Press Release
14 December 2018 - 11:28am

The Government of the Virgin Islands has announced the proposed draft of the Consumer Protection Act, 2018.

The draft Consumer Protection Act provides for the promotion and protection of consumer interest, in relation to the supply of goods and the provision of services. It ensures the protection of life, health and the safety of consumers.

Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion, Honourable Alvera Maduro-Caines said, “Consumer protection has long been a matter of priority for the Virgin Islands. In recent times, it has become even more a priority of the Government as a result of allegations of unethical business practices that arose after the devastating impact of hurricanes Irma and Maria.”

Honourable Caines added, “It is therefore important for us to address these issues and put the necessary measures in place to protect the consumers, as well as promote fair trade within our growing business community.”

“As we continue in our recovery, fair trade will be more important for the long-term survival of the economy where consumer issues would be addressed in their entirety through the necessary legislative and regulatory instruments,” she added.

The Act also establishes and sets out the administrative functions of the Consumer Affairs agency, as well as a Consumer Affairs Tribunal, and  provides for the appropriate legislative procedures, rules and private sector standards that protect consumer rights and interests and promotes consumer welfare.

These include: the duties of the suppliers to ensure they adequately meet consumer needs; the issues of unfair terms and practices; product liability; consumer safety; recall of goods; and distance selling.

The draft act also takes into account the interests and needs of consumers thereby ensuring that the Government identifies and applies practical solutions to addressing consumer needs while avoiding undue pressures or imposition of additional burdens on the business community.

The objective is to ensure that the Government identifies and applies practical solutions to addressing consumer needs while avoiding undue pressures or imposition of additional burdens on the business community.

The Government of the Virgin Islands will provide and maintain adequate infrastructure to develop, implement and monitor the Consumer Protection Policy. Special care would be taken to ensure that the measures for consumer protection are implemented for the benefit of all sectors of the population.

In the coming weeks, the Government will be undertaking a series of public consultation meetings for which further information will be forthcoming. Additionally, the public is encouraged to read the draft Act and provide feedback via email at premieroffice@gov.vg with the captioned subject "Consumer Protection Feedback".

Notes:

  1. Official photo of Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion, Honourable Alvera Maduro-Caines. (Photo credit: GIS)
  2. Official audio statement on the Draft Consumer Protection Act, 2018 by Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion, Honourable Alvera Maduro-Caines.
  3. Proposed draft of the Consumer Protection Act, 2018 is attached.

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