Presentation: Session 7

ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation
Program (AADCP) Phase II
Supporting Research and Dialogue in Consumer Protection Project
Annual Conference 2014
Session 7 – Summary and Conclusions
Ms Yap Lai Peng, Professor Luke Nottage, Professor Caron Beaton-Wells
and Professor Justin Malbon
1st ACPC – Themes
 Overview: Consumer Protection in ASEAN – Priorities,
Progress and Perspectives
 Session 1: Emerging Themes in Consumer Protection in
 Session 2: Financial Transactions
 Session 3: Consumer Product Safety
 Session 4: E-Commerce
 Session 5: Development of Consumer Redress
 Session 6: Institutionalizing Consumer Protection in
Developing Countries
1st ACPC – Key take away points
 The South East Asian region as the most exciting and dynamic region in the world with
extraordinary change and economic development
 Broad diversity of actors engage and cooperate with ASEAN in promoting development and
increasing economic stability
 Consumer protection – both a rights based approach and an assistance towards facilitating
economic development through laws builds trust and engagement of consumers
 Significance of consumer protection laws and institutional frameworks already in place,
establishing a strong framework to build upon
 Key message: Need for further cooperation, sharing of experiences and identifying areas
where regional cooperation best works
 Key message: There are a number of ways to continue to develop consumer protection
strategies – these include organic approaches as well as systematic review of strategies
 Next step: To see to identify ways to develop full systems to assist with the cooperative
process through sharing of lessons learnt and experiences
 Project outputs (Policy Digests and Case Studies) has build a strong data source of
information – next question is how these can be further disseminated and with greater
1st ACPC – Key take away points
 Notes that there are standards and approaches that form a foundation for consumer
protection in the ASEAN region
 Key message: The emerging gap in the regulatory framework for general consumer goods is
that there is not a provision that requires suppliers to tell regulators when they conduct a
voluntary recall (Vietnam example of a similar requirement)
 Key message: Another gap is the broad requirement of supplies if they become aware of
serious product related accidents (precautionary step). Once this is required, is reporting
kept confidential (e.g. Australia) or published for the public (e.g. Japan)
 Next step: Information sharing mechanism enacting potential through FTA
 Notes that product liability laws and processes already exist in 6 AMS
 Key message: Need to for more effective ways to present to consumers opportunity to
redress over faulty or defective products (e.g. Small Claims Courts and Tribunals). Notes
that the emerging middle class in ASEAN means that, for cost effectiveness, need to identify
ways to ensure that not all claims going through courts
 Next step: Need collective redress mechanism as means of facilitating class action
 We need to look at more specific areas, such as food, in more detail to enhance consumer
1st ACPC – Key take away points
 Important to look at CP as an important leaver, or driver, of economic growth
 Notes the AEC Blueprint as being significant to consider in the promotion of a highly effective
economic region
 Key message: Importance of both individuals, and ASEAN, to be aware of interaction between
competition policy and consumer protection law enforcements. This is both with regard to
synergies and tensions between the two policy objectives.
 Next step: Need to look at the legal frameworks which will most likely promote the synergies
between these policies objectives
 Notes that competition policy can be considered as an enhanced trade policy and barriers to trade
 Next step: Need to recognize the relationship – by understanding you are more likely to revise and
review competition measures that are sensitive to consumer policy risks. Need to consider the
context within which you are working in the development and implementation of these policies
so as not to present barriers to market entry or present adverse effects regarding competition
(avoid overly prescriptive approaches that might undermine innovation)
 Next step: At a regional level there is a need to continue a dialogue cross policy development and
enforcement agencies
 Next step: Consider and explore enforcement coordination competition and consumer protection
policy. Notes inter-agency cooperation, through various mechanism, can enhance the promotion
of enforcement in cross-border contexts within ASEAN
What lessons learnt from the 1st ACPC
could be applied in ASEAN and at the
national level?
Policy Digests 13-24
 Food
 Consumer Justice and
 Enforcement
 Sustainable
Defective goods Part 2: Manufacturers’ warranties
Consumer policy and utility services
Protecting consumers regarding insurance
Enforcing product liability
Consumer law enforcement
Protecting vulnerable consumers
Access to consumer remedies
Food safety regulation under national and international law
Best Practices for Developing Consumer Protection Policy
Cosmetics and drugs regulation under national and international law
Developing “ASEAN Guidelines for Product Recalls” for regulators and
 Resolving cross border disputes within ASEAN
Case Studies 3-4
 Dual vs Integrated Consumer and Competition
Enforcement Agencies: Pros and Cons of Different
Institutional Design
 ASEAN Product Liability and Consumer Product
Safety Regulation: Comparing National Laws and
Free Trade Agreements
 Food
 Consumer Justice and
 Enforcement
 Sustainable
Next Steps
 The 2nd ACPC to be held in Thailand, late 2015
 How might the outputs from this project inform
the Post-2015 Consumer Protection Action Plan?
Thank you for your attendance and