On May 27 2015 the German Government has passed a draft law for the implementation of the EU directive on alternative dispute resolution. In addition to general legal protection, consumers in Germany should in the future refer to alternative conflict resolution bodies to solve disputes in an easy and unbureaucratic way.
- Disputes about poor quality of products and services should be settled in extrajudicial arbitration procedures that are free of charge.
- Participation is voluntary for firms, but will has to be clearly indicated in the general terms and conditions or on the firm’s website.
- In addition to private resolution bodies universal arbitration boards will be established on federal level.
Federal German Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection, Heiko Maas, commented on the enactment as follows: “Extending possibilities for out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes provides both consumers as well as firms with a low-threshold for conflict resolution. We are optimistic that the industry will initiate, accompany and support numerous dispute resolution bodies.”