His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the State, may God protect him, issued on 10 November 2020, Federal Decree-Law number (15) of 2020 regarding consumer protection (Consumer Protection Law), published in the latest issue of the Official Gazette. The Consumer Protection Law enhances the system of consumer protection state and provides more controls and mechanisms to implement the required control over the markets and ensure their stability and prosperity and achieve a balanced relationship between merchants and consumers in the various markets of the country.
The law has been formulated after extensive discussions and reviews between the Ministry of Economy and the various concerned authorities in the country, led by the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health and Community Protection, the Federal Authority for Standardization and Metrology, local governments, economic development departments, chambers of commerce and others, in addition to referring to decisions and instructions of the United Nations on consumer protection and international best practices in this regard. The law is also in line with the laws regulating competition, food safety, combating commercial fraud, trademarks, and other relevant laws in the country.
The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, through the Consumer Protection Department, works to ensure the compliance of economic establishments to conduct their business in accordance with the regulations and laws regulating the business sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, providing a safe and encouraging economic environment for consumers and merchants, and enhancing their confidence in the ease of doing business in the Emirate.
The Consumer Protection Section of the Commercial Protection Department receives complaints from consumers and dealers by approaching a well qualified commercial lawyer regarding any abuses by commercial establishments licensed by the Department. It also provides services to inquire about any other services that would support the interests of consumers and preserve their rights contained in Federal Law Number (15) of 2020 regarding consumer protection, in addition to educating consumers and investors about their rights and duties related to consumer protection.
The law aims to protect all consumer rights, in particular, the quality of the good and service and obtaining them at the declared price, maintaining the health and safety of the consumer when obtaining the commodity or receiving the service, without harming him when using or receiving the service, and encouraging sound consumption patterns. The provisions of the law in accordance with Article (3) shall apply to all goods and services within the state, including free zones, and related operations carried out by the supplier, advertiser, or commercial agent, including those carried out by electronic commerce methods if the supplier is registered within the state and without breach of international treaties and agreements to which the state is a party.
The decree issued by Federal Law number 15 of 2020 regarding consumer protection focused on achieving a number of important goals, foremost of which is ensuring the quality of the commodity and service provided to the consumer and obtaining it at the declared price, and maintaining the health and safety of the consumer when obtaining, using, or receiving the commodity, service or its use, and encourage proper consumption patterns.
The law defines mechanisms for dealing with price increases in abnormal conditions, as well as provisions related to the implementation of guarantees for goods and services, and consumer protection in the context of e-commerce activities. E-commerce by providing consumers and the competent authorities with their names, legal status, addresses and licensing bodies, Adequate information in Arabic about the offered commodity or service, its specifications, contract terms, payment and guarantee, and the controls and mechanisms are specified in the executive regulations, noting that the Ministry is not responsible for e-commerce operations that take place through unlicensed providers within the country.
The provisions of the law apply to all goods and services within the country, including the free zones. It also includes transactions that take place through electronic commerce, if the provider is registered in the country.
The law defines consumer rights with a number of items, most notably: