Saturday 8, October 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: The Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection in the UAE recently attended the autumn conference of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN) held in Germany to promote exchange of knowledge and best practices among members and discuss the challenges faced by consumers in various parts of the world. The conference was the first after the Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection joined the international network and it was decided to add the Arabic language on ICPEN website as part of activating the country’s membership in the network.

The UAE delegation to the conference included Mohammed Ali Rashid Lootah, CEO of the Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED); Ahmed Al Balooshi, Director of Commercial Control at the Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development, as well as Ahmed Al Zaabi, Senior Manager – Consumer Awareness at Dubai DED.

Commenting on the participation in the conference, Lootah said as a Director of the Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection, CCCP was keen to participate actively in ICPEN programmes and learn about best international practices in protecting consumers. He added that being a member of the Supreme Committee and ICPEN also complements ongoing efforts to enhance the business environment in Dubai and the UAE.

“The Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection promotes participation of local and federal consumer protection agencies in such international events. It helps us to have a better understanding of consumer issues and learn about the developments and mechanisms adopted worldwide in the field of consumer protection, particularly the latest technology applications. The knowledge thus gained can be passed on to local agencies concerned for improved consumer protection,” Lootah said.

The conference discussed various key issues, including terms & conditions governing transactions in the digital economy, online shopping, and ways to educate consumers. Challenges related to protecting data and privacy of consumers as well as potential for partnerships between international consumer bodies enhance cross-border consumer protection were also discussed.

The UAE is the first GCC nation to join as a member of ICPEN. The decision to join the international network was taken after the Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection visited the UK to weigh the value additions ICPEN membership can provide in terms of sharing knowledge and expertise, and by way of access to best international practices.

ICPEN organises a number of international events every year including conferences to exchange experience, review goals and accomplishments, and to encourage members to evaluate commercial fraud as well as its impact on consumers in their respective territories. Members are also invited to be part of the international consumer complaints portal, which enables them to receive and resolve complaints from consumers abroad, in addition to co-operating on e-surveillance.