New EU fast-track for small claims procedures
Consumers can now pursue cross-border claims through the European Small Claims Procedure up to the value of €5,000. This raises the threshold for cross-border claims made by consumers through the European Small Claims Procedure (ESCP) from €2,000 to €5,000. It's part of a package of new rules which take effect today, 14th July 2017.
The new rules also simplify the procedure by allowing much of it to take place online and thus avoiding the cost of travelling to court. They also lay down that court fees must be proportionate to the claim.
A Fact-sheet on the Small Claims Procedure can be downloaded here.
The ESCP, which first became operational in January 2009, is a simple and inexpensive EU-wide procedure that is available to both consumers and traders allowing them to pursue cross-border claims within the internal market.
In Ireland, the European Consumer Centre (ECC), www.eccireland.ie in Dublin can help consumers with the process. If you have tried to contact the trader, got help from ECC but things are still not resolved to the your satisfaction, then there is still the option of the ESCP. The procedure is quite simple and it applies only to cross-border cases. So, for example, you can make a claim in Ireland for a faulty product which you bought online from a trader based in another EU country. You just have to fill out the ESCP form, pay a small fee of €25, and lodge it with the Registrar in your local District Court office.
The new limit on claims is the result of efforts by the European Commission to make the ESCP more widely available and efficient for consumers. On 23rd June 2015, following a series of negotiations, the EU Parliament and Council reached a compromise on the proposal to increase the ESCP’s jurisdiction. On 19th December 2015, Regulation (EU) 2015/2421 was adopted with the new changes to take effect from this Friday, 14th July 2017.
ECC Ireland is part of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net), which covers 30 countries (all EU countries plus Norway and Iceland), and offers a free and confidential information and advice service to the public on their rights as consumers, assisting consumers with cross-border disputes. ECC Ireland is co-financed by the European Commission and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
 Except for Denmark