ECODIR Resolution Rules
1. Application of the Rules
- The ECODIR Rules apply where the
Parties have agreed to submit to the ECODIR process
to try to resolve their dispute.
- The ECODIR process deals exclusively
with disputes arising out of Internet transactions
involving at least one consumer (e.g. a consumer and
a business or two consumers). Disputes related to
illicit content are excluded from its scope as are
issues related to corporal damages, family, taxation
and intellectual property.
- ECODIR designates the
online consumer dispute resolution organisation whose
services are available at the following address: www.ecodir.org.
- ECODIR process, designates
ECODIRs online process composed of three phases,
namely negotiation, mediation and recommendation.
- Form designates electronic
document forms provided by ECODIR and completed by
the Parties and the Mediator during the process.
- Secretariat designates
the office of the Clerk of ECODIR.
- Secure Site of the case in
question designates the private website storing
the set of data, documents and information relevant
to the case to which only the Secretariat, the Mediator
and the Parties have access with a username and a
- First Party designates
the party filing an Invitation to Negotiate.
- Second Party designates
the party responding to the Invitation to Negotiate.
- Mediator designates
the individual appointed by ECODIR, to assist the
Parties during the Mediation and the Recommendation
- Settlement designates
the agreement reached by the Parties regarding a dispute.
- Consumer designates
3. The Process
The Negotiation Phase
- In order to access the ECODIR platform,
the First Party must create a confidential user account.
- Once the user account is created,
the First Party completes the Description and Proposal
form available on ECODIRs website, stating his/her
version of the facts and one or more proposed solutions
to resolve the dispute. Once completed, this form
is submitted to the Secretariat.
- Once the form is received by the
Secretariat, a message is sent automatically to the
Second Party. Upon receipt of the invitation to negotiate
message, the Second Party shall have seven (7) calendar
days to respond to it.
- If the Second Party does not respond
to the invitation within the seven (7) day period,
he/she is presumed to have refused to negotiate and
the case is terminated.
- If the Second Party responds to
the invitation to negotiate within the seven (7) day
period and accepts one of the solutions proposed by
the First Party, a message is sent automatically to
the First Party and the case is terminated. An Agreement
form formalizing the Settlement is generated by the
- If the Second Party responds to
the invitation to negotiate and does not accept any
of the solutions proposed by the First Party, the
Second Party shall indicate his/her allegations and
- If none of the solutions proposed
initially by the Second Party are accepted by the
First Party, one of the Parties can ask for the appointment
of a Mediator or both Parties can continue to negotiate.
- From the creation of the First
Partys user account, the Parties have eighteen
(18) calendar days to negotiate and exchange as many
proposals and as much information as they wish. After
the eighteen (18) day period, if the Parties have
not reached a Settlement, a message will be sent to
give them the opportunity either to start the Mediation
Phase or to terminate the process.
- Once the Parties have agreed to
participate in the Mediation Phase, a Mediator is
appointed to the case in question by the Secretariat
and the Parties are automatically notified. The Mediation
Phase begins on the date of the appointment of the
Mediator to the case in question.
- The Mediator is given access to
the Secure Site of the case in question to review
the information, proposed solutions and arguments
exchanged by the Parties during the Negotiation Phase.
- The Mediator invites the Parties
to communicate, exchange documents and arguments.
- The Mediators proposed solutions
are submitted to the Parties for their comments.
- If the Parties select one common
solution, the dispute is considered resolved. An Agreement
form is prepared by the Mediator to formalise the
Settlement. At this stage the case is terminated.
- If the Parties did not select a
common solution among the solutions proposed by the
Mediator within fifteen (15) days from the beginning
of the Mediation Phase, the Recommendation Phase is
- Within four (4) days from the beginning
of the Recommendation Phase, the Mediator makes a
recommendation and indicates the reasons therefor.
- Except when the Parties have entered
into a valid prior agreement to be bound by the final
recommendation of the Mediator, it shall not be legally
- If the Parties do not approve the
final recommendation of the Mediator within seven
(7) days following the Recommendation, the case is
- If both Parties accept the final
recommendation of the Mediator, the recommendation
becomes a Settlement. An Agreement form is prepared
by the Mediator to formalize the Settlement. At this
stage the case is terminated.
4. Implementation of the Settlement
Thirty (30) calendar days after the
settlement of a case, the Secretariat contacts the Parties
to enquire if the Settlement has been implemented. If
not, the Parties are invited by the Secretariat to provide
Article 5. Appointment of Mediator
The Mediators field of expertise,
geographic location and language proficiency are taken
into consideration in their appointment.
Article 6. Role of the Mediator
- The Mediator assists the Parties in an independent
and impartial manner in their attempt to reach an
amicable settlement to their problem.
- The Mediator will be guided by principles of fairness
and justice, giving consideration to, among other
things, the rights and obligations of the Parties
and the circumstances surrounding the dispute.
- The Mediator undertakes not to act as a representative
or counsel of a party in any arbitral or judicial
proceedings in respect of a dispute that is the subject
of the process.
Article 7. Replacement
- A Mediator may be replaced in case of death, incapacity,
or resignation that is accepted by the Secretariat.
- As quickly as possible, the Secretariat shall proceed
with the appointment of a new Mediator.
- The new Mediator shall review the information exchanged
and continue the process where it was interrupted.
Article 8. Parties Representation
During the ECODIR process, the Parties
may be represented or assisted by persons of their choice.
Article 9. Role of the Parties
- The Parties shall exercise their best efforts to
reach an agreement.
- The Parties shall submit proposed solutions for
the settlement of the dispute.
- The Parties shall co-operate in good faith with
the Mediator and the other party
- The Parties shall respect the confidentiality of
the process and information provided by the other
party, as established in Article 10 of the present
Article 10. Confidentiality
- Except if the Parties decide otherwise all settlements
reached through ECODIR's website will be kept confidential.
- Except if the Parties decide otherwise, the Secretariat,
the Mediator and the Parties must keep confidential
all matters relating to the process and all communications
exchanged during the process. Confidentiality extends
also to the Settlement, except where its disclosure
is necessary for purposes of implementation or enforcement.
- When the Mediator receives information from a party,
he/she will disclose the substance of the information
to the other party, unless the party specified that
the information must be kept confidential.
- The Secretariat, the Mediator and the Parties will
not disclose any information acquired during the course
of the proceeding to any person unless compelled to
do so by a court of law.
- Data might be extracted from cases for the purpose
of publishing and circulating anonymous dispute resolution
information and statistics.
Article 11. Communications
- The Parties shall communicate with the Secretariat
and the Mediator through the case site messaging system.
- All communications with the Secretariat and the
Mediator must be transmitted using the applicable
forms when such forms exist. In all cases, the Mediator
shall communicate with the Secretariat through the
case site messaging system.
Article 12. Language of the
- The communications coming from
ECODIRs Secretariat are available in English.
- The language of resolution of the dispute is
the common language of the Parties. By default,
the language of resolution of the dispute will
be the language of the transaction that gave rise
to the dispute.
Article 13. End of process
The process ends:
- When the Parties reach a Settlement.
- When one party or all Parties ask for the termination
of the process or otherwise fail to participate
in the ECODIR process.
- If the Parties do not accept the final recommendation
made by the Mediator.
Article 14. Settlement
- At any stage of the process, the Parties may
reach a Settlement. The Settlement shall not be
legally binding for the Consumer.
- By agreeing electronically to a solution, the
Parties put an end to their dispute.
- The Settlement is archived and
accessible for a period of sixty (60) days.
Article 15. General provisions
The Secretariat may amend the
ECODIR Rules in consultation with the partners of
the ECODIR Project . The Rules in effect at the
time of the submission of the Invitation to Negotiate
continue to apply until the end of such case.