20 July 2014

Tanzania to Change Law

Arusha — The government is going to review the regulations that govern consumer standards in order to protect the rights of its people.

Joshua Msoma, Senior Consumer Protection Officer at the Fair Competition Commission (FCC), has confirmed that the exercise will be carried out soon after the industry and trade minister has endorsed the new regulations.

He said once reviewed, the standard forms would protect the consumers against the violations they encounter when purchasing goods and services. "There are some businessmen who tell their consumers that goods once are not returnable. This is absolutely not fair,' he said.

He said consumers have the right to question or get from the seller anything they purchase without any restrictions. Consumer protection is derived from Articles 11, 14 and 18 of the Constitution of Tanzania, 1977 which recognizes consumers' rights and their protection roles.

There is legislation enacted to serve various matters, but also protect the consumers, he said.

He mentioned them as the Fair Competition Act 2003, Merchandise Marks Act 1963, Standards Act 1975, Weights and Measures Act 1982, Occupational Health and Safety and the Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act 2003. The FCC official said the consumer is obliged to understand the Fair Competition Act and how it can help him in pursuing their rights and remedies.

He advised consumers to be alert and question the price and quality of goods and services availed to them and ensure they are fairly treated in business transactions.

Msoma said consumers need to search and use available information before any purchase to ensure they always make informed and responsible decisions pertaining to their choice of goods and services. He said there are a number of consumer protection provisions in the Fair Completion Act which need to be adhered to. Some of them are protection against price fixing, output restrictions and collective boycotts between competitors, which might affect their rights.

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