CONSUMER PROTECTION

CHAPTER 48:10
CONSUMER PROTECTION

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   SECTION

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF CONSUMER PROTECTION

   3.   Consumer rights

   4.   Undertaking of the Government

   5.   Responsibilities of the Local Authorities

   6.   Obligations of a supplier or trader

   7.   Responsibility of the consumer

   8.   Beneficial interpretation

   9.   Pyramid selling or betting prohibited

PART III
ADMINISTRATION

   10.   Establishment of the Consumer Protection Council

   11.   Vacation of office of members

   12.   Filling of vacancies

   13.   Invited persons

   14.   Chairman and Vice-Chairman

   15.   Remuneration of members of the Council or committees

   16.   Meetings of the Council

   17.   Non-liability of members of the Council or of committees

PART IV
FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF THE COUNCIL

   18.   Functions of the Council

   19.   Powers of the Council

   20.   Committees of the Council

   21.   Disclosure of interest

PART V
FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

   22.   Funds, accounts and audit

   23.   Reimbursement of expenses of members of the Council, etc.

   24.   Annual reports

   25.   Progress reports

PART VI
CONTRACTUAL PROTECTION

   26.   Standard form contracts

   27.   Relief against unfair consumer contracts

   28.   Financial transactions

   29.   Consumer credit contracts

   30.   Right of retraction

   31.   Implied contract terms

   32.   Cancellation and variation of contracts

   33.   Supplier’s or trader’s liability

   34.   Standards and support service

   35.   Consumer information on standards

   36.   Supplier or trader to provide consumer with receipt, invoice, etc.

   37.   Price to be displayed on goods, etc.

   38.   Particulars or labels on goods to be in official language, etc.

   39.   Certain words to be used to indicate warranty

   40.   Warning about harmful technology and goods

   41.   Remedies for harmful technology and goods

   42.   Offence and penalty

PART VII
ADVERTISING

   43.   Supplier or trader to provide true information

   44.   Advertisement to be truthful

   45.   Abusive advertising prohibited

   46.   Duration of advertisement necessary in promotional sales, etc.

   47.   Consumer to be compensated

   48.   Offence and penalty

PART VIII
MEASURES FOR CONSUMER REDRESS AND MECHANISMS

   49.   Representative consumer or class actions

   50.   Subordinate courts to have jurisdiction over consumer claims

   51.   Funding for the subordinate courts

   52.   Remedies and sanctions

   53.   Jurisdiction in respect of persons and causes of action

   54.   Relationship between this Act and other laws

PART IX
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

   55.   Offence and penalty

   56.   Regulations

14 of 2003
G.N. 27/2004

An Act to protect the rights of consumers, address the interests and needs of consumers, establish a Consumer Protection Council, provide an effective redress mechanisms for consumer claims and provide for other matters incidental thereto or connected therewith

[21ST OCTOBER 2004]

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Consumer Protection Act.

2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

   “abusive clause” means a clause which is or appears to be imposed on a consumer by a supplier or trader who has economic power over the consumer and which gives the supplier or trader an unfair, unconscionable or excessive advantage over the consumer;

   “abusive advertising” refers to abusive, unfair or discriminatory advertising which incites or is likely to incite violence, evokes fear or exploits profits from children, infringes environmental values or is capable of leading consumers to behave in a manner detrimental or hazardous to their health or safety;

   “advertiser” includes a supplier or trader of technology, goods or services who has commissioned the publication of an advertising message;

   “appropriate laboratory” means a laboratory or organization recognized by Government and includes any such laboratory or organization established by or under any law for the time being in force for carrying out analysis or test of any goods with a view to determining whether such goods have any defect;

   “business records” include—

   (a)   accounts, balance sheets, vouchers, records, minutes of meetings, contracts, files, instructions to employees, invoices, import documents and other instruments; and

   (b)   any information recorded or stored by means of a pen, typewriter, computer or other device whatsoever and any material subsequently derived from information so recorded;

   “Chairman” means the Chairman of the Council appointed under section 14;

   “competent authority” means a body that has power or jurisdiction, derived from any written law, over a particular issue or entity;

   “complainant” means a consumer or any consumer association who or which, as the case may be, makes a complaint;

   “complaint” means any allegation in writing or orally made by a complainant that—

   (a)   as a result of any unfair trade practice adopted by a supplier or trader, the complainant has suffered loss or damage;

   (b)   the goods or technology mentioned in the complaint had one or more defects; and

   (c)   the services mentioned in the complaint suffer from deficiency in any respect;

   “consumer” means a person who—

   (a)   purchases or offers to purchase technology, goods or services otherwise than for resale; but does not include a person who purchases any technology, goods or services for the purpose of using them in the production or manufacture of any other technology, goods or services for sale;

   (b)   receives or uses any technology, goods or services for which consideration has been paid or promised or partly paid or partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment and such person includes any user of such technology, goods or services other than the person who buys or pays for the same when such is made with the approval or acquiescence of the purchaser;

   (c)   hires or avails himself of any technology, goods or services for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid or partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment and includes any beneficiary of technology, goods or services other than the person who hires or avails himself of the same when the technology, goods or services are availed with the approval or acquiescence of the hirer;

   “consumer contract” means a contract for the sale or supply of technology, goods or services, in which the supplier or trader is dealing in the course of business and the purchaser or user is not; but does not include a contract for the sale, letting or hire of immoveable property or a contract of employment;

   “consumer dispute” means a dispute where the person or business against whom or which a complaint has been made denies or disputes the allegations contained in the complaint or having accepted the allegations, refuses, declines or fails to compensate any loss or injury suffered by the complainant to the satisfaction of the complainant;

   “Council” means the Consumer Protection Council established under section 10 of this Act;

   “defect” means any fault, imperfection or shortcoming in the quality, quantity, potency, purity or standard which is required to be maintained by or under this Act or any other written law in relation to any goods;

   “deficiency” means any fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be maintained by this Act or under any written law for the time being in force or has been undertaken to be performed by a person in pursuance of a contract or otherwise in relation to any service;

   “distribution” includes any act by which technology, goods or services are sold or supplied by one person to another person;

   “distributor” means any person in the supply chain whose activity does not affect properties of a product;

   “downstream processor” means a manufacturer who adds value to goods supplied or manufactured by another person;

   “false or misleading advertising” includes any type of business information or communication which uses text, dialogue, sound, image or description which can directly or indirectly, expressly or implied or by omission, leads a consumer to make a mistake, misunderstand or to be confused about any technology, goods or services on the market;

   “goods” include all tangible items or articles acquired or used by a consumer;

   “guarantee” means an undertaking applicable for a specified time made by a supplier or trader to pay for the cost of repairs or to replace a good that does not work due to a defect or deficiency arising from mechanical failure or faulty workmanship;

   “interest” means the prevailing interest rates charged by commercial banks at that particular time;

   “intermediate goods” means goods used as inputs in manufacturing or downstream processing;

   “Local Authority” bears the same meaning as defined in the Local Government Act;

   “manufacture” includes any process which transforms goods in order to add value to them for the purpose of resale; and includes any operation of packing or repackaging not linked to another form of transformation within a single enterprise;

   “manufacturer” means a person who—

   (a)   manufactures the product or a component part;

   (b)   assembles or fabricates parts made or manufactured by any other manufacturer;

   (c)   presents himself as the manufacturer by affixing to the product his name, trade mark or other distinctive mark; or

   (d)   reconditions the product;

   “offer for sale” includes the exposing of goods for sale, the furnishing of a quotation, whether verbally or in writing and any other act or notification whatsoever by which willingness to enter into any transaction for sale is expressed;

   “price” in relation to the transfer, supply, provision or sale of technology, goods or services, includes every valuable consideration whether direct or indirect, and includes any consideration which in effect relates to the transfer, supply, provision or sale of the technology, goods or services, although ostensibly relating to any other matter or things;

   “pyramid selling” means—

   (a)   a scheme for the sale or lease of a product whereby one person (the ‘first person) pays a fee to participate in the scheme and receives the right to receive a fee, commission or other benefit—

      (i)   in respect of the recruitment into the scheme of other persons either by the first person or any other person;

      (ii)   in respect of sales or leases made, other than by the first person, to other persons recruited into the scheme by the first person or any other person; and

   (b)   a scheme for the sale or lease of a product whereby one person sells or leases a product to another person (the “second person”) who receives the right to receive a rebate, commission or other benefit in respect of sales or leases of the same or another product that are not—

      (i)   sales or leases made to the second person;

      (ii)   sales or leases made by the second person; or

      (iii)   sales or leases, made to ultimate consumers or users of the same or other product, to which no right of further participation in the scheme, immediate or contingent, is attached;

   “retail trade” means a form of distribution by which goods are customarily sold to consumers rather than for the purpose of resale or manufacturing; and includes any act or set of acts or sale to consumers which is the subject of a consumer dispute or an action under this Act;

   “safe product” means a product or service which does not present any risk to health, environment and safety of persons or property when used for the assumed purpose or in a way in which it is expected to be used:

   Provided that a product shall not be considered dangerous only because it is possible to obtain higher levels of safety or because another safer product is available;

   “sale” includes an agreement to sell or offer for sale;

   “seller” means a person regularly engaged in retail trade or who participates in some act or set of acts of retail trade which is the subject of a consumer dispute or action under this Act;

   “service” means service of any description, which is made available to potential users and includes the provision of facilities in connexion with health, insurance, banking, including the rendering of a service free of charge or under a contract or personal service;

   “supplier” in relation to a service or technology, includes a person who performs a service or transfers technology and a person who arranges the performance of a service or the transfer of technology, goods or services to another person;

   “subordinate court” bears the same meaning as defined in the Courts Act;

   “technology”, “technology transaction” or “technology transfer” includes, mutatis mutandis, systematic knowledge or a transaction involving the transfer of systematic knowledge for the manufacture of a product, for the application of a process or for the rendering of a service and does not extend to the transactions involving the mere sale or mere lease of goods;

   “trader” in relation to any technology, goods or services means any person who sells or distributes, supplies or provides any technology, goods or services and includes the manufacturer thereof, and where goods are sold or distributed in package form includes the packer of the goods;

   “trade practice” means any practice related to the carrying on of any trade; includes anything done or proposed to be done by any person which affects or is likely to affect the method of trading of any trader or class of traders, or the production, supply or price in the course of trade of any goods whether real or personal, or of any technology or service as defined in the Competition and Fair Trading Act;

   “unfair trade practice” means a trade or business practice including the practice which, for the purpose of promoting the sale, use, supply or provision of any technology, goods or services adopts any unfair method or unfair or deceptive practice including the practice of making any statement whether orally or in writing or by conduct which—

   (a)   falsely represents that the technology or goods are of a particular standard, quality, grade, durability, composition, style or model;

   (b)   falsely represents that the services are of a particular standard, quality or grade;

   (c)   falsely represents that any re-built, second hand, renovated, reconditioned or old goods are new or unused goods;

   (d)   represents that any technology, goods or services has sponsorship, approval, performance characteristics, accessories, peripherals, uses or benefits which such technology, goods or services do not have;

   (e)   represents that the supplier or trader has a sponsorship or approval, affiliation, intellectual property, licence or franchise which such supplier or trader does not have;

   (f)   makes a false or misleading representation concerning the need for or the usefulness or utility of any technology, goods or services;

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