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Consumers and Users

1. If a resident in Spain buys goods or contracts services with a business owner established in the United Kingdom (UK), which legal system will apply and which judicial authority will have jurisdiction?

The withdrawal of the UK from the European Union (EU) means, when this takes effect, that it acquires the status of a third country, and consequently it will no longer be subject to EU law on consumer protection in contracts for the purchase of goods or the provision of services entered into between consumers that are resident in Spain (or any other EU Member State) and business owners whose registered office is in the UK, the latter thus being subject to the application of British law. EU law, or, as the case may be, Spanish law, will be applicable if the resident in Spain enters into a contract with an establishment located in Spain, but whose business owner is domiciled in the UK or when the latter offers its goods or services through a web page to a consumer resident in Spain.

2. What will happen with conflicts that may arise between business owners established in the UK and consumers resident in Spain as a result of entering into a consumer contract?

Consumers resident in Spain that enter into contracts with business owners established or domiciled in the UK may not use the online dispute resolution platform (ODR Platform) to resolve potential conflicts, nor resort to alternative dispute resolution entities (ADR entities) notified to the European Commission, whose accreditation will be revoked. As is the case in the previous point, an exception exists in the event of consumers resident in Spain that enter into a contract with an establishment located in Spain, but whose business owner is domiciled in the UK or when the latter offers its goods or services through a web page to a consumer resident in Spain.

3. What will happen with alternative dispute resolution entities notified by the UK to the European Commission which were included until now on the list of entities accredited in the EU and which to date could be chosen by the consumer to resolve the dispute when presenting a claim on the ODR Platform?

Dispute resolution entities accredited and notified by the UK will lose their accreditation, and consumers resident in Spain may not resort to them when they contract with a company domiciled in the UK, except in those cases mentioned in the two previous points (establishment open in Spain or web page that offers its products or services in our country even though this is a business owner domiciled in the UK).

4. What will happen if I have to file a small claim against a business owner whose registered address is located in the UK?

Since it is a third country, you will not be able to file a small claim against the business owner with which you have a dispute if its registered office or headquarters are located in the UK, since this is a procedure applicable to EU Member States, provided for in Regulation (EC)) no 861/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007, establishing a European small claims process. If the Spanish resident makes a purchase in a British establishment located in Spain, or through a British web page that offers its products in Spain, then it may resort to the Spanish courts of justice.

5. What happens to my rights as a consumer resident in Spain and an EU citizen if, following Brexit, I contract a package holiday or a travel service associated with a company whose headquarters are located in the UK but does not promote its activity in our country?

Spanish legislation on package holidays and related services will not apply, this being the transposition of Directive (EU) 2015/2302 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on package holidays and associated travel services. Henceforth, British law will apply.

6. In relation to contracting package holidays and associated travel services, will the mutual recognition of protection from insolvency still exist (which implies, among other things, the acceptance by a Member State of all protection established by a business owner in the Member State of its establishment) between Member States, obviously including Spain and the UK?

No, since the UK becomes a third country, the mutual recognition that exists between EU Member States will cease in relation to the protection of consumers in the event of the insolvency of business owners that organise or sell package holidays and associated travel services, established in the UK.

Non official translation


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