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Online Consumer Rights Protection Top Priority for Vietnam

by Meang Chanvatey
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The protection of consumer rights online has been the focus amid the boom in eCommerce and the digital economy since the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Industry and Trade Ministry.

Stressing the importance of consumer protection to building a healthy environment and promoting socio-economic development, the ministry launched Consumer Rights Day on World Consumer Rights Day which is marked every year on March 15.

This year’s event highlighted information transparency and safe consumption.

Despite the Law on Consumer Rights Protection taking effect on July 1, 2011, the infringement of consumer rights remained widespread at many levels with increasing complexity.

Entering the post-Covid-19 pandemic period, eCommerce, especially borderless trade, has made consumer rights protection a new focus as there were a number of risks consumers face online, including fake and low-quality products and appropriation of personal information for fraud.

Tran Huu Linh, general director of the Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance, said that along with the online shopping trend, there was an increase in trade fraud and risks to consumers, including fake and poor-quality products.

The ministry’s statistics showed that more than 1,660 online kiosks with more than 6,400 products were removed and five eCommerce websites that were alleged to sell fake and unclear-origin products were blocked last year.

Protecting consumer rights in cyberspace was a focus of the market watch, especially in the context that Vietnam aimed to become one of the leading countries in the region in terms of digital economy development with a plan that the digital economy would account for 20% of gross domestic product by 2025, Linh said.

Linh said that owners of many online stores paid attention to consumer protection as one of their key business strategies. He urged consumers to make orders from licenced platforms or official stores to get their rights protected.

Nguyen Quynh Anh, deputy director of the Vietnam Competition and Consumer Authority, said that consumer protection needed to have stronger and more substantive changes, which would require the active participation of businesses.

“We used to think that consumer protection was the matter of the state management agency and the consumers. Now, enterprises will be a more important subject in the consumer protection process,” Anh said.

“Enterprises must be aware of their roles in protecting consumer rights and ensuring consumers access safe and affordable products and services.”

According to Trinh Anh Tuan, deputy director of the Vietnam Competition and Consumer Authority, the ministry would amend the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights to ensure the regulations keep pace with the changes.

The draft amended law would be considered for approval at the National Assembly’s meeting in May.

Source: The Star

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