Verbandsklagenricht-linienumsetzungsgesetz enters into force
Today, the so-called "Verbandsklagenrichtlinienumsetzungsgesetz" (VRUG) entered into force [BGBl. 2023 I Nr. 272 vom 12.10.2023]. The core part is the new Consumer Rights Enforcement Act (VDuG). Organizations can now initiate actions for redress. We already reported on the legislative procedure in our blog. The law brings some innovations for consumers. We reported on these in our blog post in July [[The new collective action lawsuit - Consumer Rights Enforcement Act has been passed in the Bundestag | Advant Beiten (advant-beiten.com)].
Overview of the most relevant features:
- Qualified consumer organizations can bring similar claims of consumers against a company by means of an action for redress.
- Qualified entities from EU member states can also bring cross-border actions for redress before German courts.
- Companies with less than ten employees and an annual turnover below EUR 2 million may join an action for redress in the same way as consumers.
- In order to bring an action for redress at least 50 consumers have to be potentially affected. Consumers must register their claims in a register. With the action for redress consumer organizations can directly sue for payment to consumers.
- The court can furthermore determine a collective total amount for all claims raised. Within the framework of an implementation procedure, a court-appointed trustee fulfils the claims of the concerned consumers out of this amount.
The new action for redress can significantly relieve the courts' workload in the coming years. This is to be welcomed. It will also make it easier for consumers to pursue their claims. Whether organizations and consumers will accept the action for redress as a new option for legal protection will be seen in the course of the next few years.
Dr Ralf Hafner