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Consumers (21-09-2012)

EU Consumers: settling small cross-border disputes without any hassle

Hunting for cross-border bargains is a way for consumers to get the 'best deal' across the EU's internal market. Shopping online makes these bargains ever more accessible. But sometimes things can go wrong: there might be a problem with the goods or with delivery. To avoid difficult, costly and time-consuming legal procedures, the European Union is facilitating access to justice for consumers in Europe, so that they can effectively enforce their rights. The European Small Claims Procedure is one of the solutions available to resolve cross-border disputes in cases involving amounts of €2,000 or less. However, a new report from the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net), released today, shows that this user-friendly procedure, available since 1 January 2009, is often under used. This is mainly because judges are not aware of the procedure - something the Commission intends to tackle vigorously.

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