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The European Court of Justice on articles 17 Of Regulation (EU) NO 1215/2012 on consumer contracts

05/04/2023 17:25

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The European Court of Justice on articles 17 Of Regulation (EU) NO 1215/2012 on consumer contracts

The European Court of Justice on articles 17 Of Regulation (EU) NO 1215/2012 on consumer contracts

The Court of Justice of the European Union, by judgment ECLI:EU:C:2023:185, dated 9 March 2023, in Case C-177/22 - in proceedings between JA, an Austrian national, and Wurth Automotive GmbH, a German company, concerning the jurisdiction of the Austrian courts to rule on a claim for compensation for hidden defects present in a motor vehicle that is the subject of a contract of sale – ruled that Article 17(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters must be interpreted as meaning that:

1. in order to determine whether a person who concluded a contract falling under point (c) of that provision may be classified as a ‘consumer’, within the meaning of that provision, account must be taken of the current and future purposes of the conclusion of that contract, irrespective of the nature of the activity pursued by that person as an employed or self-employed person;

2. in order to determine whether a person who has concluded a contract falling under point (c) of that provision can be classified as a ‘consumer’, within the meaning of that provision, account may be taken of the impression created by that person’s conduct on the part of the other contracting party, consisting, in particular, in a lack of a reaction on the part of the person relying on the status of consumer to the terms of the contract designating him or her as a trader, where that person has concluded that contract through an intermediary, pursuing professional activities in the field covered by that contract, who, after signing that same contract, questioned the other party about the possibility of stating the value added tax on the relevant invoice or even where that person sold the goods covered by the contract shortly after its conclusion and potentially made a profit;

3. where it proves impossible to determine to the requisite legal standard, in the context of the overall assessment of the information that is available to a national court, certain circumstances surrounding the conclusion of a contract, as regards, in particular, the information in that contract or the involvement of an intermediary at the time of its conclusion, that court must assess the probative value of the information available to it in accordance with the rules of national law, including whether the benefit of the doubt must be given to the person relying on the status of ‘consumer’, within the meaning of that provision. 


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Marco Sposini

Avvocato - Studio Legale Sardo - Milano 



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