President assents to Fair Trading Act 2022 |14 June 2022
● A law to protect consumers and promote fair competition
President Wavel Ramkalawan gave his assent to the Fair Trading Bill 2022 yesterday afternoon in a small ceremony at the State House.
With this new law, a magistrate will be assigned full-time to the Fair Trading Commission.
President Ramkalawan noted that this law is to protect the consumers. “I would like to thank the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) for the wonderful work they have done. With the new law, FTC will be operating with more legal power. We hope that with this new law, you will be able to do more work and help the consumers understand that they need to report to FTC to issue fix penalties.”
President Ramkalawan also shared that this new law is probably the longest law drafted and the National Assembly has sifted through the law before giving a positive nod from all members.
“With this law we will be able to promote fair trading in the country. I would like to seize the opportunity to tell the consumers that this law is for you and it will protect you all. There are many instances where consumers are being abused as the equipment they bought are either fake or of cheap quality. FTC is here to listen to you and do not hesitate to approach them,” noted the President.
President Ramkalawan also gave an advice to all service givers to please be honest in their dealings and do not bring in fake goods to the country.
FTC chief executive Francis Lebon told the media that “this law is an important one, not only for FTC but for the country and it will bring a new dimension in our work. The tribunal will ensure that decisions made will be carried out faster and there is more weight to them. This law will surely protect the consumers but also maintain a healthy competition and we will have to work hard”.
Mr Lebon said the new law has been drafted with the help of many people and it gives the FTC more provisions to work faster.
“With the introduction of fix penalties, the investigation officers and enforcement officers will have more power. After 12 years, we are ready to take on the new challenge and from now to December it is a transition. The chief justice has also made provision for a full-time magistrate to serve with FTC.”
The object of the Fair Trading Act 2022 is to consolidate, review and revise the law relating to fair trading, competition and consumer protection in order to align it and harmonise it with international best practices. In that pursuit, this act seeks to repeal the Fair Trading Commission Act, (Cap 267), the Fair Competition Act, (Cap 266) and the Consumer Protection Act (Cap 257).
The FTC is enjoined among other functions with enforcing compliance with the Act, advising the government on laws affecting fair trading, competition and consumer protection, and making recommendations to the government on the actual or likely anti-competitive effects or consumer protection issues that arise out of the implementation of the FTC Act 2022.
It also extensively makes provision for the protection of consumer protection rights and accordingly protects among many others the rights to fair, just and reasonable terms and conditions disclosure of information, fair and responsible marketing, fair and honest dealing, choice safety, fair value, good quality and safety for performance of services and supply of goods.
The ceremony was attended by Vice-President Ahmed Afif, Speaker of the National Assembly Roger Mancienne, Chief Justice Rony Govinden, Attorney General Frank Ally and the management team of FTC.