UAE Announces Strict Penalties for 46 Consumer Protection Violations

Abdullah Al Saleh Under Secretary of the Ministry of Economy 18cf9bdbda1 large

In a move to fortify consumer rights and ensure fair trade practices, the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Economy has unveiled a comprehensive list of 46 consumer protection violations, each accompanied by strict penalties ranging from Dh 100,000 to Dh 1 million. The announcement came during a recent briefing session where key legislative developments were discussed, emphasizing the government’s commitment to enhancing the consumer protection system in the country.

The unveiling of the violations coincides with the introduction of Federal Decree Law No. 5 of 2023, amending Federal Law No. 15 of 2020 on consumer protection, and its executive regulation issued by Cabinet Decision No. 66 of 2023. These legal amendments provide a robust framework to address emerging challenges and reinforce the authorities’ ability to enforce consumer protection laws.

During the briefing, Abdullah Al Saleh, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy, highlighted the significance of the new Consumer Protection Law and its executive regulation. Al Saleh outlined the two key dimensions of the legislation, focusing on empowering local authorities and strengthening deterrent measures against violators.

“The new Consumer Protection Law and its executive regulation represent a real milestone in the government’s efforts to develop the country’s consumer protection system in accordance with best practices,” stated Al Saleh. He emphasized the first dimension, which involves granting local authorities enhanced legislative powers, enabling them to efficiently handle consumer complaints, impose administrative sanctions, and act on grievances related to punitive measures.

Al Saleh further elaborated on the second dimension, stating, “The second focus area is the strengthening of deterrent measures to ensure that the merchants, either retailers, traders, or producers, meet their legal obligations.” Merchants will be held accountable through a detailed and expanded set of obligations during the sale of goods or provision of services, with nearly 43 obligations outlined in the legislation.

The strategic objectives of the Ministry align with promoting consumer rights and welfare, aiming to establish a secure and enabling environment for consumers when purchasing goods or receiving services. By broadening the scope of merchants’ responsibilities, the new regulations seek to rebalance the contractual relationship between businesses and consumers, fostering a fair and transparent marketplace.

The announced penalties reflect the government’s determination to create a strong deterrent against violations, sending a clear message to businesses that consumer protection is a top priority. The comprehensive approach adopted by the UAE’s Ministry of Economy signifies a proactive stance in adapting consumer protection laws to contemporary challenges, ensuring a just and equitable marketplace for all.

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