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(art. 141 to art. 141 decies of the Consumer Code)

In case of issues related to the purchase of a product or service, regardless of whether it was purchased online or directly in a store, the consumer can resort to out-of-court dispute resolution methods (so-called "Alternative Dispute Resolution" or "ADR") regulated by Articles. 141 to 141 decies of the Consumer Code.

In general, whenever a problem arises with the purchase of a product or in the provision of a service, the consumer is encouraged to activate the tools described in the following sections.



In case of problems related to the purchase of a product or the provision of a service, first of all, the consumer is required to submit a complaint directly to the professional in order to expose the problem and explore possible solutions.

  • Contact the professional's customer service
  • Contact details can usually be found on the company's website.
  • Try to explain the problem clearly and simply and to present, as far as possible, the evidence supporting your claims (invoices, contracts, correspondence, etc.).
  • Keep in mind that the professional is required to provide all the information relating to the causes of the problem and where this is not directly solvable, the professional has the duty to direct the consumer on the initiatives to be taken.
  • If this approach doesn't work, consider whether other measures should be taken.



Where the complaint sent to the professional has not been answered or if the response is not sufficient to remedy the problem reported, the consumer can contact one of the associations of consumers and users registered in the national list kept by the Ministry of Business and Made in Italy pursuant to Article 137 of the Consumer Code, available at the following link:

  • Consumer associations are non-profit-making organisations whose sole statutory purpose is to safeguard and defend consumer rights.
  • The representative associations at national level are registered in the single national list kept by the Ministryof Enterprise and Made in Italy pursuant to Article 137 of the Consumer Code.
  • At consumer associations you can acquire useful information about your rights and you can be assisted in solving the problem that has arisen with the professional.



If, as a result of the complaint, the trader responds negatively or not at all, the consumer may activate an ADR procedure. These procedures have the advantage of offering a fast and effective solution to conflicts between traders and consumers (as well as streamlining the judicial burden) since "alternative" procedures are carried out without recourse to judicial authority. It also prevents consumers, discouraged by the costs and length of legal proceedings, from giving up the protection of their rights. Consumers and businesses thus have the opportunity to resolve any domestic or cross-border disputes concerning sales contracts or the provision of services through an out-of-court procedure managed by an ADR entity, which is supervised by a competent authority.


  • ADR stands for "Alternative Dispute Resolution".
  • These are procedures for the out-of-court resolution of disputes that comply with the requirements of Title II-bis of the Consumer Code (Article 141, paragraph 1, letter g).
  • The matter is governed by Articles. 141-141 decies of the Consumer Code. ADR procedures were introduced into Italian law by Legislative Decree no. 130 of 6 August 2015, which transposed Directive 2013/11/EU on alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes.
  • These are voluntary procedures that are activated by the consumer, who will be a plaintiff in the procedure.
  • These are fast procedures which must be concluded within 90 days from the date of receipt of the complete application file by the ADR entity; in the case of particularly complex disputes, the ADR entity may, at its discretion, extend the time limit up to a maximum of 90 days; the parties must be informed of this extension and of the new deadline for concluding the procedure (Article 141-quarter, paragraph 3, letter e).
  • These procedures are free of charge or subject to "merely symbolic costs" for the consumer (Article 141 quarter, paragraph 3, letter c). Please note that in the context of ADR procedures, the parties are not obliged to recur to legal assistance.
  • These are efficient procedures: the ADR entity must be able to have natural persons in charge of dispute resolution in possession of the requirements provided for by art.141-bis, paragraph 4, letter a), of the Consumer Code.
  • ADR entities are subject to obligations of transparency, impartiality and fairness towards the parties to the proceedings and consumers in general: in particular, ADR entities, through annual reports, must inform the "public" about the modalities of the procedure, the types of disputes, the rules governing the submission of complaints, the criteria that guide the adoption of decisions, etc. (art. 141-quarter, paragraph 2).
  • The quality of the procedure is guaranteed by compliance with the ADR consumption legislation contained in Directive 2013/11 (EU) and by the  monitoring of the activity of the registered entities carried out by the respective  competent authority: in particular, the registration in the list managed by the competent authority provides the registered ADR entities with a quality certification, so as to give them visibility at European level through the possibility of registration on the ODR platform.
  • The use of an ADR procedure does not affect the possibility for consumers and traders to bring an action before the judicial authority (Article 141(10)). Irrespective of the outcome of the ADR procedure, the consumer retains the fundamental right to bring proceedings before the competent judicial authority.


  • ADR entities are defined as "any entity, whatever it may be called, established on a permanent basis, which offers the resolution of a dispute through an ADR procedure and is included in the list established with the competent authority".
  • The obligations, faculties and requirements of ADR entities are governed by art. 141-bis of the Consumer Code.
  • In order to be included in the list established by the competent authorities, ADR entities must transmit a series of information to the competent authorities pursuant to art. 141-novies.
  • The registration procedures and verification of compliance with the requirements of stability, efficiency, impartiality and tendential non-burdensomeness of the service for the consumer, are governed by each competent authority (art. 141-decies).


The choice of the ADR entity to which to apply is made according to the type of dispute to be resolved. In this regard, three scenarios can be distinguished:

  1. The dispute arises in relation to a product or service that falls within a regulated sector.
  2. The dispute arises in relation to a product or service purchased online.
  3. Cross-border dispute.

1. Where the problem concerns a product or service falling within a regulated sector, it is advisable for the consumer to contact the competent authority for the relevant sector. By virtue of the faculty provided for in under Article 18 of the ADR Directive, the Italian State has chosen to designate more than one competent authority on the basis of the relevant sector. The competent authorities pursuant to art. 141-octies are as follows:

A list of ADR entities shall be established within each competent authority by decree or by internal measures. Each competent authority provides for the registration, suspension and cancellation of members and supervises the list as well as the individual ADR entities registered regarding compliance with the requirements established by the Consumer Code. Each competent authority notifies any update to the Ministry of Enterprise and Made in Italy, as a contact point with the European Commission pursuant to art. 141-octies, paragraph 2 of the Consumer Code, which in turn communicates to the European Commission the list of the respective competent authorities.

The ADR entities registered on the list kept by the Ministryof Enterprise and Made in Italy are divided into bodies that operate through joint negotiations and bodies set up by the Chambers of Commerce.

Bodies operating through joint negotiations:

  • Joint negotiations are procedures governed by Article 141-ter of the Consumer Code and considered ADR procedures in the case of compliance with the provisions of the aforementioned article.
  • Equal negotiations include only joint negotiations governed by memoranda of understanding stipulated between professionals or their associations and at least one third of the consumer and user associations registered in the national list referred to in Article 137 of the Consumer Code, as well as those governed by memoranda of understanding stipulated in the local public services sector according to the criteria indicated for this purpose in the agreement enshrined  at the Unified Conference State-regions and State-cities and local autonomies of 26 September 2013.
  • In the memorandum of understanding, the trader undertakes in advance to activate the procedure to resolve any disputes that may arise in the areas covered by the protocol.
  • Finally, it should be borne in mind that traders are free to conclude memoranda of understanding with consumer associations with which they undertake to resolve any disputes with consumers by means of joint negotiations, without, however, being registered on the list of a competent authority. In this case, entities operating through joint negotiation do not qualify as "consumer ADR entities" and are therefore not subject to the control of any competent authority.
  • The list of organizations operating in this sector and registered in the list kept by this Ministry can be consulted at the following link:

Bodies set up by Chambers of Commerce

2. If the issue concerns a product or service purchased online, consumers can submit a complaint through the ODR platform, managed by the European Commission. ADR entities registered with one of the competent authorities mentioned above shall be registered in the ODR platform.

  • ODR is the acronym for "Online Dispute Resolution", an English term that indicates the "online resolution of disputes"
  • This matter is governed by Regulation (EU) No 524/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013.
  • It is an electronic platform through which the consumer who has encountered problems in the online purchase of a good or service, can activate an online procedure for the out-of-court resolution of the dispute.
  • To resolve a dispute through the ODR procedure, the consumer must:
    • Connect to the ODR telematic platform, managed by the European Commission, at the web address;
    • Choose the ADR entity to contact to resolve the dispute;
    • Activate the relevant procedure.
  • The web address of the ODR platform must also be accessible from the website of the trader with whom the consumer has concluded the contract for the purchase of goods or services online.
  • Within the platform, consumers and traders can interact in all official EU languages (e.g. to submit complaints or receive notifications) thanks to a machine translation tool for free text communications. However, the parties may request that the results of the ADR procedure be translated by a professional translator.
  • The platform shall identify the ADR entities competent to deal with the case and refer the dispute to the ADR entity agreed by the parties;
  • ADR entities may use the platform's case management system to carry out the entire ADR procedure online;
  • The platform provides for precise deadlines to ensure the speed of the procedure.
  • To date, the Italian ADR entities registered on the ODR platform (notified to the European Commission by the Ministry of Economic Development) are 47.

Pursuant to Article 141-sexies, paragraph 5 of the Consumer Code, the National Centre of the European Consumer Network (ECC-Net) is designated as the national contact point for the ODR platform.

3. In the event of a cross-border dispute, except as provided for by the relevant legislation, the consumer can contact the European Consumer Centre (ECC-Net), pursuant to Article 141-sexies, paragraph 5, of the Consumer Code.

  • The European Consumer Centre Italy is part of a network set up by the European Commission, called ECC-Net, composed of national bodies designated by each State and approved by the Commission itself.
  • The ECC-Net is a network of organisations that provides free assistance and advice to consumers on their cross-border purchases, both online and through local offices. ECC-Net Italia operates with two offices: a central one in Rome (Adiconsum) and one in Bolzano (CTCU).
  • The National Centre of the European Consumer Network (ECC-Net) has been designated as an "ODR contact point pursuant to art. 7 of Regulation (EU) 524/2013" for the performance of functions such as "assistance for the submission of the complaint and, where appropriate, the relevant documents (...) the provision of information on the functioning of the ODR platform ... the transmission to the complainant party of information on other legal remedies if a dispute cannot be resolved through the ODR platform".
  • The European Consumer Centre Italy is co-financed by the European Commission and the Ministry of Economic Development, which is also a "single point of contact" with the European Commission.
  • For more information, please consult the Centre's website at the following link



  • On a residual basis, if the aforementioned instruments have not led to a solution to the problem, the consumer retains in any case the right to assert his claims before the competent judicial authority.
  • In addition, if the conditions are met, it is possible to activate the European Small Claims Procedure or obtain a European order for payment.
  • It is understood that those who have suffered damage due to the breach of contract of others can take legal action to obtain compensation for damage within the ordinary ten-year term pursuant to art. 2946 of the Italian Civil Code, except for shorter times exceptionally provided for particular categories of contracts.



  • In addition to the tools described above, if the problem is not easy to solve, the consumer can report the conduct carried out by the professional directly to the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM).
  • The AGCM has jurisdiction over unfair commercial practices, unfair terms and misleading advertising.
  • The activity of the AGCM is aimed at guaranteeing administrative protection against violations of the Consumer Code: this activity is embodied in an injunction and sanctioning power against the professionals who have committed the violations.
  • Therefore, the AGCM has no specific competence related to the resolution of disputes between individual consumers and traders.


  • Consumer Code (articles 141-141-decies)
  • Legislative Decree 6 August 2015, n. 130
  • Directive 2013/11/EU
  • Regulation (EU) n. 524/2013





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