New law improves consumer rights
  • | VOV | July 01, 2011 08:38 PM

The new law, which came into effect on July 1, will be an effective legislative tool for protecting consumer rights.

This was emphasised by Bach Van Mung, Director of the Vietnam Competition Administration Department (VCAD) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

According to Mung, the new regulations will create a firm foundation for the effective protection of consumer rights in the future.

He said that unfavourable articles for consumers mentioned in the contracts of goods and service traders are no longer valid as of July 1.

In addition, business individuals and organizations trading in the list of essential goods and services are asked to register a sample of standard contracts with the State agency.

Ensuring eight rights of consumers

United Nations eight consumer rights:

The right to satisfaction of basic needs
The right to safety
The right to be informed
The right to choose
The right to be heard
The right to redress
The right to consumer education
The right to a healthy and substainable environment

Do Gia Phan, a permanent member of the Vietnam Standards and Consumers Association (VINASTAS) said the eight rights of consumers mentioned in the new consumer protection law are in line with those adopted by the United Nations.

Accordingly, Vietnamese consumers are now able to enjoy the rights to be better informed in their purchases and to be compensated when they are unfairly treated. The new law also welcomes consumers to contribute their ideas and to participate in implementing new laws and policies relating to consumer protection.

Besides the clear regulations on the consumer rights, the law prohibits goods and service traders from conducting fraudulent or misleading acts by way of providing inaccurate, misleading, or concealing the information about their goods or services.

However, Phan said, the community is not fully aware of the law so in many cases, consumers do not know how to protect themselves or ask for the authorities’ help.

He proposed enforcing the law through communications work to raise consumer awareness of their role as well as providing them with the skills to protect their legitimate rights.

“Only by providing necessary knowledge can we help 90 million Vietnamese consumers protect themselves in their millions of transactions,” Phan stressed.

Consumers protected more effectively

Regarding the responsibilities of goods and service traders as mentioned in the law, Vu Thi Bach Nga, Head of the VCAD’s Consumer Protection Board, said the regulations in the new law will improve consumer protection.

According to the law, business individuals and organizations are required to label their goods, publicly display prices of goods and services, and provide sufficient information on the possible adverse effects of goods and services on the health of consumers.

They are also asked to inform consumers about their capacity to supply spare parts or accessories for replacement, provide user guides and procedures of warranty if applicable.

VINATAS permanent member Dinh Thi My Loan, appreciated the involvement of arbitrators to the settlement of disputes.

According to the new law, whenever there are disputes, consumers are obliged to provide evidence and proof on civil proceedings as regulated by laws.

She clarified that service and goods traders are obliged to prove that they have not committed any violations against consumer rights.

She said the new law is crucial to help protect consumer rights.

The Law on Consumer Rights Protection, passed by the National Assembly on November 17, 2010, took effect on July 1, 2011. It replaces the 1989 Ordinance on Consumer Right Protection.



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