Specialized body to resolve claims on land transport contracts
Transportation Arbitration Boards
What are the Transportation Arbitration Boards?
The Transport Arbitration Boards are a body of the Administration of the Community of Madrid similar to a Court that resolve conflicts that may arise between two companies, or between a company and an individual, related to a transport contract by road, rail, or wired.
A simple written claim and a quick and easy appearance are enough to resolve the claims that arise.
There are two Arbitration Boards: the one for merchandise and the one for passengers, each one is made up of a President, a Secretary (both belonging to the Administration) and two members, belonging to the various entities and most representative associations of the transport sector that are try.
The Transportation Arbitration Boards, in addition to their arbitration function, can act as depositaries and, in some cases, authorize the sale of goods not withdrawn, that are at risk of being lost because they are perishable goods or when their postage has not been paid.
The intervention of the Boards is free.
What can I claim and how does transportation arbitration work?
In relation to the transport of goods you can claim:
Non-payment of the price and transportation costs.
Merchandise losses, breakdowns, or delays.
Non-compliance with fees.
In relation to passenger transport you can claim:
Breakdowns or loss of luggage or orders.
The unilateral modification of contractual conditions.
Personal damage during transportation.
The non-application of discounts (large families, etc).
The lack of comfort conditions of the vehicles (bus, railway).
Failure to comply with vehicle lease contracts.
Likewise, you can also make the following requests before the corresponding Arbitration Board:
Request the deposit of merchandise in the cases provided by law, or, where appropriate, request the alienation of merchandise not withdrawn that is at risk of being lost or whose postage has not been paid.
Request expert functions on transported goods.
Request information and opinions on the conditions of compliance with land transport contracts and auxiliary and complementary transport activities.
No, but if you want to submit to it, you must state it in the corresponding contract. If nothing is said and the amount claimed is less than €15.000, the Arbitration Boards will be competent by default, but if it is higher, they cannot be used.
In the contract there may be a clause of Adherence to a specific Arbitration Board, since they exist in all the Autonomous Communities (that is why it is very important to read the fine print). If this clause does not exist and, remember, the amount claimed is less than €15.000, you will have to go to the origin or destination of the transport, or to the place where the contract was signed.
Regarding this last criterion, if the contract has been formalized online and a user has participated, the regulations establish that the place of celebration is the domicile of the latter. If two companies have celebrated it, the place of celebration will be the domicile of the company that has provided the transport service in question.
Within 10 days following notification of the award, either party may request the Board to correct any calculation, copy, typographical or similar error, clarify a specific point or part of the award, supplement it with respect of requests formulated and not resolved and the rectification of the partial excess of the award, when it has been resolved on issues not submitted to the decision of the Board or not subject to arbitration.
For formal or procedural reasons, an annulment action can also be brought for the specific reasons detailed in the arbitration regulations.
Outside of these cases, the final award produces the effects of res judicata and against it, only the appeal for review can be filed in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Procedure Law for final judgments.
In the event that any of the parties fails to comply with the award, the other may request its forced execution before the Court of First Instance.
How is the Procedure Started?
The procedure begins with the corresponding request for arbitration before the competent arbitration board.
How is the Procedure Developed?
Once the suitability and sufficiency of the request has been verified, the Arbitration Board summons the parties in conflict to an oral hearing, to present their arguments or provide evidence.
It is not necessary to have a lawyer or solicitor, it is enough to attend the hearing in person, or through a representative.
Non-attendance at the hearing supposes the file due to withdrawal of the file
During the oral hearing there is the possibility that the parties reach an amicable agreement.
Otherwise, within a maximum period of 6 months (extendable up to 8 by reasoned decision), the board will issue the Arbitration Award
There are certain occasions in which impediments to the transport or delivery of the goods transported under the agreed conditions may arise, when they are at risk of being lost or in some cases of non-payment of the price and transport costs. In these cases, the Transportation Arbitration Boards can act as depositaries of the goods, with this deposit having the effects of delivery.
In case of non-payment of the price of transport or other expenses incurred by the carrier on the occasion of that, within a maximum period of ten calendar days from the time the latter retained the merchandise. In all other cases there is no maximum term, although it must be requested as soon as possible.
The merchandise will be physically deposited in the premises available to the Arbitration Board, and if it does not have them, it may decide that it be done in the premises or warehouses of the applicant itself, with its agreement, which must be responsible for its custody, having the right to receive this work the amount of storage costs. If there is no availability of suitable premises, the deposit may be denied.
At any time during the procedure, the parties can reach an agreement, for example, taking charge of the goods or paying for the transport. If this does not happen, the carrier may request the alienation of the merchandise, which may be done through auction, direct sale or by a specialized person or entity. It is also possible that, when the Board checks the condition of the goods, it determines that they are in poor condition for use or consumption, agreeing on their destruction or "disposal" without the need to agree on the deposit.