Published 30 October 2023
Buckie Got It, St Kitts Nevis News Source
PASSAGE OF CONSUMER PROTECTION BILL, 2023, GUARANTEES GREATER PROTECTION FOR BUYERS OF GOODS AND SERVICES
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, October 30, 2023 (SKNIS) – Senator the Honourable Dr. Joyelle Clarke said she was particularly pleased to give her fullest support to the Consumer Protection Bill, 2023, that had its second reading in the National Assembly on Monday, October 30, 2023, and was subsequently passed.
The Consumer Protection Bill, 2023, among other benefits, provides for the promotion and protection of consumer interests in relation to the supply of goods and the provision of services to ensure the protection of life, health and safety of consumers.
Minister Clarke, in her presentation, said the Bill brings about greater clarity and protection for consumers on many bad or unethical practices by suppliers.
“These legislative changes will make it very clear to consumers what their rights are regarding a supplier saying, ‘you cannot exchange your good’, ‘you cannot get your money back’, because that is not right and fair not just to the consumer but also for supplier and relations. There must be clarity on what stores can say for refund policies, for exchange policies,” Minister Clarke said.
Dr. Clarke further noted that while the government is taking these steps to protect consumers here in St. Kitts and Nevis, there is also the need to standardize and harmonize the Federation’s regulations to meet international market requirements.
“International market penetration and our ability to attract increased investments is directly linked to the update of our legislation and critical pieces like the Consumer Protection Bill, 2023. We must therefore comply with international trade norms which facilitate cooperation, growth and empowerment,” she said.
Minister Clarke continued, “Importantly, linked to this global penetration is allowing for innovative solutions to enter our marketplace. Often times we travel, we return, and we wonder ‘why isn’t this in St. Kitts, why can’t we have this innovation? We can, but with innovation comes the need to protect the innovators, the entrepreneurs and the consumers. So, I am very pleased that this piece of legislation also allows for this level of protection for our entrepreneurs, as well as our consumers.”
The Consumer Protection Bill, 2023 was moved in the National Assembly by Minister responsible for Consumer Affairs, Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas.