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Macau consumer protection bill further delayed

An amended Macau consumer protection bill will be submitted next legislative year, says the territory’s Consumer Council.

Because of the bill’s many amended articles, the council says it will have to be submitted in the next legislative year as there is too little time to evaluate it this term. Meanwhile, the council will continue to improve it before it is submitted to the Legislative Assembly, and also consider including online stores.

The Macau government initially set a target date of the first quarter of last year for the new law.

Legislator Si Ka Lon has asked the council whether there have been conflicts between consumers and shops not part of the Certified Shop Adherents scheme. Under the scheme, the council cannot force shops to resolve conflicts. Instead, consumers need to resort to litigation.

Si asked that the scheme be further improved to ensure that the rights of shops and consumers are fully protected.

In response, the council says it has been raising the threshold for shops to be certified, as well as strengthening its supervision activities. Guidance services are available for shops not certified last year to help them to reach the required standards.

Meanwhile, for disputes related to online stores registered locally, the council says it will directly contact stores and resolve issues via agents and arbitrators. Cases involving overseas online stores will be referred to allied associations outside the territory related to consumer rights.

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