St. Kitts government amending law to strengthen consumer protection

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BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Friday March 18, 2016 – Existing consumer legislation is to be repealed and replaced with improved legislation to address consumers’ concerns.

Consumer Affairs Officer Vincent Fough says the problem of merchants selling items that do not having English labels is one of the issues which will be addressed by the new law that will replace the Consumer Affairs Act 2003.

He said the improved legislation will fall in line with the CARICOM Protection Consumer Protection Bill.

“We have already met with the consultants,” said Fough. “It’s just a matter [of handing] it over to the Minister to take it to Cabinet, then it will be tabled and put into effect.”

Unlike the existing Act, the new Bill stipulates that once a business is in breach of contract, it would be fined or its owner jailed, or both, on conviction.

“No product with all foreign language should be on the shelf,” Fough added. “The new Bill that will be put in place will also address that. It will be supported by the Department of Health Act as well as the Bureau of Standards.”

The Bureau is also repealing its Act to address the same issue.

“For us to be a force out there to protect consumers, we all have to come together as one and each Act is supposed to support the other,” Fough explained.

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