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LEGAL NEWS - Online Dispute Resolution – Compliance of online traders in the EU and information obligations

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22. June 2018

According to European law, online traders have since 2013 been obliged to provide information about the Online Dispute Resolution scheme (hereinafter “ODR”) of the EU on their homepages in a transparent manner (Regulation EU No. 524/2013).

The ODR platform is an online tool that allows EU consumers and traders to settle disputes concerning online purchases. According to the regulation cited above, online traders and online marketplaces established in the EU are required to provide an easily accessible electronic link to the ODR platform on their websites. In addition, online traders have to provide their e-mail address that consumers need for submitting a complaint against them on the ODR platform.

According to a recent report, only 28% of EU-online traders comply with their obligation to provide a link to the ODR platform though (“ODR: Web-Scraping of EU Traders’ Websites”). In particular, medium-sized traders (26%) and small-scale traders (14%) do not comply with this obligation. With regard to EU Member States, German traders lead the way in providing the link (66%).  Only 44% of Danish traders comply with the relevant obligation.

Traders can find guidance on how to provide the link on the following website:

https://europa.eu/youreurope/promo/odr-banners/index_en.htm

The link has to lead to the ODR platform with one click. Thus, it is not sufficient to merely provide an URL.

Regarding the placement of the ODR link, it can most often be found in the Terms and Conditions of the traders.

In contrast to the compliance with the obligation to provide a link to the ODR platform, a total of 85% of the traders provide their e-mail address as required by EU law.

EU-online-traders that violate the above-mentioned obligations expose themselves to certain sanctions. For instance, traders that do not comply with their obligations can receive a written warning because of anti-competitive conduct.

For further information you are welcome to contact attorney Stefan Reinel at sr@njordlaw.com

Last modified
22. June 2018
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