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Posted the: 2014-05-12 Numac: 2014011245 SERVICE PUBLIC FÉDÉRAL ÉCONOMIE, P.M.E., CLASSES average and energy 4 April 2014. -Law on the integration of book XVI, "Out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes" in the Code of law economic (1) PHILIPPE, King of the Belgians, to all, present and to come, hi.
The Chambers have adopted and we endorse the following: Chapter 1. -Available general Article 1. This Act regulates a matter referred to in article 78 of the Constitution.
CHAPTER 2. -The Code of economic law art.
2. in book I, Chapter 2, of the Code of economic law, there shall be inserted a chapter 11 as follows: "chapter 11: Definitions specific to the book XVI."
S. I.19. the following definitions are applicable to the book XVI: 1 ° professional association, organization or professional body: association aimed exclusively or primarily the study, protection and the promotion of professional or interprofessional of its members interests.
2 ° consumer dispute: any dispute arising between a consumer and an undertaking relating to the performance of a contract of sale or service or use of a product;
3 ° out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes: any intervention an entity created by the authorities or an independent entity of nature private who proposes or imposes a solution or which brings together the parties for the settlement of a consumer dispute.
4 ° qualified entity: any entity private or created by a public authority that carries out the out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes and which is on the list that the federal public Service economy, SMEs, Middle Classes and energy provides and communicates to the Commission in pursuance of Directive 2013/11/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 may 2013 on the out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006 /. 2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC.
S. 3. in the same Code, a book XVI shall be inserted, worded as follows: "book XVI. -Out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes 1 title. General provision art. XVI.1. this book transpose: 1 ° Directive 2013/11/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 may 2013 on the extra-judicial settlement of consumer disputes and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC;
2 ° provisions of Directive 2006/123/EC of 12 December 2006 on services in the internal market.
Title 2. The treatment of complaints by companies art. XVI.2. in order to allow the consumer to directly lodge a complaint with the company or request the information pertaining to the execution of a contract already concluded, the company provides the information referred in article III.74 and where such a service exists, the telephone and fax number and e-mail address in the relevant service. This service cannot make reference in its name under "ombuds", "mediation", "conciliation", "arbitration", 'qualified entity' or "out-of-court settlement of disputes".
S. XVI.3. the company responds to complaints referred to in article XVI.2, in the shortest time and fact diligent to find a satisfactory solution.
XVI.4. § 1. When a company is required by law or a regulatory provision or by a code of conduct to which it endorsed as a result of his membership in an association, a professional organization or a professional order or because it is committed through its General or specific sales conditions to use the procedure of out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes It shall inform the consumer of clear, comprehensible and easily accessible.
§ 2. The information referred to in the preceding paragraph provide access to detailed information on the characteristics and conditions of use of these means of dispute resolution of consumer disputes and include contact information and the address of the internet site of the entity or the qualified entities concerned.
Where appropriate, this information is available on the website as well as in the General conditions of sale of the company.
§ 3. When a consumer dispute does not find a solution in application of article XVI.3, within a reasonable time, the company provides, on its own initiative, to the consumer the information referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 and indicates if it is obliged to or ready to resort to an out-of-court settlement of consumer dispute in indicating the coordinates of the competent entity. It shall also be communicated if this entity is a qualified entity.
This information is provided on paper or on another durable medium.
§ 4. The undertaking is required to demonstrate compliance with the requirements laid down in articles XVI.2 to XVI.4, §§ 1 and 2 and the accuracy of the information provided.
Title 3: Mediation for the chapter 1 Consumer Service. Creation and missions art. XVI.5. There is hereby established an autonomous public service having legal personality, referred to as the "Service of Mediation for the consumer", which consists of a contact point and a service for the out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes.
XVI.6. Service mediation for the consumer is responsible for the following tasks: 1 ° informing consumers and businesses about their rights and obligations, in particular on opportunities for out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes;
2 ° receive requests for dispute resolution of a consumer dispute and, where appropriate, transmit it to another qualified entity competent in the matter, or the process itself;
3 ° intervene himself in any application of out-of-court settlement of a dispute for which no other qualified entity is competent.
S. XVI.7. mediation for the consumer services annually prepare a report on the execution of its missions to the attention of the Minister.
The King sets the terms and conditions and the content of the report.
Chapter 2. Operation art. XVI.8. § 1. Mediation for the Consumer Service is managed and represented by a Board of directors consisting of ten the following members: 1 ° the two members of the 'mediation for telecommunications service', as referred to in article 43bis, § 1, of the Act of 21 March 1991 on the reform of some economic public companies;
2 ° two members of the 'service of mediation for the postal sector', as referred to in article 43ter, § 1, of the aforementioned Act;
3 ° two members of the "service of mediation for energy", referred to in article 27, § 1, of the Act of 29 April 1999 on the organisation of the electricity market;
4 ° two members of the "mediation for rail passenger service", referred to in article 11, § 1, of the law of 28 April 2010 establishing various provisions;
5 ° the Ombudsman of "service of mediation of financial services", referred to in article VII.216 of the Code of economic law;
6 ° the Ombudsman of "mediation of insurance service", referred to in section 302 of the Insurance Act of April 4, 2014.
A representative of the federal public Service economy, SMEs, Middle Classes and energy sits on the Steering Committee with advisory and provided that decisions relating to the management of the service of mediation for the consumer are the order of the day.
§ 2. Management Committee means every two years, among its members, a president and a vice-president, who belongs to the other linguistic role.
Each mediation service referred to in paragraph 1 has two votes.
In the event of equality of votes, the vote of the president is dominating. If the Chairman is prevented, it is replaced in his duties by the vice-president.
§ 3. In respect of the legal and regulatory provisions that apply, the Steering Committee is competent to take all acts of disposition and administration necessary to the management of the mediation Service for the consumer, for the fulfilment of its tasks referred to in article XVI.6.
Are, among other things, management acts, approval of annual policy, the preparation of the budget and control of its execution, the preparation of the annual accounts of revenue and expenditure as well as the development of the plan of personnel.
§ 4. The Executive Committee may decide on its own initiative of the consolidation of the budgets of the mediation services listed in paragraph 1, and the drafting of a strategic plan for an annual account and a plan of common staff.
§ 5. The members of the Executive Committee form a quorum. Fulfilling missions of mediation for the Consumer Service, the Executive Committee may grant delegations to one or more of its members by collegial decision.
When a mediator, Member of the Executive Committee, is unable to perform his duties, or when the Ombudsman's mandate has not been completed or has been terminated for any reason whatsoever, the other Ombudsmen, members of the Executive Committee, are entitled to exercise his powers temporarily.
S. XVI.9. members shall inform the Management Committee without delay of any circumstances which affect or can affect their independence or impartiality or give rise to a conflict of interest with one or the other party to an ADR procedure of a consumer dispute which they are responsible in accordance with article XVI.6, 3 °.
To this end, the Member renounces to the
participation in the deliberations of the Executive Committee or the latter replaces the Member concerned by another Member.
S. XVI.10. the Steering Committee provides a rules of procedure which is submitted to the Minister for approval.
S. XVI.11. the mediation Service for the consumer, for the fulfilment of its tasks set out in article XVI.6, is funded by: 1 ° a part of "contributions to the costs of mediation" legal or regulatory which are levied to finance the mediators article XVI.8 § 1st, for the financing of the mission referred to in article XVI.6, 1 °. Each of the concerned mediation services budgets pro rata share of the contact point referred to in article XVI.13, that it intends to use and pays this part in the mediation for the Consumer Service;
2 ° a subsidy from the general budget of expenditure.
S. XVI.12. the federal public Service economy, SMEs, Middle Classes and energy, met with logistical and material resources at the disposal of the Service of mediation for the consumer.
To this end, a contract for the provision of services will be concluded between the Service of mediation for the consumer, the sectors concerned and the Service federal public economy, ratified by the King.
Skills Section 1st Information article XVI.13. the Service of mediation for the consumer establishes a point of contact for information on the reciprocal rights and obligations of consumers and businesses in particular on existing procedures for out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes.
S. XVI.14. the mediation for the Consumer Service puts its annual report available to the public on its website.
Section 2. ADR sub-section 1st consumer disputes. Receiving requests arts.
XVI.15. § 1. Mediation for the Consumer Service receives requests for dispute resolution of a consumer dispute.
A request for dispute resolution of a consumer dispute can be submitted to the Mediation Service for the consumer by letter, fax, e-mail or on-site.
§ 2. When an application relates to a consumer dispute for which a qualified entity is competent, the mediation for the Consumer Service passes the request without delay.
It shall inform the applicant and communicates the contact details of the competent qualified entity. It also indicates that the transmission is without prejudice to the admissibility of the application.
§ 3. When an application relates to a consumer dispute for which no qualified entity is competent, the Service of mediation for treated consumers themselves demand.
Sub-section 2. Treatment of consumer article disputes
XVI.16. § 1. As soon as the Service of mediation for the consumer has all documents necessary for the review of the application referred to in article XVI.15, § 3, it shall inform the parties of the receipt of the complete application as well as the date of receipt.
2. The Service of mediation for the consumer refuses to process a request referred to in paragraph 1: 1 ° where the complaint is fantasy, vexatious, or defamatory;
2 ° when the complaint is anonymous or that the other party is not identified or identifiable;
3 ° where the complaint has already been processed by a qualified entity including if she refused to deal with it for one of the grounds referred to in article XVI.25, § 1, 7 °, with the exception of subparagraph (e));
4 ° when the complaint is the resolution of a dispute that is or has already made the subject of legal action;
§ 3. Mediation for the Consumer Service may refuse to process an application referred to in paragraph 1: 1 ° when the complaint in question has not been previously made to the undertaking concerned;
2 ° when the complaint in question was introduced for more than a year with the undertaking concerned;
3 ° when the treatment of the issue would seriously impede the effective functioning of the Mediation Service for the consumer.
4. In the three weeks following the receipt of the complete application, mediation for the Consumer Service informed the parties of its decision to continue or to refuse the processing of the application.
In case of refusal the decision is motivated.
S. XVI.17. § 1. Within 90 days calendar following the receipt of the complete application, the mediation for the Consumer Service communicates the outcome of the resolution of the dispute to the parties.
Exceptionally, this period is extendable, only once, for an equivalent duration on condition that the parties are informed before expiry of the original deadline and that such an extension is justified by the complexity of the dispute.
§ 2. When the mediation for the Consumer Service got an amicable settlement of the dispute, it closes the file and sends a confirmation in writing or on another durable medium to the parties.
If a friendly settlement cannot be obtained, the Service of mediation for the consumer shall inform the parties in writing or on another durable medium and may make a recommendation to the undertaking concerned, with a copy to the applicant.
If the undertaking concerned does not follow this recommendation, it has a period of 30 days calendar to publicize its position motivated at the Service of mediation for the consumer and to the applicant.
XVI.18. § 1. Common law limitation periods shall be suspended from the date of receipt of the complete application referred to in article XVI.16, § 1.
The suspension runs until the day where the mediation for the Consumer Service communicates to the parties:-the processing of the application is refused, in accordance with article XVI.16, § 3;
- or, what is the result of the settlement, in accordance with article XVI.17, § 2.
§ 2. As soon as the company is informed of reception by the mediation Service for the consumer of a complete application, in accordance with article XVI.16, § 1, it shall suspend any recovery procedure, until the date referred to in paragraph 1, paragraph 2.
S. XVI.19. § 1. Mediation for the Consumer Service may, on an application lodged with him, take knowledge on the spot books, correspondence, reports, and in general, any document and writes of the undertaking concerned, which have a direct connection with the subject of the application. It may request any explanation and information useful to directors, officers and employees of the company, and carry out any verification useful for the investigation.
§ 2. Mediation for the Consumer Service may be assisted by experts.
S. XVI.20. all information that the Service of mediation for the consumer gets in an out-of-court settlement of a consumer dispute, are treated as confidential.
They can be used only in the context of the extra-judicial settlement of disputes, with the exception of their treatment to the annual report.
S. XVI.21. the processing of an application for dispute resolution of a consumer dispute by mediation for the Consumer Service is free.
Chapter 4. Members of the staff of mediation for the article Consumer Service XVI.22. the King may, by royal decree deliberated in the Council of Ministers, transfer to mediation for the Consumer Service staff members employed by the services of mediation cited in article XVI.8 and set down detailed rules in this regard.
This transfer is done with full maintenance of their rights and their pecuniary and administrative seniority.
S. XVI.23. § 1. Staff members who are associated with the procedures for out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes in accordance with article XVI.6, 2 ° and 3 °, possess sufficient knowledge in the area of the settlement of consumer disputes.
The King may specify the rules for the application of the preceding paragraph.
§ 2. The staff members referred to in paragraph 1 shall immediately inform the Board of management referred to in article XVI.8 § 1st, any circumstances which affect or be considered as affecting their independence and impartiality or give rise to a conflict of interest with one or the other party to a dispute from a consumer dispute procedure with which they are associated.
Title 4. Entities qualified consumer disputes article dispute XVI.24. § 1. The federal public Service economy, SMEs, Middle Classes and energy establishes the list of entities that carry out extra-judicial settlement of consumer disputes and which meet the conditions referred to in article XVI.25 and publishes it on its web site.
This list shall be transmitted to the European Commission.
§ 2. The entity who wishes to be included in the list referred to in paragraph 1 sends request to the federal public Service economy, SMEs, Middle Classes and energy. This application contains all the data needed to demonstrate that it is meets the conditions listed in article XVI.25, § 1.
§ 3. When an entity included in the list referred to in paragraph 1 no longer complies with the conditions of this title, it is removed from the list. The entity is heard before be eventually removed from the list.
S. XVI.25. § 1. The conditions which meet a qualified, entity are as follows: 1 ° the entity is independent and impartial.
2 ° the physical persons responsible for the extra-judicial settlement of consumer within the entity disputes have necessary skills;
3 ° the entity is transparent with regard to its composition, its rules of
procedure, its funding and its activities;
4 ° the entity is, both online offline, easily accessible to stakeholders, regardless of the place where they are located, and without having to appeal to a legal representative;
5 ° the procedures are free or discounted for consumers;
6 ° the rules of procedure accurate enough when the entity considers a request as being complete.
7 ° the rules of procedure lays down exhaustively the grounds for refusal of a request for dispute resolution of a consumer dispute processing.
These can be based on the following: has) no complaint was filed prior to the undertaking concerned;
(b) the request is anonymous or the other party is not identified or easily identifiable;
(c) the application is submitted after the expiry of the period laid down by the rules of procedure of the entity; This time limit may not be less than one year from the date of the submission of the dispute to the undertaking concerned;
(d) the request is fantasy, vexatious, or defamatory;
(e) the request is not consumer disputes for which the entity is competent;
(f) Although the application falls under consumer disputes for which the entity is competent, the amount or the estimated value for the application is less than or greater than the thresholds laid down in the rules of procedure of the entity;
(g) the application aims at solving a dispute that is or has already been the subject of legal action;
(h) when the treatment of the issue would seriously impede the effective functioning of the entity qualified;
8 ° the rules of precise procedure that the entity communicates to the parties, within three weeks following receipt of the complete application, its decision whether to continue processing the request; in case of refusal, this decision is motivated;
9 ° the rules of specific procedure made in the settlement of disputes within a period of ninety days full calendar following the receipt of the application; exceptionally, this period is extendable, only once, for an equivalent duration on condition that the parties are informed before expiry of the original deadline and that such an extension is justified by the complexity of the dispute;
10 ° a possible threshold as referred to in point 7 °, f), may not be such as to exclude an unreasonable number of consumer disputes.
11 ° the procedure gives each party the opportunity to express his point of view and inspect the arguments and the facts;
12 ° the entity shall ensure the confidentiality of the information provided by the parties;
13 ° each party is informed in writing or durable medium of the outcome of the procedure in a way motivated.
§ 2. In addition to the conditions referred to in paragraph 1, qualified entities comply with the provisions of articles 1676 in 1723 of the Judicial Code whem an arbitration procedure.
§ 3. The King may specify the conditions listed in paragraph 1 in order to ensure the accessibility of qualified entities, their competence, their independence, their impartiality, their transparency, their effectiveness and their equity so that the freedom of the parties.
S. XVI.26. persons who are in charge of a procedure for out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes shall immediately inform the qualified entity or parties any circumstances which affect or be considered as affecting their independence and impartiality or give rise to a conflict of interest with one or the other party.
The King said the rules for the application of the preceding paragraph.
S. XVI.27. § 1. As soon as a qualified entity has received a complete application of ADR, the ordinary limitation periods shall be suspended.
The suspension runs until the day where the qualified entity shall communicate to the parties:-the processing of the application is denied, pursuant to article XVI.25, § 1, 8 °;
-Alternatively, what is the result of the settlement, in accordance with article XVI.25, § 1, 13 °.
§ 2. As soon as the company is informed that the qualified entity has received a complete application of ADR, the recovery procedure introduced by the company is also suspended, until the day referred to in paragraph 1, paragraph 2.
S. XVI.28. in order to ensure a treatment effective and transparent applications for out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes, the King may take measures to:-coordinate and support the entities qualified;
-create qualified entities."
4. in book XV, title 3, Chapter 2, of the Code there shall be inserted a section XI as follows: "Section XI. Sanctions to infringements of book XVI.
S. XV.127. § 1.
Are punished by a sanction of level 2, those who breach article XVI.4 XVI.2, §§ 1 and 2.
§ 2. Shall be punished for a penalty at level 3, those who, in bad faith, breach article XVI.4 XVI.2, §§ 1 and 2.
5. by way of derogation from article 2 of the law of 1 April 1971 on creation of a Board of buildings, the buildings authority is authorized to support the costs associated with the rental of the building occupied by the mediation Service for the consumer referred to in article XVI.5 du Code of economic law.
CHAPTER 3. -Provision repealing art. 6. articles 1 to 4, 25 to 28, and 50 to 53 of the Act of March 26, 2010 on the services are hereby repealed.
-Allocation of competencies art. 7. any laws or existing decrees which make reference to the provisions referred to in article 6 are presumed to refer to the equivalent provisions of the Code of economic law, as that inserted by this Act.
S. 8. the King may replace such references in the laws or existing orders to the provisions referred to in article 6 with references to the equivalent provisions of the Code of economic law, as inserted by the Act.
9. the King can coordinate the provisions of the Code of economic law, as that inserted by this law, with provisions that would have expressly or implicitly modified at the time where the coordination will be established.
To this end, it may: 1 ° modify the order, numbering and, in general, the presentation of the provisions to coordinate;
2 ° amend the references contained in the provisions to coordinate to put them in line with the new numbering;
3 ° amend the drafting of the provisions to coordinate to ensure consistency and to unify the terminology without that it can be infringed the principles embodied in these provisions.
CHAPTER 5. -Entry into force art. 10. article I.19 of the Economic Law Code, inserted by section 2 of this Act, sections XVI.5 XVI.8 XVI.1, XVI.10 to XVI.12, XVI.22, XVI.23, § 1, of the Code of economic law inserted by section 3 of this Act, and sections 4 to 10 of the Act, come into force the day after the publication of this Act in the Moniteur belge.
The King determines the date of entry into force of the other provisions of book XVI of the same Code, as that inserted by this Act.
Promulgate this Act, order that it be under the seal of the State and published by le Moniteur.
Given in Brussels, on April 4, 2014.
PHILIPPE by the King: the Minister for the economy and consumers, J. VANDE LANOTTE the Minister of the Interior and of equality of opportunity, Ms. J. MILQUET the Secretary of State for mobility, M. WATHELET Scellé of the seal of the State: the Minister of Justice, Ms. A. TURTELBOOM _ Note House of representatives: (www.lachambre.be) Documents: 53-3360-2013/2014 full record: 19 and 20 March 2014.
Senate: (www.senate.be) Documents: 5-2766-2013/2014.
Annals of the Senate: March 27, 2014.
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