EU and US to resolve e-trade gripes

The European Union and the US have agreed to support the development of effective joint alternative dispute resolution (ADR)...

The European Union and the US have agreed to support the development of effective joint alternative dispute resolution (ADR) systems, which would facilitate the growth of transatlantic border transactions on the Internet.

Keith Nuthall

A statement from a summit between European and US officials held in Washington said that settling judicial issues over "applicable law and jurisdiction" for online disputes "will be difficult to resolve in the near term".

However, if an informal agreement on out-of-court settlement procedures could be reached then this "would help to achieve global electronic commerce growth", said a joint communique. Both sides accepted systems should be fair, effective, impartial, accessible, at low or no cost to the consumer, transparent and quick-acting.

They agreed to work towards ensuring that mechanisms should adhere to certain general principles. These would include:

  • Systems and procedures should be easy to find and easy to use n Decision-makers should be impartial

  • The need to ensure that mechanisms are cheap for consumers to use

  • Providing clear information about the procedures and commitments involved.

    The EU and US also agreed that law enforcement authorities should work with businesses and consumers "to detect, prevent and stop fraudulent, deceptive or unfair activity" related to ADR systems.

  • Read more on E-commerce technology

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