European Union (Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes) Regulations 2015

JurisdictionIreland
CitationIR SI 343/2015

Arrangement of Regulations

PART 1

Preliminary Matters

1. Citation

2. Interpretation

3. Application of Regulations

4. Place of establishment

PART 2

The Commission and general information

5. The Commission

6. The European Consumer Centre Ireland

PART 3

Notification and Requirements applicable to ADR Entities and ADR Procedures

7. Information to be notified to Commission by ADR entity

8. List of ADR entities

9. Obligations on ADR entities

10. Reporting

11. Expertise, independence and impartiality

12. Transparency

13. Effectiveness

14. Fairness

15. Liberty

16. Legality

17. Effect of ADR procedures on limitation and prescription periods

PART 4

Consumer Information by traders

18. Consumer information by traders

PART 5

Enforcement

19. Amendment of Act of 2007

20. Amendment of European Communities (Cooperation between National Authorities Responsible for the Enforcement of Consumer Protection Laws) Regulations 2006 ( S.I. No. 290 of 2006 )

21. Amendment of European Communities (Court Orders for the Protection of Consumer Interests) Regulations 2010 ( S.I. No. 555 of 2010 )

22. Construction of References

SCHEDULE 1

notification

SCHEDULE 2

Information to be provided by ADR Entity

S.I. No. 343 of 2015

EUROPEAN UNION (ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION FOR CONSUMER DISPUTES) REGULATIONS 2015

Notice of the making of this Statutory Instrument was published in

“Iris Oifigiúil” of 4th August, 2015.

I, RICHARD BRUTON, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 3 of the European Communities Act 1972 (No. 27 of 1972) and for the purpose of giving effect to Directive 2013/11/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 20131 , hereby make the following regulations:

PART 1

Preliminary Matters

Citation

1. These Regulations may be cited as the European Union (Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes) Regulations 2015.

Interpretation

2. (1) In these Regulations—

“Act of 2007” means the Consumer Protection Act 2007 (No. 19 of 2007);

“Act of 2014” means the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014 (No. 29 of 2014);

“ADR” means alternative dispute resolution;

“ADR procedure” means a procedure, as referred to in Regulation 3(1), which complies with the requirements set out in these Regulations and is carried out by an ADR entity;

“ADR entity” means any entity, however named or referred to, which is established on a durable basis and offers the resolution of a dispute through an ADR procedure that is listed in accordance with Regulation 8;

“annual activity report” shall be construed in accordance with Regulation 10;

“calendar year” means the period commencing on each 1 January and ending on the 31 December and includes the part of that period that an ADR entity is listed in accordance with Regulation 8;

“Commission” means the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission;

“consumer” means any natural person (whether in the State or not) who is acting wholly or mainly for purposes unrelated to the person’s trade, business, craft or profession;

“cross-border dispute” means a contractual dispute arising from a sales or service contract where, at the time the consumer orders the goods or services, the consumer is resident in a Member State other than the Member State in which the trader is established;

“Directive” means Directive 2013/11/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 20132 on alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC;

“domestic dispute” means a contractual dispute arising from a sales or service contract where, at the time a consumer orders the goods or services, the consumer is resident in the same Member State as that in which the trader is established;

“durable medium” means any medium, including paper and e-mail, that—

(a) enables information to be stored in a way that is accessible for future reference for a period of time adequate to the purposes of the information, and

(b) allows the unchanged reproduction of the stored information;

“Regulations of 2013” means the European Union (Consumer Information, Cancellation and Other Rights) Regulations 2013 ( S.I. No. 484 of 2013 );

“sales contract” means a contract under which the trader transfers or undertakes to transfer the ownership of goods to a consumer and the consumer pays or undertakes to pay the price thereof, including a contract having as its object both goods and services;

“service contract” means a contract, other than a sales contract, under which the trader supplies or undertakes to supply a service to a consumer and the consumer pays or undertakes to pay the price thereof;

“trader” means

(a) a natural person,

(b) or 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.

(2) A word or expression which is used in these Regulations and which is also used in the Directive has, unless the context otherwise requires, the same meaning in these Regulations as it has in the Directive.

(3) Save where the Directive states otherwise, where any provision of the Directive conflicts with a provision laid down in another legal act of the European Union which relates to out-of-court redress procedures initiated by a consumer against a trader, the provision of the Directive shall prevail.

(4) The Directive shall be without prejudice to Directive 2008/52/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters3 .

(5) Article 13 of the Directive shall be without prejudice to provisions of consumer information on out-of-court redress procedures contained in other legal acts of the European Union which shall apply to that Article.

Application of Regulations

3. (1) Subject to paragraph (2), these Regulations shall apply to procedures for the out-of-court resolution of domestic and cross-border disputes concerning contractual obligations stemming from sales contracts or service contracts between a trader established in the European Union and a consumer resident in the European Union through the intervention of an ADR entity which proposes or imposes a solution or brings the parties together with the aim of facilitating an amicable solution.

(2) These Regulations shall not apply to:

(a) procedures before dispute resolution entities where the natural persons in charge of dispute resolution are employed or remunerated exclusively by the individual trader;

(b) procedures before consumer complaint-handling systems operated by the trader;

(c) non-economic services of general interest;

(d) disputes between traders;

(e) direct negotiation between the consumer and the trader;

(f) attempts made by a judge to settle a dispute in the course of a judicial proceeding concerning that dispute;

(g) procedures initiated by a trader against a consumer;

(h) health services provided by health professionals to patients to assess, maintain or restore their state of health, including the prescription, dispensation and provision of medicinal products and medical devices; and

(i) public providers of further or higher education.

Place of establishment

4. (1) For the purpose of these Regulations, an ADR entity is established—

(a) if operated by a natural person, at the place where he or she carries out ADR activities,

(b) if the entity is operated by a legal person or an association of natural or legal persons, at the place where that legal person or association of natural or legal persons carries out ADR activities or has its statutory seat, or

(c) if it is operated by an authority or other public body, at the place where that authority or other public body has its seat.

(2) For the purposes of these Regulations, a trader shall be treated as being established—

(a) if the trader is a natural person, where he or she has his or her place of business, or

(b) if the trader is a company or other legal person or association of natural or legal persons, where it has its statutory seat, central administration or place of business, including a branch, agency or any other establishment.

PART 2

The Commission and General Information

The Commission

5. (1) The Commission is designated as the competent authority in the State for the purposes of these Regulations and the Directive.

(2) The Commission shall encourage relevant consumer organisations and business associations to make publicly available on their websites, and by any other means they consider appropriate, the list of ADR entities referred to in Article 20(4) of the Directive.

(3) The Commission shall ensure appropriate dissemination of information on how consumers can access ADR procedures for resolving disputes to which these Regulations apply.

(4) The Commission shall take measures to encourage consumer organisations and professional organisations to—

(a) raise awareness of ADR entities and their procedures,

(b) promote the use of ADR by traders and consumers, and

(c) provide consumers with information about competent ADR entities when they receive complaints from consumers.

(5) Where a network of ADR entities facilitating the resolution of cross-border disputes exists in a sector-specific area within the Union, the Commission shall encourage ADR entities that deal with disputes in that area to become a member of that network.

(6)(a) The Commission shall encourage ADR entities to provide training for natural persons in charge of ADR procedures for the purposes of Regulation 11(2)(a).

(b) If such training is provided, the Commission shall monitor the training schemes established by the...

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