Entry into force of Act on extrajudicial consumer dispute resolution
On January 10th 2017 new Act on extrajudicial consumer disputes resolution will enter into force. The new regulations are intended to simplify the resolution of conflicts between consumers and entrepreneurs. The main purpose of the Act is to spread the model of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which is much faster and cheaper than court litigation, which is applicable in most cases in Poland.
Entities affected by new regulations
The provisions of the Act will apply to resolve consumer disputes between a consumer residing in Poland or other EU Member State and an entrepreneur seated in Poland. The Act will apply to all entities which are selling goods through stores and online, as well as entrepreneurs providing other services.
The core of extrajudicial consumer dispute resolution
Extrajudicial procedure is primarily designed to develop quick and effective solution for disputes on the line customer – entrepreneur. At the first stage of this procedure consumer and entrepreneur shall work out the most common positions. The next step is that entity authorized to settle the dispute propose the solution to parties. The final stage is that the entity imposes the solution.
According to the Act, entities authorized to conduct extrajudicial proceedings are:
- non-public entities created by entrepreneurs operating in specific sector of market,
- public entities operating within the structures of state offices which supervise the appropriate sectors of market (inter alia Polish Office of Electric Communication, Polish Energy Regulatory Office, Polish Office of Rail Transport, Financial Supervisory Commission, etc.)
- Trade Inspection, which is competent to proceed with issues that are not fall within the competences of abovementioned regulatory authorities.
Duties of entrepreneurs
Each entrepreneur who is obliged under separate regulations to take advantage of extrajudicial dispute resolution model or voluntarily wants to use such model have to notify the customers about appropriate entity authorized to conduct such proceedings. This information shall be disclosed on entrepreneur’s website and on standard contracts forms concluded with customers if the entrepreneur uses such forms. In these cases, the entry into force of the new Act entails changes in the standard contract forms.
Regardless the above, the entrepreneur is obliged to notify the customer whether it is willing to take advantage of the extrajudicial procedure with regard to resolving the dispute or not each time when reject the compliant of customer.
The lack of such statement is considered as entrepreneur’s consent for conducting extrajudicial procedure.
If you are entrepreneur and you want to learn more about your duties and opportunities related to the extrajudicial dispute resolution model in Poland, do not hesitate to contact our polish lawyers.
We also invite you to familiarize yourself with our litigation and arbitration section.