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Israel: Mandatory Period for Cancellation of Transactions by Certain Persons

(Aug. 17, 2016) On July 26, 2016, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed the Consumer Protection (Amendment No. 47) Law 5776-2016. (Amendment No. 47, SEFER HAHUKIM [BOOK OF LAWS, the official gazette, SH] 5756 No. 2569, p. 1094, as amended, available online at RESHUMOT (the official gazette), Ministry of Justice website (search for Issue No. 2569, last visited Aug. 15, 2016) (in Hebrew).) The Amendment Law amends the Consumer Protection Law 5741-1981 (SH 5741 No. 1023, p. 248, as amended (in Hebrew).)

The Consumer Protection Law regulates, among other matters, transactions entered into through peddling or distance marketing. According to the explanatory notes on the Draft Bill of the Amendment Law, a transaction of peddling is one that is conducted outside of the business venue of the vendor. Such a transaction can occur, for example, when the vendor or a person acting on his/her behalf arrives at the consumer’s place of residence without prior invitation, with the objective of engaging the consumer in a sale transaction. (Consumer Protection (Amendment No. 47) Draft Bill (Cancellation of Peddling Transaction and Transaction Originating from Distance Marketing to a Disabled Person, a Senior Citizen, or a New Immigrant) 5776-2016, Knesset Bill No. 635, p. 108, Knesset website (in Hebrew).)

A transaction involving distance marketing, however, is one that is entered into without the presence of both parties, in response to an invitation by the vendor to the consumer via mail, telephone, radio, television, computer, television, or other means of telecommunications. (Consumer Protection Law, § 14 C(f).)

Due to the nature of both peddling and distance marketing transactions, the explanatory notes state, it is sometimes doubtful whether the consumer entered into them with full intent to purchase the product or service. Examples of such situations include where the consumer was not interested in the product or the service and acquired it under duress or without having the ability to examine the actual product at the time of entering into the transaction. Certain groups of consumers, according to the explanatory notes, are especially vulnerable when exposed to such transaction offers. Among them are new immigrants who are not fluent in the Hebrew language, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities. (Consumer Protection (Amendment No. 47) Draft Bill.)

The Amendment Law establishes a period of four months following the date a peddling or distance marketing transaction was concluded, the delivery of the product occurred, or a cancellation notice was received, in which persons belonging to the above groups can cancel their transactions. (Amendment Law § 4, adding §§ 14C1(b) & (c) to the Consumer Protection Law.)

The Amendment Law defines a senior citizen as a person who has attained the age of 65; a new immigrant as a person residing in Israel during the first five-year period after having received an Oleh visa or an Oleh eligibility certificate from the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption (an Oleh visa and certificate may be granted to Jewish immigrants and members of families of Jews immigrating to Israel under the Law of Return, 6710-1950 (SH 5710 No. 51, p. 159)); and a disabled person as a person with disabilities in accordance with the Law for Equal Rights for Person with Disabilities, 5758-1998 (SH 5758 No. 1658, p. 152). (Amendment Law § 4, adding § 14C1(a) to the Consumer Protection Law.)