May 22 2015.

Plans to improve and broaden the use of a simplified procedure for low-value cross-border claims to recover money from abroad, so as to cut costs and paperwork for both consumers and businesses, have been backed by the legal affairs committee.

The proposed changes would make the procedure available for more cases, cap court fees at 5 per cent of the claim value and encourage the use of electronic communications, such as emails and video conferences. The lead MEP on the subject, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, said; “With the rise in cross-border trade in the EU, the need to provide effective redress mechanisms to support economic activity has become increasingly vital. I am pleased with the European Commission's proposal to make the procedure for the investigation of cross-border claims simple and easy to use for citizens, regardless of where they live or what language they speak, in addition to increasing the threshold to €10,000 for companies (€5,000 for people), allowing both individuals and SMEs to use this method of legal redress.”

The European Small Claims Procedure, in use since 2009, is a simplified procedure based on standard forms for recovering money across EU member states.

CLICK HERE for further information.