PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS UNDER CONSUMER LAW DUBAI
Recently, the President of UAE, issued federal law No. (15) of 2020 (New Consumer Protection Law) that has repealed the existing consumer protection law. The new law is structured to cater the demand of all types of consumers and it extends to those products also which are exchanged through the electronic market. This law is also applicable to the Free zones.
Objectives of the New Law
This law is framed keeping in mind the threefold objectives namely-
- The quality of goods and services shall never be compromised with.
- The health of consumers shall be given utmost priority.
- The Consumer should adopt sound consumer patterns.
Major Highlights of the Law
- Broadened the Definition of Supplier
In the new law, the definition of supplier has been broadened to a very large extent and it captures all the legal persons which are involved in producing, storing or trading a commodity for the purpose of selling. With the increasing role of e-commerce service providers in the market, they are also brought within the definition of seller.
- Duties of Supplier
The new consumer law provides a list of duties of the seller, which are as follows-
As per Article 4(5) of the new law, the seller is obliged to protect the privacy and data security of the consumer. It is strictly prohibited to use the consumer data for the purpose of marketing and promotion.
The seller also needs to protect the religious values, customs and traditions while providing any goods and services.
As per the New law, the seller needs to provide a detailed invoice to the consumer containing all the necessary information, such as trader name, address, type of goods (or services), price and quantity, and any other data. Article 8(4) puts an obligation that the language of the invoice must be Arabic. However, the seller, in addition to Arabic, can use any other languages as per his business discretion.
If the seller wants to provide cash discount or trade discount to boost its sale, then it needs to have a license from the appropriate authority. (Article 18)
- E-commerce Entities
All the E-commerce service providers registered in the UAE are required to provide the information relating to their address and legal status to the consumers and competent authority. They are also obliged to provide a detail of specification, terms and payment and warranty.
The quantum of penalties has raised manifolds in the new consumer law in comparison to the old one. Following are some grounds in which Penalty can be imposed-
- Providing misleading information about the product and service
- Charging unreasonable prices from the consumer
- Failure to provide a clear and legible label.
- Failure to repair or replace the defective product.
- Providing misleading advertisements of the product.
If the seller is involved in any of the above said activities, he/she may be punished with an imprisonment of up to two years and a fine not exceeding AED 2 million. (Article 29)
It is a progressive law which has enhanced the safety provisions for the consumer. Further, it was a need of the hour to protect the interest of vulnerable consumers trading with e-commerce service providers.