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House approves tougher consumer protection legislation

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File photo: Ledra Street (CNA)

The House of Representatives on Friday approved tougher consumer protection legislation with 43 votes in favour and three abstentions.

The vote of the omnibus bill in the last session of parliament before it dissolves for the May 30 elections, was attended by Energy Minister Natasa Pilides whose portfolio also includes consumer rights.

In statements, the minister thanked the House for approving an important tool that significantly bolsters consumer protection.

The new legislation consolidates, modernizes and codifies laws on consumers and boosts the authority of the consumer protection service with a view to more effective protection of consumer rights and better coordination among various bodies.

It also aligns national legislation with the EU regulation of 2017 on cooperation between national authorities responsible for implementation of consumer protection laws.

It gives the consumer protection service the authority to impose sanctions, including administrative fines, and to apply to court for injunctions after a complaint or at its own initiative in cases of violations.

Currently, the service does not have the power to effectively implement important laws such as that on abusive clauses in contracts which allowed perpetrators not to take immediate corrective action.

The law also authorises the service to take measures ad regards online stores’ adherence to laws on consumer protection. It sets out that during sales, the price tag must specify the price the product was selling at immediately before while service businesses must display their price list.

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