The rights of consumers

The fight to give consumers a voice to speak out on issues that are affecting them is continuing as the Consumer Protection Advisory Committee works to put together a bill to ensure that consumers are protected.

Halim Brizan – Chairman of the Consumer Protection Advisory Committee

Chairman of the committee and Director of Statistics at the Ministry of Finance, Halim Brizan told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that the committee will be piggy backing on a chapter from the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas in an effort to develop the legislation.

“It will be responsible for overseeing development and enactment of consumer protection legislation in Grenada and that is the overall responsibility of the community”, he said.

The background to the consumer protection legislation is the CARICOM revised treaty of Chaguaramas chapter 8 part 2, article 184 and 186, which mandates that CSME member states take appropriate action including the enactment of consumer protection legislation and the establishment of relevant institution for the protection of consumer and the promotion of consumer welfare.

Brizan noted that the establishment of the committee is all in the interest of consumers across the region.

“The revised treaty of Chaguaramas mandates that member states take this action to advance the interest of consumers in the region and not just any legislation but we’re aspiring to enact harmonised legislation so that you will have similar redress in the various member states of CARICOM,” he said.

According to Brizan, the model CARICOM Consumer Protection Bill which was approved last year at the Legal Affairs department of CARICOM at the 21st meeting will be what the committee will focus on.

“…We will be taking this model bill, in fact there was OECS commission consultancy that advanced the CARICOM model bill in terms of adapting it to the specific requirements of member states.

“So Grenada has a draft consumer protection legislation … and that is what the Consumer Protection Advisory committee … will be working with …to finalise it and to bring it for enactment.

Brizan is confident that once the bill is enacted, it will serve to promote the interest of consumers in Grenada.

“…That law will establish what the consumers rights are and establish responsibilities of suppliers. It will set out approved legislation, standards, codes and requirements. It would help to speak to the power of our agency, the consumer affairs office and it will also establish a consumer affairs office,” he said.

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