A glance into the latest Executive Regulations to Federal Law No. (15) of 2020 on UAE Consumer Protection

In the words of H.E. Abdullah bin Touq al-Marri, Minister of Economy, who chaired The Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection: “The executive regulations represent a milestone in strengthening the consumer protection ecosystem in the country and enhancing compliance with the legislation in line with best practices. They balance the contractual relationship between the consumer and the supplier, identifying the supplier’s obligations to protect the consumer from receiving defective goods or services, limiting monopolies, and providing the best solutions to tackle all customer-related challenges.”

The Federal Law No. 15 of 2020 on Consumer Protection repealed the Federal Law No. 24 of 2006. The Law No.15 of 2020 aims to protect all consumer rights, including the right to a standard quality of goods and services and the right to obtain them at the declared price. It further seeks to preserve the health and safety of the consumer when using the goods or receiving the service. In addition, the law protects the data of consumers and prohibits suppliers from using it for marketing.

Most importantly this law covers all goods and services sold or provided by suppliers, advertisers, and commercial agents across the UAE’s mainland and free zones and the goods sold through eCommerce platforms registered in the UAE. However, the law does not apply to eCommerce activities that are carried out between customers in the UAE and eCommerce businesses unregistered in the UAE.

The UAE authorities published the long-awaited Executive Regulations to Federal Law No. (15) of 2020 on Consumer Protection on 14 July 2023(“Regulations”). These Regulations shall come into force within three months of the publication date (October 14, 2023).

These Executive Regulations further clarify various requirements outlined under the Consumer Protection Law.

Essentials of the Cabinet Decision No.66/2023 Concerning the Executive Regulation of the Federal Law No. 15/2020 are highlighted below:

Advertising Prices and invoicing

Article 5 drives the advertising prices, whereby the suppliers are mandated to label and advertise the pricing of the commodities and services in a legible manner and curbed a major practice of increasing the value of the commodity during usage of credit cards as a means of the purchase of such commodities and services.

Whereas Article 6 stipulates that the supplier shall provide the consumer with an invoice that proves the dealing or contracting with the supplier regarding the commodity or the service, without incurring any further burdens by the consumer. The invoice must contain the address of the supplier, date, description of commodity, quantity and condition, warranty, tax reg. number etc.

Second-hand goods

Article 7 also is a very consumer-friendly provision especially beneficial to lower-income consumers as it requires the supplier offering used, renovated, or defective commodities that do not result in any harm to the health or safety of the consumer, shall apparently and clearly advertise the condition of the commodity on the commodity, as well as at the place where the supplier’s activity is practiced, in a way that shall not create a false or misleading impression to the consumer. The condition of the commodity shall be described in the concluded contract or the issued invoice.

Warranties and spare parts

Article 13 lays down the obligations of the supplier of warranty Implementation, Article 14 details the obligations of the supplier regarding spare parts, and Article 16 states the mechanism of spare part supply and maintenance service provision. It demands that the supplier shall develop a written mechanism for the provision of spare parts and maintenance service, and provision of warranty as per the terms set by the manufacturer and abide by the same towards the consumer. It should also state the mailing address, phone number, and email address of the supplier.

After-sales obligations on the suppliers

Equally important are Article 20 which states the obligations of the supplier upon discovering a defect in the commodity as well as Article 21 which requires reporting upon discovery of a defect in the commodity and Article 22 which talks about informing the consumer upon discovery of a defect in the commodity.

Article 30 regulates after-sale service and mentions that a ministerial decision may prescribe the warranty period and terms and prices of after-sale services for certain commodities.

Detrimental conditions

Article 34 is a very significant provision that details the prohibition of inclusion of consumer detrimental condition and clearly mention that each condition that relieves the supplier of their responsibility or any of their obligations prescribed in the Law and this Resolution towards the consumer shall be null and void, whether such conditions are provided in forms of contracts, invoice, documents or others related to contracting with the consumer.

It is obvious that the aim of these stringent consumer protection laws is to encourage businessmen to practice ethics and moral values towards consumers and society in a more disciplined way thereby adding value to UAE as a safe consumer state.

Thus, the new regulations of UAE consumer protection are indeed striking a balance between Caveat Emptor (Let the buyer beware) and Caveat Venditor (Let the seller beware) at par with best global practices.

References:

https://u.ae/en/information-and-services/justice-safety-and-the-law/consumer-protection

https://www.lexismiddleeast.com/law/UnitedArabEmirates/CabinetDecision_66_2023/

https://www.moec.gov.ae/en/consumer-protection-legislations

Disclaimer
This publication does not provide any legal advice and it is for information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information in this publication as a basis for making any business, legal or other decisions. Therefore, any reliance on such material is strictly at your own risk.

Author: Sridevi Sidharthan & Thara Kumar

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Principal Associate – Sridevi Sidhartan

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Principal Associate – Sridevi Sidhartan

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