Consultation on the amendment of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Directive and Repeal of the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Regulation

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is seeking views from stakeholders and interested parties on the following two proposals the first of which aims to make the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) framework work better for consumers, traders and ADR entities and the second aims to discontinue the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform.

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Directive and the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Regulation form the European legislation on out-of-court consumer redress.

  1. Proposed EU Directive which aims to improve the ADR framework by amending Directive (EU) 2013/11 (alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes) as well as Directives (EU) 2015/2302 (package travel and linked travel arrangements), (EU) 2019/2161 (the better enforcement and modernisation of Union consumer protection rules) and (EU) 2020/1828 (Representative Actions)


  1. Proposed EU Regulation repealing Regulation (EU) 524/2013 (online dispute resolution) and amending Regulations (EU) 217/2394 (cooperation between national authorities) and (EU) 2018/1724 (single digital gateway), with regards to the discontinuation of the European ODR Platform

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Directive

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Directive gives consumers the opportunity to resolve disputes arising from contractual obligations, against traders established in the EU, using quality out-of-court procedures. Its main objective is to ensure that in all Member States (MS), ADR entities comply with common criteria and can be accessed to resolve disputes across all sectors of the consumer market in a fast, amicable and affordable manner. The legislation provides consumer protection enabling consumers resolve low-value disputes without the need to go to court. The Directive helps traders retain their good reputation as they participate in ADR procedures and comply with the outcomes.

The Directive was adopted in 2013 and has not been amended since, despite changes in the consumer market, in particular in relation to its expanding digital dimension, as consumers are purchasing much more on-line, from both EU and non-EU traders.

The increase in online trading has led to an increase in consumers exposure to unfair practices, like dark patterns, hidden advertising, fake reviews, distorted price presentations or a lack of pre-contractual information. These trends can also impact offline purchases. Consumers need more efficient procedures to handle disputes which are becoming more complex.

The objectives of the revised ADR Directive are to:

  1. Make the ADR framework fit to digital markets by covering a broad range of consumer rights that may not be explicitly described in contracts or which relate to pre-contractual stages.
  2. To enhance the use of ADR in cross-border disputes.
  3. To simplify the ADR procedures for all involved in the process, including the reduction of reporting obligations on ADR entities, the reduction of information provision obligations on traders, while also encouraging traders to increase their engagement in ADR.

Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Regulation

While the ADR Directive establishes a general framework for consumer redress, the ODR Regulation was adopted for the sole purpose of establishing the European Online Dispute Resolution Platform, where consumers and traders could refer their disputes over online purchases to ADR entities.

The ODR platform has been in operation since 2016. However, despite a high number of visits, it is only enabling an average of 200 cases EU-wide per annum, to be dealt with by ADR entities. It is considered that this level of performance does not justify the costs incurred by the Commission to maintain it, nor the cost borne by online businesses and public bodies to comply with their obligations under the ODR Regulation.

The objective of this proposal is to repeal the ODR Regulation, thereby discontinuing the ODR platform and removing the obligation on online businesses to provide a link to the platform and manage an email for communication purposes.

The draft Directive and Regulation will undergo the normal legislative process through the European Institutions and the draft documents and supplementary information, including a Table indicating proposed changes and the EU Commission public consultation details can be found at Alternative Dispute Resolution for consumers.


A Response Template is attached which sets out the changes proposed and views are now sought on any Article(s) of interest.  

Views from interested parties on the draft Directive are requested by 12 noon, Wednesday, 27 March 2024.

Submissions should be marked 'EU directive on Alternative Dispute Resolution' and can either be emailed to or sent in hard copy to the Competition and Consumer Policy Unit, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, 1 Earlsfort Centre, Lower Hatch St, Dublin 2, D02 PW01. 

Your attention is drawn to the fact that information provided to the department may be disclosed in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2014. Therefore, should you consider that any information you provide is commercially sensitive, please identify same, and specify the reason for its sensitivity. The department will consult with you regarding information identified by you as sensitive before making a decision on any Freedom of Information request. Any personal information, which you volunteer to this department, will be treated with the highest standards of security and confidentiality, strictly in accordance with the Data Protection Acts 1988-2018. 

The department may also decide to place any submissions received by it on the department’s website. A decision on any such placement may occur without prior consultation with respondents to this process. Thus, it is in the interests of respondents to highlight, in their submissions, any commercially sensitive or confidential information at the time of submission.


Further information may be obtained by contacting the Competition and Consumer Protection Unit of the Department by emailing

Topics: Competition and Consumer Policy