Although the previous law also prescribed the possibility of extrajudicial dispute resolution, it did not take off in practice, probably since traders weren’t obliged to enter into a mediation proceeding, which the consumer started on their own initiative. However, the new Law will establish the obligation of traders to participate in mediation, and if they do not, a misdemeanor liability, as well as a fine amounting to 50,000 dinars awaits them.
The consumer has to be notified about this obligation of the trader, so the trader is obliged to inform the consumers in a clear and visible way at their retail space. If you have an e-shop, make sure to update your general business and sale conditions with all information and notifications necessary, otherwise, you shall face a fine and misdemeanor liability.
The disputes shall be led by a specialized body whose work is funded from the budget, meaning that the proceeding itself will be free, and the only expenses for parties in the proceeding are representation expenses, travel expenses, and similar. The decision in these proceedings will be entrusted upon parties who have at least two years of experience in civil law, and are registered on the list of bodies for extrajudicial consumer dispute resolution, and their status is equal to mediators.
Another important novelty when it comes to peaceful dispute resolution is that a census regarding the worth of the dispute does not exist: namely, up till now, in extrajudicial proceedings, a dispute that is worth more than 500,000 dinars was nonexistent. However, now, there is no such limit, so the possibility that the existing disputes will be solved peacefully is greater.
The basic precondition for the consumer to start an extrajudicial proceeding is to firstly, file a complaint to the trader. It is important to take into account that one year after their (unsuccessful) submission of the complaint, the consumer loses their right to file a motion for extrajudicial dispute resolution. So, be careful and take care of the deadlines in any particular case.