Sri Lanka updating e-commerce consumer protection laws

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lankan government will bring in new laws to update regulations to provide better protection for consumers in electronic commerce, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka Rishad Bathiudeen said.

“We are planning to establish a modern consumer protection framework suitable for the e-commerce marketplace and encourage the development of Sri Lankan digital economy,” he said.

Five priority areas have been identified with the help of international experts, he told a forum on e-commerce reform held by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) under the ministry and the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC).

These are access, education, awareness, payments and data protection laws and privacy.

The government aims to remove legal and market barriers and foster trust among both Sri Lankan consumers and small businesses, Bathiudeen said.

The forum, a national Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) on Sri Lanka’s e-commerce reform, follows one in March this year.

“In this second dialogue CAA is working with all stakeholders to identify specific provisions where the current Sri Lanka legal framework falls short in these five themes so that updating national laws by formulating legislative proposals could follow thereafter,” Bathiudeen said.
As a government regulatory agency it is necessary for CAA to establish national policies for consumer protection that encourages good practices applicable also to e- commerce, he said.

“Sri Lankan consumers need to be protected at the pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase stages,” Bathiudeen said.

“This can be done by establishing a good internet infrastructure for e-commerce, updating present legal frameworks on e-commerce, preventing misuse of consumer data, providing consumer education and enforcing relevant laws.”
(COLOMBO, 06 September, 2018)





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