CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   1   Short title

 

PART I
Interpretation

   2   Interpretation

   3   Application

   4   Criteria for organisations purporting to provide services for protection of consumers

 

PART II
Establishment and Functions of the Commission

   5   Establishment of Consumer Affairs Commission

   6   Functions of Commission

 

PART III
Administration

   7   Complaints made to the Commission

   8   Discretion not to conduct investigation

   9   Power to investigate not precluded

   10   Summoning persons to give evidence

   11   Obligations of persons summoned

   12   Paper, book, record or document as evidence

   13   Funds and resources of the Commission

   14   Keeping of accounts and records

   15   Annual reports and estimates

   16   Exemption from income tax

   17   Minister to make orders

 

PART IV
Duties of Providers and Consumers

   18   Information to consumer

   19   Measurement of goods

   20   Receipt to be given to consumer

   21   Warranties

   22   Damage resulting from use of service or goods

   23   Damaged goods sold to consumer

   24   Return of defective goods

   25   Return of electrical goods

   26   Approved and non-approved services

   27   Businesses offering repair services

 

PART V
Misleading and Deceptive Conduct, False Representations and Unfair Practices

   28   Misleading or deceptive conduct

   29   Misleading public as to the nature, etc of goods or services

   30   False or misleading representation

   31   Non-delivery of goods or services on contracted date

   32   Advertising

   33   Advertised delivery date

   34   Conditions of demanding and accepting payment, etc

   35   Court may order payment of damages or costs

 

PART VI
Unfair Contracts

   36   Breach of duty or obligation

   37   Excluding or restricting liability by contract

   38   Reliance upon contractual provisions where breach

   39   Indemnity subject to reasonableness

   40   Loss or damage from defective goods or negligence of manufacturer

   41   Effect of Sale of Goods and Hire Purchase Acts

   42   Satisfying reasonableness where contract terminated

   43   Reasonableness

   44   Alternative dispute resolution

 

PART VII
Miscellaneous

   45   Goods or services acquired by instalment

   46   Apportionment of payments where service not received

   47   Purporting to act on a Bill of Sale

   48   Registration of providers

   49   Minister may amend monetary penalties

   50   Regulations

   51   Vesting of property

      SCHEDULE

 

THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT

[Date of Commencement: 1st June, 2005]

Acts
9 of 2005,
15 of 2006.

1   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Consumer Protection Act.

PART I
Interpretation (sections 1-4)

2   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act unless the context otherwise requires-

   "acquire" in relation to-

   (a)   goods, includes obtaining by way of gift, purchase, or exchange, the taking on lease, hire or hire purchase; and

   (b)   services, includes accepting the provision of those services;

   "advertisement" means any form of communication made to the public or a section of the public for the purpose of promoting goods or services and "advertise" shall be construed accordingly;

   "business" includes a professional practice or any other undertaking that is carried on for gain or reward or in the course of which goods or services are supplied otherwise than for free of charge;

   "consumer" in relation to-

   (a)   any goods, means-

         (i)   any person who acquires or wishes to acquire goods for his own private use or consumption; and

         (ii)   a commercial undertaking that purchases consumer goods;

   (b)   any services or facilities, means any person who employs or wishes to be provided with the services or facilities; and

   (c)   any accommodation, means any person who wishes to occupy the accommodation;

   "document" includes, in addition to a document in writing-

   (a)   any map, plan, graph or drawing;

   (b)   any photograph;

   (c)   any disc, tape, sound track or other data (not being visual images) which are embodied so as to be capable (with or without the aid of some other equipment) of being reproduced therefrom; or

   (d)   any film (including microfilm), negative, tape or other device in which one or more visual images are embodied so as to be capable (with or without the aid of some other equipment) of being reproduced therefrom;

   "goods" includes all kinds of property other than real property, securities, money or choses in action;

   "hire purchase agreement" means an agreement for the bailment of goods under which the bailee may buy the goods, or under which the property in the goods will or may pass to the bailee;

   "negligence" means the breach-

   (a)   of any obligation, arising from the express or implied terms of a contract, to take reasonable care to exercise reasonable skill in the performance of the contract;

   (b)   of any common law duty to take reasonable care or exercise reasonable skill in the performance of a contract; or

   (c)   of the common duty of care imposed by the Occupiers' Liability Act; and

   "provider" in relation to-

   (a)   any goods, means any person who sells goods;

   (b)   any services or facilities, means any person who provides services or facilities.

   (2) In this Act a reference to-

   (a)   the acquisition of goods includes a reference to the acquisition of property in, or rights in relation to, goods, in pursuance of a supply of the goods;

   (b)   the supply or acquisition of goods or services includes a reference to an agreement to supply or acquire goods or services;

   (c)   the supply or acquisition of services includes a reference to the supply or acquisition of goods together with other property or services; and

   (d)   the supply or acquisition of services includes a reference to the supply or acquisition of services together with property or other services or both.

3   Application

   (1) Subject to subsection (2), this Act shall apply to all persons involved in trade or business whether through the purchasing or vending of goods or services.

   (2) The Minister may by order, subject to affirmative resolution, exempt categories of trade or business from the application of this Act.

4   Criteria for organisations purporting to provide services for protection of consumers

   Any organisation purporting to provide services for the protection of consumers shall be a non-profit organisation the purpose of which is to-

   (a)   promote and protect consumer rights;

   (b)   represent the collective interests of consumers before judicial or administrative bodies;

   (c)   represent consumers' interests to government and persons engaged in the business of producing, supplying or distributing goods or providing services; and

   (d)   collect, process and disseminate objective information for the benefit of consumers.

PART II
Establishment and Functions of the Commission (sections 5-6)

5   Establishment of Consumer Affairs Commission

   (1) There shall be established for the purposes of this Act a body to be called the Consumer Affairs Commission (hereinafter in this Act referred to as the Commission), which shall be a body corporate to which the provisions of section 28 of the Interpretation Act shall apply.

   (2) The provisions of the First Schedule shall have effect as to the constitution of the Commission and otherwise in relation thereto.

6   Functions of Commission

   (1) Subject to subsection (3), the Commission shall-

   (a)   carry out, at the request of a consumer who has been adversely affected, such investigations in relation to the sale of goods or the provision of services as will enable it to determine whether the goods were sold or the services were provided in contravention of this Act or Part IV of the Electronic Transactions Act and thereafter to make such report and recommendations in connection therewith as it thinks fit to the Minister;

[15/2006 s 38.]

   (b)   carry out, on its own initiative, such other investigations in relation to the availability of goods of any class or description as it thinks fit and make such report and recommendations as it thinks fit to the Minister;

   (c)   promote the development of organisations formed for the protection of the consumer and ensure that they fulfill the criteria listed in section 4;

   (d)   collect, compile and analyze information in relation to any trade or business;

   (e)   provide information to consumers on their rights as consumers and any other form of consumer education;

   (f)   implement education programmes for the benefit of consumers, suppliers and service providers;

   (g)   seek to resolve disagreements between consumers and providers; and

   (h)   carry out such other functions as the Minister may assign to the Commission from time to time.

   (2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Commission may, for the purpose of exercising or discharging any of its functions under this Act, do anything and enter into any transaction which, in the opinion of the Commission, is necessary to ensure the proper exercise or discharge of its functions.

   (3) The Commission shall investigate, in the manner provided in sections 7 to 12, any action alleged to have been taken by a provider to the disadvantage of the complainant.

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