CARICOM Strengthens Consumer Protection in the CSME

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As 2016 gets underway, the CARICOM Secretariat continues its drive toward a fully functioning single market with consumer protection training for CSME-participating Member States kicking off this month.

This Monday, February 8, a week-long training exercise on consumer protection policy and competition law and policy takes place in Guyana. Government officials responsible for consumer and competition- related matters, non-governmental agencies and other relevant entities will be participating in the activity which is funded under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). This is part of a larger project to assist Member States with improving their regulatory, administrative and institutional arrangements related to the single market.

Participants will be trained in a wide range of areas including consumer affairs and policy, best practice in product safety rules, competition law and enforcement, and mergers and acquisitions among others. They will be sensitised on the CARICOM Rapid Alert System for the Exchange of Information on Dangerous Non-food Goods (CARREX), which will facilitate a regional response to harmful products entering the markets of Member States. Participants will also be exposed to the Draft CARICOM Consumer Protection Model Bill that will guide Member States in the drafting of their legislation. Saint Lucia has just passed its consumer protection bill which was informed by the CARICOM model.

Approximately 75 participants are expected to attend the sessions which will be held at both the Arthur Chong Conference Centre for the first 2 days and then at the Cara Lodge Hotel for the remaining 3 days. This exercise will be rolled out in other Member States over the next 3 months. Dominica, Grenada, Suriname and the CARICOM Competition Commission have already received this training which took place in 2015.    

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