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Automotive Newsflash - Autoliek 3 : Can an importer refer an unsatisfied purchaser to the Automoto Conciliation Commission?

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17/04/2018

Autoliek 3 : Can an importer refer an unsatisfied purchaser to the Automoto Conciliation Commission?

Insofar that it imported and sold the new vehicle concerned in Belgium and that dispute involves a consumer, any importer can launch, intervene in and / or suggest a conciliation procedure before the Automoto Conciliation Commission (“Commission Conciliation Automoto / Automoto Verzoeningscommissie”).

This body has been set up by organisations representing the car and two-wheeler industries, TRAXIO and FEBIAC, and by organisations representing motorised road-users, TOURING and VAB.
 
Any dispute between a consumer and the seller / the importer which are related to the performance of a vehicle’s sale agreement / warranty can be brought before the Automoto Conciliation Commission. However, the request for conciliation will only be admissible if parties have previously tried to solve their dispute amicably, yet no satisfactory solution has been proposed to the consumer.
 
Failing a mutual satisfactory solution, an accredited conciliator, and – if necessary – the Commission, will try to help parties reach a settlement by proposing solutions. If appropriate, parties may also call upon an expert on a voluntarily basis.

Parties are bound by a duty of confidentiality. This implies that all documents and communications made during, and for the purpose of, the conciliation process are confidential and may not be used in any judicial, administrative, arbitral proceedings or in any other dispute resolution procedure, with the exception of the settlement proposals made by the conciliator and the content of the expert’s report (if any).
 
The settlement proposals made by the accredited conciliator and the Commission are not binding and parties may terminate the conciliation proceedings at any moment without prejudice.

If parties succeed in resolving their dispute, the agreed solution will be deemed to be a settlement agreement, binding and legally enforceable to all parties. Parties will therefore waive any and all claims they may have against arising from, in connection with or relating to the dispute, including the withdrawal of any proceedings and actions in connection with it.
 
If, on the contrary, parties cannot reach a settlement agreement through the conciliation proceedings, they may start and / or resume judicial proceedings or decide to start conciliation proceedings again.