The resolution of conflicts generated in e-commerce will have a new arbitration center that should move forward in October. The signing of the protocol for the creation of this center is scheduled for today, which involves the Ministry of Justice and three associations in the sector.
Although there are no data on the number of conflicts generated by the growth of online purchases, the indication of entities linked to the sector is that the conflict has been increasing, as would be natural with the greater adherence of the Portuguese to this purchasing system.
The CIMACE – Electronic Commerce Information, Mediation and Arbitration Center will operate in a virtual way and intends to resolve disputes created by the trade relations that occur between suppliers and consumers, related to transactions carried out on the Internet.
Among the matters dealt with at the Arbitration Center are the interpretation, validity and execution of electronic contracts and conflicts arising from the protection of consumer rights. Purchases of products and services, such as travel, or failure to deliver the purchased goods, are among the issues that can be resolved at this center.
This will be the first completely virtual arbitration center and the only one prepared for use by people with visual impairments. To connect to the arbitration center, users only have to use the computer with Internet access and a webcam.
The Arbitration Center creation model has been applied to several areas, namely Consumer and Administrative.
Voluntary arbitration is a private form of dispute resolution, presenting itself as an alternative to recourse to the courts and has the impartiality of involvement of a third party, the arbitrator. The decision taken has the same enforceability as a sentence handed down by a judge of law of a first instance judicial court, which can be appealed to the Court of Appeal.
The associations involved in signing the protocol with the Ministry of Justice are the Portuguese Association for Consumer Protection (DECO), the Association for Electronic Commerce and Interactive Advertising (ACEPI) and the Portuguese Association of Distribution Companies (APED).