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Insights on the recent UAE Consumer Protection Law Amendments

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Insights on the recent amendments to the UAE Consumer Protection Law

As of 14 October 2023, the UAE has implemented significant changes with the enforcement of the long-awaited Executive Regulations to the Consumer Protection Law. Al Kabban & Associates provides essential insights into these amendments, ensuring that businesses supplying goods or services in the UAE stay informed and compliant with the new obligations.

The Consumer Protection Law Amendments: A Regulatory Milestone

Published on 14 July 2023, Cabinet Decision No. 66 of 2023 brings forth the Executive Regulations, providing clarity to the existing Consumer Protection Law (Federal Law No. 15 of 2020). The primary objective of these laws is to safeguard consumer rights, health, and safety, fostering a fair and free market in the UAE.

Scope of the Laws: Broad and Inclusive

Applicable to all goods and services within the UAE, including free zones, the Consumer Protection Law covers operations by suppliers, advertisers, commercial agents, and even e-commerce operations if the supplier is registered in the UAE. It must be noted that the term “consumer” encompasses both individuals and legal entities, offering comprehensive coverage.

Key Updates Introduced by the Executive Regulations

The key updates introduced by the Executive Regulations include:

Advertising & Promotions: Reinforcing supplier obligations, including clear price declarations, non-misleading advertisements, and mandatory Arabic language usage in invoices and warranties.

Invoices: Mandating suppliers to provide consumers with detailed invoices, including commercial registration and tax numbers, along with a description of goods or services, quantity, condition, and warranty period.

Warranties & Spare Parts: Specific requirements for suppliers regarding warranty information, spare parts mechanisms, and maintenance documentation, emphasizing fixed timeframes for providing spare parts.

Defects: Outlining procedures for suppliers dealing with defective goods, from notifying consumers of defects to recalling, returning, and replacing defective goods.

Monopolistic Practices: Addressing monopolistic practices with administrative sanctions, including fines, suspension of activities, revocation of licenses, and removal from the commercial registry.

Introduction of Dubai Corporation for Consumer Protection and Fair Trade

A related development saw the establishment of the Dubai Corporation for Consumer Protection and Fair Trade through Dubai Law No. 5 of 2023 in February of 2023. Mandated to regulate and monitor the market, this Corporation further fortifies fair trade principles, combatting monopolistic practices throughout Dubai, including free zones.

Recommendations for Compliance

It is important that all businesses and retailers understand the potential criminal penalties for non-compliance. With that in mind, we recommend:

Awareness and Compliance: Stay informed about obligations under the law.

Review Practices: Ensure labeling, warranty, and spare parts obligations are addressed.

Effective Defect Management: Implement processes to handle defective products swiftly and lawfully.

Contract Review: Review contracts with third parties to ensure compliance and appropriate risk apportionment

In conclusion, as the UAE moves towards more proactive enforcement of consumer protection laws, Al Kabban & Associates stands ready to assist businesses in navigating these complex regulatory changes, ensuring legal compliance and mitigating potential risks. Contact us to speak to one of our expert business lawyers in Dubai and let us help you navigate through the ever changing and complex legal landscape in Dubai and the UAE

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