Delivery: your rights in case of delay or damaged parcel

When you buy on the Internet, the seller must inform you of the delivery date of your order. In case of delivery delay, your seller is responsible. Read our FAQ to know your rights in case of non-delivery, delivery delay or damages parcels.


Yes. Even if since the end of geoblocking on 3rd December 2018, you can purchase goods and services from a seller based in another EU Member state under the same conditions (price and delivery conditions) as the customers who live in that country, purchased does not mean delivered. The en of geoblocking does not oblige European sellers to deliver to your residence country if they do not usually deliver there. In that case, you will have to organise the delivery of your order or its collection at a place mutually aggred upon with the seller (more information on the end of goblocking).

You must receive your package on the date or within the period indicated by your seller, unless you have both agreed on another date. If you have no information on the delivery time of your package, it must be delivered to you without unjustified delay and within 30 days at the latest.

  • Contact your seller in writing (letter or email with acknowledgement of receipt, keep a copy) and request delivery within a reasonable additional time (8-10 days for example).
  • If you still do not receive your order, cancel it and request a reimbursement by a letter or by email with acknowledgement of receipt (always keep a copy of your request). The seller must refund you within 14 days following the contract cancellation. Otherwise, the sum due may be increased by 10 to 50% interest according to French law (Article L. 241-4 of the French Consumer Code).
  • No answer from a seller based in another EU Member state, United Kingdom, Iceland, or Norway, contact the European Consumer Centre of your country of residence.

Good to know: if the delivery date was an essential condition of your purchase (for a wedding or a birthday for example), and you had informed the seller in writing of your need for delivery on a specific date, you may, in case of non-delivery on the agreed date, immediately request the cancellation of the contract by a letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

Under French law the seller is completely responsible for any delay, loss or damage to the package during transportation he/she has organised. In case of loss or damage, the seller will have to arrange a new delivery at his/her own cost or reimburse you. He/she may then complain to the delivery service.

If you have chosen a delivery service other than the one offered by the seller, or if you arrange the transportation yourself, you will become responsible for any accidents that occur to your package and your only recourse is the delivery service (article L216-5 of the French Consumer Code).

If the seller has given you a one-time password or personal code to receive your parcel, never give it to the delivery person. 
Make sure you are present on the day of delivery or ask someone you trust to receive the parcel for you.

If the seller organised the transport, he/she has to act against the transport company, all you have to do is to inform him/her in due time. We recommend however that you also inform the transport company. In any case, keep a copy of your correspondence.

If the package is visibly damaged, refuse to accept it and indicate your reasons for refusal directly on the delivery slip. Be precise and avoid vague phrasing, such as “accepted under conditions”. If you do not receive a delivery slip, use the invoice attached to the delivery. Take photos of the damaged packaging and contents.

Then, contact the seller and the transport company in writing, preferably by a letter or by email with acknowledgement of receipt, as quickly as possible. Request the retrieval of the damaged item and its replacement.

Advice: even if the package seems to be intact, do not hesitate to check the content in front of the deliverer.

You have 3 days from delivery to inform the transport company and the seller of the damage, preferably by a letter with acknowledgement of receipt. If the transport company does not give you the time to inspect the good condition of the package, the period for sending your registered letter of complaint is extended to 10 days.

If your package does not conform to your order, record your concerns on the delivery slip and refuse to accept the delivery. Thanks to Europe, you have a legal guarantee of conformity of at least 2 years, which allows you to request the seller to repair or exchange the item or, if this proves impossible, the refund of the paid amount. Non-conformity covers several different situations: cosmetic difference, incomplete delivery, functional differences, non-functionality of the product...

The items should be carefully packaged. You can use the original packaging if it is strong enough and in good condition, but this is not a legal requirement. You should also make sure you send the package to the right address. The return address is not always the same asthe address that the package came from. If you are unsure, check the general terms and conditions of sale or ask the seller. Do not hesitate to take photos of the item and the package before you close and send it.

  • The seller if he/she arranged the return by sending you for instance a return voucher or selecting a transporter to retrieve the package.
  • You are responsible if you mailed the package yourself, so think about buying insurance if the item is valuable. You may need to be able to prove that you sent the package, so keep the shipping receipt.

Thanks to Europe, you may benefit from a “cooling off” period of at least 14 days. More information in our article on withdrawal rights.

In France, any seller must offer an instruction manual in French (see the decree of 1995).

Already in 2003, the Paris Court of Appeal (judgement of 10 February 2003 (13th Correctional Chamber)) has confirmed that all good marketed in France must be accompanied by an instruction manual in French. The DGCCRF also points this out on its website.

But the law does not foresee an obligation for any other language.

Although this does happen sometimes, it is not allowed. If the package is lost as a result, the seller is responsible and must replace the item or reimburse the purchase – UNLESS if you requested yourself for the package to be left in a specific place, such as a garage.

If the seller claims that the package was delivered directly to you, ask for written proof.

If you ask a neighbor, concierge or other trusted person to accept your delivery, remind them to be careful, to check the package and its content, and to record any remarks on the delivery slip, as if you were present.

Advice: Once you receive your package, and even if you do not see any signs of damage, open it immediately to inspect the contents. If you find damage, contact the transport company and the seller.

If you agree to accept a package, you must take good care of it. You should check the condition of the package, and you cannot use the contents or leave it at your neighbor’s doorstep.

If you decide to use your cooling off right within 14 days of delivery of your order, the seller, or the platform on which you purchased, may give you several return slips if several products have been delivered to you in different parcels which need to be returned. Do not group all the products together in a single parcel for the return! Follow the order of the return slips and return the packages with the same contents as when they were delivered! Even if this is less environmentally friendly, you avoid the risk of the returns’ centre registering only the product covered by the return slip, especially if you didn't take any photos or videos of the content before closing the returning parcels. 

For more information on your right of withdrawal, see our article 14 days to withdraw

If you are unable to come to a solution with a seller based in another European Union Member state, in the United Kingdom, Iceland or Norway, do not hesitate to contact the European Consumer Centre of your country of residence.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.