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An Update on UAE Consumer Protection Law Brings Better Protection for Consumers


On 14th October 2023, an update to the Executive Regulations to the Consumer Protection Law (Federal Law No. 15 of 2020 on Consumer Protection) came into force.


The Executive Regulations provide for several clarifications and updates that provide better protection for consumers.


These include:


e-Commerce Provisions


e-Commerce providers are now directly responsible to consumers for failures of commodities purchased on their platforms. This simplifies the relationship between retailer and customer when problems arise. Other provisions for e-Commerce providers include ensuring that the description of products offered conform to stricter criteria as specified under the law.


Provision for Spare Parts and After-Sale Service


Suppliers are now mandated, other than in Force Majeure or emergency circumstances to provide the necessary spare parts to ensure maintenance and repair of a commodity between 7 and 30 days depending on certain circumstances.


The regulations also now provide for the relevant Minister to issue decisions determining warranty periods and terms, and prices of after-sales service for certain commodities as they see fit based on a number of characteristics. This firmly opens the door to future regulations that sit in line with the UAE's progressive sustainability goals.


Labelling and Pricing


Products must be labelled within strict criteria, and the regulations include a requirement to label risks associated with the commodity on certain category and ages of consumers. Pricing requirements have also been updated, notably including a provision that prevents additional amounts to be levied for the use of a credit card whilst buying the goods.


Restrictions on Detrimental Clauses


The regulations render null and void contractual clauses that relieves the supplier of their responsibilities and obligations under the law. Several examples are given in the regulations including but not limited to; the requirement to deal with particular finance or insurance companies, the requirement to deal with a particular agency to perform maintenance and repair during a specified period of time, and the inclusion of any clauses that allow a supplier to unilaterally change conditions of contract.


Clarity on the Handling of Emergency Circumstances


The concerned Minister shall have the power to implement interim measures to curb exorbitant increases in prices in emergencies in order to protect consumers. This may include the Minister determining the prices of certain commodities, the prohibition of export of commodities and the engagement of specific bodies for import.


Conclusion


These updates further advance the UAE's commitment to protect consumers by providing a fair and transparent marketplace, and allows the relevant authorities to sanction suppliers who break the law up to 1m AED depending on the breach.


How we can help


The Bench team has extensive experience of advising UAE retailers on consumer protection and e-commerce matters and is well placed to assist with reviewing and updating your business terms and practices to comply with the new regulations. Please contact me at geoff@thebenchlaw.com or your normal contact at The Bench for further details.

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