Raising Awareness on Access to Justice
Raising Awareness on Access to Justice


2013 01 25

Recovery of Small Amounts is Uncomplicated

To protect their rights infringed in other EU member states, consumers may pursue several options: to try to settle the dispute by negotiations, apply for assistance to organisations of consumer right protection or seek redress at court. A video film created by the Lithuanian Consumer Institute features one of the most convenient possibilities of judicial dispute resolution – the European Small Claims Procedure. 

The European Small Claims Procedure is applicable in all member states of the European Union (except Denmark) since 1 January 2009. Consumers may use the procedure in order to get reimbursement of the money paid for the faulty goods or services bought in another EU member state or for the faulty or undelivered products ordered and paid online. The procedure regulates the settlement of cross-border disputes when the amount claimed, excluding interest, expenses and costs (e.g., for legal services, translation of documents, etc.), does not exceed EUR 2000 (LTL 6905.60).

"If the purchase of goods or services in another EU member state has breached your consumer rights and you are willing to get the money back, simply fill out the standard complaint form on the e-Justice portal www.e-justice.europa.eu . Print out the application in Lithuanian and in the language of the defendant, enclose the documents supporting the claim (invoices, receipts, etc.) and submit everything to a competent court," explained attorney at law Dr. Laura Gumuliauskienė. "It usually takes up to three months to hear small claims at court. The court's decision rendered according to this procedure may be enforced automatically in any EU member state, making it, in principle, impossible for the defendant to dispute it."

The video film created by the Lithuanian Consumer Institute presents the European Small Claims Procedure through the case of unsuccessful online purchase in another EU member state. The consumer who pays almost EUR 2000 for the camera online does not get the camera delivered and decides to protect his rights at court. As the statistics of 2010–2011 of the European Consumer Centre shows, more than half (56 per cent) of all EU consumer complaints are related to electronic commerce. Most often problems are related to failure to deliver the goods or services (38 per cent) or to their quality (32 per cent). 

The video film has been produced implementing the Project "Raising Awareness on Access to Justice”, which is financed by the  2007-2013 specific programme "Civil Justice" of the European Commission, the Lithuanian Consumer Institute, the Bulgarian National Consumers Association "Active Consumers" and by the national budget funds of the Republic of Lithuania. More information: http://www.vartotojai.lt/lt/civiline-teisena 

More information: 
President of the Lithuanian Consumer Institute
Zita Čeponytė 
Tel./fax (8-5) 2310711
E-mail: info@vartotojai.lt 

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