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Consumer protection prakas issued

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CCF authorities check quality of petrol at a filling station in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district. CCF

Consumer protection prakas issued

Three ministries jointly issued a prakas on the procedures to impose fines for violation of the laws on consumer protection. The prakas sets the scope of the fines, procedures for administering them and spells out the legal consequences for violators.

The prakas released on June 3 was signed by Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth, Minister of Justice Koeut Rith and Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak.

It was issued in order to promote the effectiveness of the enforcement of the law on consumer protection, which was promulgated on November 2019.

According to the Prakas, power to enforce the fines was handed to the Consumer Protection Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General (CCF) by cooperating with judicial police after the CCF has completed an investigation on a particular case.

“In case a violator refuses to accept the notification letter and will not accept other documents related to the fine, or if an establishment has no owner or representative present to receive the documents, the CCF officials can post a notification of fines on that building and at the commune hall,” a section of the prakas states.

“The commerce ministry has to make the content of this inter-ministerial prakas widely known to the public and prepare a place to receive complaints for any fines that the CCF officials have imposed,” the document continues.

The law on consumer protection was promulgated in November 2019 to ensure that consumers are protected and to make commerce in the Kingdom more just and competitive.

CCF director-general Phan Oun said on June 8 that after the prakas was officially issued, the CCF held a meeting on June 7 with participation from all CCF branches in order to put it into action and make it widely known to the public.

“Now, the prakas is publically announced, we have discussed and sought permission from our hierarchy, especially from the commerce minister who is the chair of the Consumer Protection Committee, to make this prakas widely understood by the public,” he said.

Oun said that according to the prakas, the CCF has the power to issue fines, bills, and receipts to individuals who violate the law. The CCF is also entitled to file cases with the court.

As an example of typical CCF enforcement activity, Oun said the CCF inspected 218 petrol stations from 2020 to June 2021 and among these 218 stations it found 27 that had violated consumer protection laws, including 17 cases which were sent to court and 10 that were fined.

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