Consumer protection bill to be submitted next legislative year

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The Consumer Council has confirmed that the amended consumer protection bill will be submitted in the next legislative year, by the end of this year.
The confirmation comes in response to an enquiry by legislator Si Ka Lon, with the Council explaining that the bill will have to be submitted in the next legislative year, given that this year’s term provides too little time to evaluate it, due to its many amended articles.
The council added that it will continue to improve the bill prior to its submission to the Legislative Assembly.
Legislator Si also questioned the Council as to whether conflicts have appeared between consumers and shops that are not partaking in the Certified Shop Adherents scheme.
The current scheme does not allow the council to forcibly request the shops in question to resolve the conflicts, but instead such incidents can only be resolved by litigation brought about by the consumer.
The MSAR government had initially set a target date for the new law for the first quarter of last year.
The council will also consider including online stores within the proposed bill.
For disputes related to online stores that are registered locally, the council will directly contact stores and resolve issues via agents and arbitrators, it notes.
Meanwhile, for cases involving online stores that are overseas, the council will refer the case to allied associations outside the territory related to consumer rights.
The lawmaker also asked if the Certified Shop Adherents scheme would be further improved to ensure that the rights of shops and consumers are fully protected.
The Consumer Council replied that it has been raising the threshold for shops to be certified, as well as strengthening its supervision activities.
Guidance services are also provided for shops that were not certified last year, to assist them to reach the required standards.