Digital Services Act: certification process for out-of-court dispute settlement bodies - Overview in 12 countries 25 June 24 Jérôme Dheur

Cullen International has just published a new benchmark showing in twelve selected countries if there is information on the certification process of out of court dispute settlement (ODS) bodies, on who the certified bodies are likely to be and on the financing of the bodies.

The Digital Services Act (DSA) provides that users of online platform services have a right to choose an ODS body to resolve disputes over content moderation decisions. ODS bodies need to be certified by the member state's digital service coordinator (DSC) and must issue their decisions within a reasonable period. The DSC can revoke their certification if the conditions are no longer met, but must allow the ODS bodies to respond first. The European Commission will list the certified bodies on a website.

On cost structure, the DSA specifies that online platform providers must cover reasonable fees that should not be higher than the costs (not further specified) borne by the ODS body.
For the complainants’ fee, the ODS body has two options: it must be free of charge or be a nominal fee. If the complainant wins, the platform must reimburse the nominal fee and any reasonable expenses related to the dispute settlement. If the platform wins, the complainant will only cover his/her own fees, unless it is found to be acting in bad faith, in which case he/she also needs to cover the platform’s expenses.

The benchmark shows that seven out of the twelve EU countries covered have made available information on the certification process of ODS bodies: Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Sweden. In these countries, the designated DSC makes available on its website information about the procedure to apply (including an application form) and the rules to follow to be certified.

It also shows that information on the financing of the bodies is available in four countries. 

For more information and access to the benchmark, please click on “Access the full content” - or on “Request Access”, in case you are not subscribed to our European Media service.


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