Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumers
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has a role in relation to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes that aim to resolve disputes between consumers and traders out-of-court.
What is ADR?The term ADR covers a wide variety of processes which are aimed at resolving disputes out-of-court. They include mediation, arbitration and conciliation. The process involves the use of an independent third party to help disputing parties reach a resolution on their issue.
The European Union (Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes) Regulations 2015 – S.I. No. 343 of 2015 and S.I. No. 368 of 2015 – aim to promote the availability of high-quality and independent ADR processes to consumers, for both domestic and cross-border disputes, and both online and offline sales and services contracts. The Regulations set out the requirements which a dispute resolution entity must fulfil to be listed as an ADR entity and specify the information which a trader must make available to a consumer. It is voluntary for dispute resolution entities to be listed under the Regulations and for traders to use these ADR entities.
The CCPC is now accepting notifications from entities wishing to be listed as an ADR entity under the Regulations.
Becoming a ADR entity under the Regulations
A dispute resolution entity established in the State that wishes to become an ADR entity under the Regulations must notify the CCPC using this notification form.
The CCPC must assess whether the entity:
(a) qualifies as an ADR entity falling within the scope of the Regulations and
(b) complies with the quality requirements.
The CCPC maintains a public list of ADR entities that have been notified to it and which fulfil the requirements. The list is available on this page.
Obligations for traders
If a dispute resolution entity becomes an ADR entity under the Regulations, this creates obligations for traders who decide to continue to use the ADR entity, or are legally obliged to use that ADR entity to resolve disputes with consumers. Any such trader is then obliged to provide consumers with the name and website of the ADR entity in the following ways:
- On the trader’s website (where one exists);
- In the general terms and conditions of sales or services contracts;
- In writing to a consumer who has submitted a complaint directly to the trader that could not be settled, specifying whether the trader will make use of the ADR entity to settle the complaint.
A trader who fails to do this can face a fine of €4,000, or imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both.
If you have a query on ADR, you can contact us:
By email: email@example.com
By phone: +353 1 402 5500
In writing to: ADR Team, CCPC, Bloom House, PO Box 12585, Railway Street, Dublin 1