Trade description act consumer awareness in kenya

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TRADE DESCRIPTION ACT AND CONSUMER PROTECTION IN KENYA BY DANIEL ASHER, CUTS ARC, NAIROBI

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Trade description act consumer awareness in kenya

  1. 1. <ul><li>AFRICA DIALOGUE CONSUMER PROTECTION CONFERENCE Arusha Tanzania July 12 th – 14 th 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>By </li></ul><ul><li>Mr. Daniel Asher </li></ul><ul><li>Programme Officer </li></ul><ul><li>CUTS Africa Resource Centre, Nairobi </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.cuts-international.org </li></ul>
  2. 2. Consumer Protection Under Trade Descriptions Act Gazette Notice No. 1645 of 4 th June, 1979   Honest Statements on Consumer Goods and Services !!
  3. 3. The Act Prohibit false statement on: <ul><li>. good’s identity, quality, quantity, size and gauge; </li></ul><ul><li>composition; </li></ul><ul><li>fitness for purpose (strength, performance, behavior or accuracy); </li></ul><ul><li>testing by any person or results thereof; approval by any person or conformity with a type approved by any person; </li></ul>
  4. 4. Act Prohibit false statements on <ul><li>. </li></ul><ul><li>place & date of manufacture (production, processing , reconditioning); </li></ul><ul><li>person by whom manufactured (or produced, processed ,reconditioned); </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul><ul><li>Prohibiting false or misleading indications as to price </li></ul><ul><li>Prohibiting false representation as to the supply of goods or services. </li></ul><ul><li>Prohibiting the importation of goods bearing false indication of origin </li></ul><ul><li>Prohibiting false or misleading statements as to services or accommodation </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is a False Trade Description? <ul><li>- </li></ul><ul><li>It is an “ untruth ” about goods made in any way by word of mouth, by a notice, by a label, invoice, advert , etc. need not be deliberate. </li></ul><ul><li>- </li></ul>Making of an untrue statement is an offence irrespective of intention .
  6. 6. Kinds of untrue statement <ul><li>. </li></ul><ul><li>Happen in a wide range of matters relating to the goods e.g. </li></ul><ul><li>the way in which they are made ” handmade&quot;; </li></ul><ul><li>the material of which they are made, e.g. &quot;genuine leather&quot; or &quot;100% silk&quot;; </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Kinds of untrue statement <ul><li>. </li></ul><ul><li>about physical properties e.g. &quot;rust-proof'; stainless steel… </li></ul><ul><li>about previous ownership e.g. &quot;formerly the property of lord and and lady so and so&quot;, etc.   </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Kinds of untrue statement <ul><li>. </li></ul><ul><li>about performance e.g. &quot;guaranteed 16km/litre , puncher proof, desert warrior etc. </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul><ul><li>Anything said about goods which are supplied or to be supplied can constitute an offence if untrue . </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Word “Goods” according to the Act <ul><li>means anything normally sold by a trader or businessman e.g. food, domestic supplies, furnishings, clothing, vehicles with accessories and parts, plants and seeds, books, newspapers and periodicals, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>specific exclusion from the definition is &quot; real property&quot; i.e. permanent building . </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Act protect Consumers against false Statement on Good and Services <ul><li>. </li></ul>
  11. 11. When does a false trade description apply to goods? <ul><li>A “false trade description” can be applied to goods by word of mouth, label, notice or advertisement. </li></ul><ul><li>An offence can be committed by what is called an “implied false trade Description”. E.g. the case where a customer asks for something specific and a shopkeeper supplies him with something else without telling the customer that it is not what he asked for. E.g. Penadol Extra instead of Neladol </li></ul>
  12. 12. cont <ul><li>If a customer asks for stainless steel knives and is supplied with nickel – plated ones without being told that they were not of stainless steel, the supplier would have committed an offence even though he uttered no words. </li></ul><ul><li>If a trade’s description relating to a class of goods is false, then each of the goods in that class constitutes a separate offence. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g., if one of a number of similar Ladies handbags displayed in a shop is labeled as being of “genuine leather” when in fact the handbags are made of simulated leather produced form plastic, each handbag in the shop would be a separate offence. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Protection against Misleading Statements on Services and Accommodation? <ul><li>Section 6 of the Act relates to the provision of services and accommodation. </li></ul><ul><li>It is an offence for any person to make a statement which he knows to be false or to recklessly make a statement which is false. </li></ul><ul><li>The word &quot;recklessly&quot; as used in the Act means &quot;regardless of whether it is true or false.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>This section mostly applies to holiday industry and concerns also those traders who are offering repair services, maintenance, hiring or leasing etc. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Consumer Protection under the Act <ul><li>Two basic criminal offences ! </li></ul><ul><li>The Act creates two basic criminal offences in relation to false trade descriptions. </li></ul><ul><li>1.Applying a false statement to goods. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Supplying or offering to supply goods to which a false trade description is applied. </li></ul><ul><li>The word “Supply” in the Act </li></ul><ul><li>Mean more than “sale” It include letting, hiring, or other physical transfer of goods, which have been sold at some other time or by some other person. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Does every &quot;false statement&quot; constitute an offence? <ul><li>. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Does every &quot;false statement&quot; constitute an offence? <ul><li>In order to constitute an offence a false trade description must be false to a &quot; material degree .&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>False to a material degree is a matter for the court to decide in each case, but generally speaking it means that the false statement must be of some significance . </li></ul><ul><li>For example, a statement like “washes whiter than white&quot; in OMO detergent advertisement is not false to a material degree. </li></ul><ul><li>However, every statement which is false to a material degree does constitute an offence. </li></ul><ul><li>For example in the case of ladies' handbags labeled as being made of &quot;genuine Leather&quot; when in fact they are made of simulated leather produced from plastic, each handbag would constitute a separate offence. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Examples <ul><li>As in the case of, goods, the statement about services must be &quot; false to a material degree &quot; for there to be an offence. </li></ul><ul><li>examples: - charging for parts on repair or service of watches, or domestic appliances such as radios, T.Vs, etc. which has not been fitted. </li></ul><ul><li>Statements about laundering or dry- cleaning in &quot;24hrs&quot; when it is impossible to do it in that time, and so on. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Consumers Protection against Misleading Prices <ul><li>. </li></ul><ul><li>offence to give a false indication that goods are being offered at a price which is less than a recommended price or a previous price offered by the seller,   </li></ul><ul><li>It is an offence to give a false indication that goods are being offered at a price less than that at which they are actually being offered. </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul><ul><li>The first type of offence refers to: </li></ul><ul><li>Claimed discounts such as &quot;1/=off&quot; label, </li></ul><ul><li>False claims of reduced price in sales such as &quot;normal price sh. 75/= -our price sh. 50/=&quot; when the goods were never sold at sh. 75/=. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Common Prices Offences <ul><li>(a) &quot;Recommended price sh. 200/=, our price sh. 50/=, this statement would Constitute an offence if in fact sh. 200/= was never recommended by the manufacturer. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Common Price offences <ul><li>(b) &quot;Prices slashed -now only sh. 100/=&quot;. This would be an offence if in fact the price has always been sh, 100/= and there is therefore no reduction; </li></ul><ul><li>(c) “10% off on all goods.&quot; This would be an offence if the same prices were being previously charged in that shop. </li></ul><ul><li>(d) A statement like &quot;Reduced from sh.2, 700.00 to sh. 2,000.00&quot; would </li></ul><ul><li>constitute an offence if, despite the fact that the price has been actually reduced to sh. 2,000.00, the original price of sh.2,700.00 had not been in operation for a continuous period of not less than 28 days in the preceding six months . </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>. </li></ul><ul><li>NB: Where prices of goods are claimed to have been reduced, Act assume that the original price was charged by the shopkeeper concerned unless the contrary is stated and, unless a lesser period is stated. the goods must have been on sale in that shop for a continuous period of not less than 28 days during the preceding six months . </li></ul><ul><li>The second type of offence refers to situation where goods are marked with a particular price and a higher one is charged on sale. </li></ul><ul><li>As regards the origin of goods: </li></ul><ul><li>It’s an offence to make, statements indicating that goods originated from a particular place when they did not. e.g., statements like &quot;made in England&quot;, imported from Italy&quot; etc. when the goods have been locally made is an offence. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Thank you

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