The main amendments proposed in the Draft Law are as follows:
- Permanent commissions for consumer disputes should be formed. They would settle disputes, which are attributable to the competence of the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority and where the amount in dispute is above 200 euro. Commissions would consist of representatives from the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority, from a consumer association and from an association of entrepreneurs. Consumers will be able to choose whether, in case of a dispute, to apply to commissions or to go to court;
- Decisions of all institutions examining consumer disputes will be enforceable if neither party addresses the court within 1 month after a relevant decision is taken;
- Entrepreneurs will have to provide information to consumers about institutions examining consumer disputes (information will have to be published on the entrepreneur’s website and included in the standard contractual terms and conditions);
- The dispute settlement procedure will have to be conducted both electronically and non-electronically;
- Institutions examining consumer disputes will also have to examine international consumer disputes, related procedures are indicated in the Draft Law;
- Consumer disputes will be able to be settled not only by state institutions provided for in the Law but also by other (non-state) entities for out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes, i.e. permanent arbitration institutions, public legal entities established by consumer associations and associations of entrepreneurs, provided that they meet relevant statutory requirements.
Amendments proposed by the Draft Law would come into effect on 9 July 2015 and it is planned that commissions for consumer disputes would start their activities on 1 January 2016.
Commentary of Erika Dubovskytė, Associate at "TGS Baltic“: the Draft Law contains amendments related to making consumer dispute settlement procedures more effective and to enforceability of decisions taken by institutions examining consumer disputes, which should encourage parties to settle consumer disputes out of court and facilitate efficient examination of such disputes.
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