Cross-border claims cap increased by ESCP

ROME- European consumers can welcome the news that the cap for cross-border claims made by consumers through the European Small Claims Procedure (ESCP) has been increased from 2,000 euros to 5,000 euros as of Friday July 14, 2017.

The ESCP, which first became operational in Jan 2009, is a simple and inexpensive EU-wide procedure that is available to both consumers and traders allowing them to pursue cross-border claims within the internal market.

When a consumer encounters a problem with good or services purchased from traders in another EU country they sometimes don’t know what to do or who to turn to. There’s a lot of help and options out there for them; this includes the European Consumer Centre Network and the European Small Claims Procedure. If a consumer has tried to contact the trader, obtained assistance from ECC-Net and yet the matter is not resolved to the consumer’s satisfaction, or it doesn’t fall under ECC remit, then there is still the option of the ESCP. It’s great news that the limit for claims has been increased to 5,000 euros.

The procedure is quite simple and it applies only to cross-border cases. So, for example, you can make a claim in Ireland for a faulty product which you bought online from a trader based in another EU country. You just have to fill out the ESCP form, pay a small fee of 25 euros, and lodge it with the Registrar in your local District Court office.

The new limit on claims is the result of efforts by the European Commission to make the ESCP more widely available and efficient for consumers. On June 23, 2015, following a series of trilogues, the EU Parliament and Council reached a compromise on the proposal to increase the ESCP’s jurisdiction and the agreement was subsequently endorsed by the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) and JURI Committee. On Dec 19, 2015, Regulation (EU) 2015/2421 was adopted with the new changes to take effect from this Friday July 14, 2017.