New tribunal in Seychelles to adjudicate consumer and competition issues
These provisions will enable the Fair Trading Commission to efficiently discharge its task in safeguarding the interests of consumers, promote competition and fair trade in Seychelles. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A new tribunal is expected to be created in Seychelles to pass formal judgement on all consumer and competition matters, in what officials say will be timely and effective redress to consumers and businesses.
The setting up of the tribunal follows the approval of the consolidated Fair Trading Bill by the cabinet of ministers recently.
The new Bill is to consolidate and revise the law relating to fair trading, competition and consumer protection by repealing other related Acts. It contains provisions and international legal tools that will enable the commission to serve as the investigative body, act on timely enforcement and effectively deliver on its mandate.
These provisions will enable the Fair Trading Commission to efficiently discharge its task in safeguarding the interests of consumers, promote competition and fair trade in Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – for the benefit of consumers, businesses, and the economy.
The chief executive of the Commission, Francis Lebon, told journalists on Friday that this has provided the commission with the ability to do more robust enforcement.
"This will mean that you will be able to give remedy to clients in a more timely manner, and more strongly as well. Because the penalties have been revised as well. This has given the commission tools to fight cartels as well, as this did not exist under the previous law," explained Lebon.
He added that any decision or order of the tribunal may be served, executed and enforced in the same manner as a judgment or order of the Supreme Court under the Seychelles Code of Civil Procedure. "The tribunal will fall directly under a judge," said Lebon, adding that it will now replace the board of the commission and the appeal tribunal.
Lebon clarified that the bill is tailor-made and recognises the particular circumstances of Seychelles, while it considers tried and tested mechanisms, draws on their successes and learns from their failures while providing for the imposition of fixed penalty in certain cases.
A release from the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Trade said "the new Bill also reflects the government's commitment to see the desired results for consumers and businesses as well as demonstrate the importance attached to Consumer Protection and Fair Competition in Seychelles, regionally and internationally."
The setting of the new fair trading tribunal is expected to be up and running by the end of this year.
The Fair Trading Commission is an independent government body established under the Fair Trading Commission Act 2009. It aims to safeguard the interests of consumers, promote competition and fair trade in Seychelles to benefit consumers, businesses, and the economy.