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Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Amended Consumer Protection Act also gets preliminary nod from House

LEGISLATION WATCH- The House also gave a preliminary nod yesterday to the amended Consumer Protection Act, according to Youm7, which stands out among all of the Ismail government’s economic legislation as the only one that is clearly statist and anti-free-market. The latest draft of the act has not yet been released, so there are still some questions on what is in the law.

What we know about the Consumer Protection Act: The latest to come out of the act is that it enshrines the powers with any humorless Consumer Protection Authority (CPA) head to ban advertising he or she believes is misleading or harmful, the newspaper notes. Newly revealed features of the law include consumer protection provisions in e-commerce. The law will also force retailers to print a breakdown of prices on their goods including profit margins, media reports suggest (take that with a heaping cup of salt, folks). The new law also lays out guidelines for product recalls as well as enforcing stricter penalties for those violating consumer protections regulations on quality and health issues. The proposed bill would also make the CPA an independent regulator under cabinet and not under the Supply Ministry. We’ve also noted previously regulations in the act that would impact auto dealerships.

Perhaps the most burning question for the private sector (and one which the government hasn’t mentioned in over a year) are provisions on price controls. From what we’ve been hearing, the CPA can move to regulate and institute price controls on goods it deems essential or strategic after receiving sign-off from cabinet.

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