Law No. 144/2015, of 8 September, was published in the Official Gazette, transposing Directive 2013/11/EU of the European Parliament and Council of 21 May 2013, on alternative dispute resolution, and sets out the legal framework of mechanisms for out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes, by repealing Decree-Law No. 146/99, of 4 May, and paragraph 60/2011, of 6 May.
This law creates obligations for companies and organizations who want to carry out extra-judicial settlement of consumer disputes and also creates a Consumer Arbitration Network.
It also states that the General-Directorate for the Consumer is the competent authority to monitor the functioning of these entities, establishing the principles and rules by which alternative dispute resolution bodies for consumer disputes must abide, and the legal framework for entities for the resolution of extra-judicial consumer disputes in Portugal.
Companies that provide goods or services in Portugal are required to inform consumers about the arbitration centres available to them to resolve conflicts from 23/03/2016.
In case of litigation, the consumer can turn to one of the RAL entities – Resolução Alternativa de Litígios de Consumo [Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumers], on the list made available on the Consumer Portal at www.consumidor.pt