The Council of the European Union has adopted a directive on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and a Regulation on Online Dispute Resolution (ODR).
The ADR Directive will ensure that out-of-court entities exist to deal with any contractual dispute, between a consumer and a trader, within 90 days. The Directive applies to contracts concluded online or offline, domestically or in another EU member state. The ODR Regulation creates a single EU-wide online platform to facilitate the resolution of disputes concerning purchases made online in another EU member state, within 30 days.
The legislation provides consumers with a simple, efficient and inexpensive way of resolving their disputes out of court.
Member states will have two years to incorporate these provisions into national legislation.
The ODR platform will be operational at the end of 2015.