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 an 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. For a list of all EU approved ADR entities, please click here.
Obligations for traders
The ADR Regulations create obligations for traders who commit to using, or are legally obliged to use an ADR entity to resolve disputes with consumers. Any such trader is 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 addition, if a consumer has submitted a complaint directly to any trader which cannot be settled, the trader is obliged to provide the consumer, in writing, with the following information:
- The name and website of an ADR entity which covers that trader’s sector;
- Confirmation of whether the trader is prepared to use that ADR entity to settle the dispute.
A trader who fails to comply with these requirements 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, D01 C576