New agree­ment to in­crease con­sumer trust in E-Com­merce

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

Dur­ing the first meet­ing of the Com­petive­ness Coun­cil un­der the Maltese Pres­i­dency, presided over by the Min­is­ter for the Econ­omy, In­vest­ment and Small Busi­ness, Dr Chris Car­dona, an agree­ment was reached on a gen­eral ap­proach to strengthen co­op­er­a­tion be­tween na­tional au­thor­i­ties re­spon­si­ble for the en­force­ment of con­sumer pro­tec­tion laws.

The ob­jec­tive of the pro­posal is to mod­ernise co­op­er­a­tion mech­a­nisms to fur­ther re­duce the con­sumer da­m­age caused by cross-bor­der in­fringe­ments to EU con­sumer law. In par­tic­u­lar, ef­fi­cient con­sumer pro­tec­tion has to re­spond to the chal­lenges of the dig­i­tal econ­omy and the de­vel­op­ment of cross-bor­der re­tail trade in the EU.

An in­creased level of har­mon­i­sa­tion set­ting ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient en­force­ment co­op­er­a­tion among com­pe­tent pub­lic en­force­ment au­thor­i­ties is there­fore nec­es­sary to de­tect, in­ves­ti­gate and or­der the ces­sa­tion of in­traUnion in­fringe­ments and wide­spread in­fringe­ments.

This re­vi­sion of the ex­ist­ing Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Co­op­er­a­tion frame­work will give more pow­ers to na­tional au­thor­i­ties which may, for ex­am­ple, check if web­sites geo-block con­sumers, or­der the im­me­di­ate take-down of web­sites host­ing scams or re­quest in­for­ma­tion from do­main regis­trars and banks to de­tect the iden­tity of the re­spon­si­ble trader.

The Pres­i­dent of the Com­pet­i­tive­ness Coun­cil, Dr Car­dona, noted how this nec­es­sary step an­swered the call of both con- sumers and com­pa­nies that traded on­line, gen­er­at­ing the nec­es­sary trust to shop and op­er­ate more se­curely, and in turn strengthen the in­ter­nal mar­ket.

The meet­ing’s agenda also in­cluded the consideration of a pro­posal for the ap­proval and mar­ket surveil­lance of motor ve­hi­cles of sys­tems, com­po­nents and tech­ni­cal units in­tended for ve­hi­cles and the anal­y­sis of the cost-ben­e­fit bal­ance of a new model of auto certification.

The Coun­cil also dis­cussed fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance which needs to be given to start-ups with par­tic­u­lar im­por­tance to more sup­port to set up a new start-up, sec­ond op­por­tu­ni­ties even in the case of bank­ruptcy, the op­por­tu­nity for more in­no­va­tive pub­lic pur­chases, and rights of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty.

“In­ter­na­tional trade is at a crit­i­cal junc­ture and the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween mem­ber states is es­sen­tial in en­sur­ing the EU is welle­quipped and will con­tinue to be a so­lu­tion for fur­ther growth and in­creased com­pet­i­tive­ness. Our first Coun­cil was well-re­ceived and we are happy with to­day’s out­comes,” said Min­is­ter Car­dona.

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