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Wednesday, 26 August 2015 08:57

Amendments to the "Consumer Rights Protection Law"

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On the 9th of July 2015 amendments to the "Consumer Rights Protection Law" and the new „Alternative Consumer Dispute Resolver Law”* entered into force. Nevertheless, in accordance with the transitional provisions of the laws mentioned, some articles of the laws will enter into force only on 1 January 2016 and 1 March 2016.

 

Attention must be paid to the fact that until 1 January 2016 the existing settlement of disputes, determined by the Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No 631 of 1 August 2006, remains the same.

 

One of the main amendments regarding the alternative dispute settlement is the new section 19¹ in the Consumer Rights Protection Law. This section is already binding to the traders and the service providers, and states that:

„The trader or the service provider shall inform the consumer on one or more     dispute resolvers, that deal with disputes in the respective field and are included in the list of alternative consumer dispute resolvers, that is published on the home page of the Consumer Rights Protection Centre, on the internet. In the information that is provided to the consumer the home page of the alternative dispute resolver has to be indicated.”*

 

The information that is mentioned above the service provider or the trader provides in a clear, understandable and easily accessible manner on the home page on the internet (if there is a home page) or include in the terms of the contract (if there is a contract).

 

On the home page of the Consumer Rights Protection Centre the list of alternative consumer dispute resolvers on which the trader or the service provider has to inform the consumer has not yet been published. However, the new amendments are binding and, therefore,  the traders or the service providers has to in their contracts or on their home page on the internet provide the information prescribed by the law to the extent possible.

 

If during the settlement of the dispute the trader or the service provider refuses to meet the claim of the consumer, the service provider or the trader shall provide the consumer with information indicated in the Section 19¹, paragraph 1 of the Consumer Rights Protection Law in writing or by using another durable medium.

 

Attention must be paid to the fact that this information has to be included in the contracts or published on the home page  only if the consumer is a natural person and the price of goods or services does not exceed 14'000, - EUR (fourteen thousand euros).

 

Amendments to the Consumer Rights Protection Law stipulates that the Law is supplemented with Chapters - VI¹, VI², VI³, that determines the settlement of the dispute between the consumer and the trader or the service provider, competence of the commission of consumer dispute settlement, structure, requirements for the chairman of the commission and members of the commission, functions of the secretariat of the commission and the procedure of adjudication of disputes. Amendments mentioned will come into force on 1 January 2016*.

 

The new Alternative Consumer Dispute Resolver Law stipulates a new dispute resolution mechanism. Uniform requirements for the alternative dispute resolvers, that are statutory, to ensure that consumers are able to exercise and protect their lawful rights through independent, objective, transparent, efficient, fast and fair alternative dispute resolution*.

 

*informal translation

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