19 July 2016
The European Commission opened an Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) website for consumers and businesses on 15 February 2016. The service will be offered in all official languages of the EU. All entrepreneurs selling goods or services online to other EU Member States have been required, since 9 January 2016, to ensure that their websites link to an Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) website and to inform their clients about the opportunity to use the ODR website if disputes arise. Entrepreneurs must also publish their email addresses on their websites.
The Online Dispute Resolution website offers a new means of resolving disputes related to cross-border trade within the EU, but does not prevent a case from being taken to court. However, a court procedure is often slower and more expensive, while Alternative Dispute Resolution is fast and inexpensive. An out-of-court body resolves disputes in a maximum of 90 days.
There are three out-of-court dispute resolution bodies in Finland: the Consumer Disputes Board, the Finnish Financial Ombudsman Bureau FINE and the Traffic Accident Board. Of these three, the Consumer Disputes Board is most often the competent authority. Entrepreneurs should instruct consumers to contact the Finnish Consumer Advisory Service before contacting the Consumer Disputes Board, as the latter may refuse to process the matter if the Consumer Advisory Service has not been contacted.
Finland's ORD contact point for matters related to cross-border trade is the European Consumer Centre. If you would like to learn more about the ODR forum, contact us.
Information about Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) within the EU
The ODR website
Infographics for entrepreneurs
Regulation (EU) No 524/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on online dispute resolution for consumer disputes and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC (Regulation on consumer ODR)
Watch a video: