Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980
47.— (1) Where—
( a) unsolicited goods are sent to a person with a view to his acquiring them and are received by him, and
( b) the recipient has neither agreed to acquire nor agreed to return them,
(i) during the period of six months following the date of receipt of the goods the sender did not take possession of them and the recipient did not unreasonably refuse to permit the sender to do so, or
(ii) not less than 30 days before the expiration of that period the recipient gave notice to the sender and during the following 30 days the sender did not take possession of the goods and the recipient did not unreasonably refuse to permit the sender to do so,
then the recipient may treat the goods as if they were an unconditional gift to him and any right of the sender to the goods shall be extinguished.
(2) The notice referred to in subsection (1) shall be in writing and shall state—
( a) the recipient's name and address and the address at which the sender may take possession of the goods (if not the same) and
( b) that the goods are unsolicited.
(3) A person who, not having reasonable cause to believe there is a right to payment, in the course of any business, makes a demand for payment, or asserts a present or prospective right to payment for what he knows are unsolicited goods sent to another person with a view to his acquiring them, shall be guilty of an offence.
(4) A person who, not having reasonable cause to believe there is a right to payment in the course of any business and with a view to obtaining any payment for what he knows or ought to know are unsolicited goods—
( a) threatens to bring any legal proceedings,
( b) places or causes to be placed the name of any person on a list of defaulters or debtors or threatens to do so, or
( c) invokes or causes to be invoked any other collection procedure or threatens to do so,
shall be guilty of an offence.
(5) In this section—
“ acquire” includes hire,
“ send” includes deliver,
“ sender” includes any person on whose behalf or with whose consent the goods are sent and any other person claiming through or under the sender or any such person,
“ unsolicited” means, in relation to goods sent to any person, that they are sent without any prior request by him or on his behalf.
F21 [ (6) Where unsolicited goods are supplied, or unsolicited services are provided, by a trader to a consumer —
( a ) subsections (1) to (5) do not apply, and
( b ) subsections (7) to (10) apply.
(7) The consumer is exempted from any requirement to provide consideration for unsolicited goods or services supplied by the trader.
(8) The absence of a response from the consumer following the supply of unsolicited goods or the provision of unsolicited services does not constitute consent to —
( a ) the provision of consideration for the goods or services, or
( b ) the return or safekeeping of the goods.
(9) In the case of an unsolicited supply of goods, the consumer may treat the goods as if they were an unconditional gift.
(10) The following definitions apply for the purposes of subsections (6) to (9) :
consumer means a natural person who is acting for purposes which are outside the person ’ s trade, business, craft or profession;
services includes, without limitation —
( a ) digital content not supplied on a tangible medium,
( b ) water, gas, and electricity not put up for sale in a fixed volume or set quantity, and
( c ) district heating;
trader means —
( a ) a natural person, or
( b ) a legal person, whether —
(i) privately owned,
(ii) publicly owned, or
(iii) partly privately owned and partly publicly owned,
who is acting for purposes related to the person ’ s trade, business, craft or profession, and includes any person acting in the name, or on behalf, of the trader;
unsolicited, in relation to goods supplied or services provided to a consumer, means that they are supplied or provided without any request by or on behalf of the consumer. ]
Inserted (13.06.2014) by European Union (Consumer Information, Cancellation and Other Rights) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 484 of 2013), reg. 32.
The European Communities (Protection of Consumers in Respect of Contracts Made by Means of Distance Communications) Regulations 2001 (S.I. No. 207 of 2001), reg. 11 (as qualified by reg. 9(5)), contains provisions based on subss. (3) and (4) and uses the same definitions of “service” and “unsolicited”.