market or exhibition?

Did you place an order on the occasion of a fair, exhibition or market? The situation is much less clear-cut: it is sometimes difficult to determine whether the seller is carrying out his business in these ephemeral places in a habitual manner or not. Each situation must be assessed on a case-by-case basis and is subject to interpretation.

The seller’s stand at a market held weekly is undoubtedly his business establishment. You are therefore subject to the in-store purchasing regime.

On the other hand, this is less obvious for the stand held by a trader at a trade fair, exhibition or show that is held only occasionally or only annually. This type of venue may or may not be perceived as a commercial establishment, depending on the point of view and interests of each of the parties. So be careful when making a purchase in this type of place and ask the seller to clearly state on the order form, contract or invoice that you have a withdrawal period. Otherwise, you are dependent on the seller’s goodwill. »