The EU ADR Directive and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Regulation were formally published in the EU’s Official Journal on 18 June 2014. Their aim is to increase the use of out of court schemes by consumers in the EU to settle disputes with traders instead of embarking on court proceedings. The purpose of the ADR Directive (in force from 9 July 2015) will ensure that consumers can, on a voluntary basis, submit complaints against traders to ADR entities offering independent, impartial, transparent, effective, fast and fair alternative dispute resolution procedures.
The online disputes resolution platform provided for in the ODR Regulation will take the form of a free interactive website. The website will be available to resolve disputes arising out of any purchases made domestically or across EU borders. Under the ODR Regulation, traders are obliged to give consumers information about the possibility of resolving disputes out of court. The ODR Regulation applies as from 9 January 2016.