unctad.org | Morocco updates public on consumer law progress
Morocco updates public on consumer law progress
26 November 2018
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Moroccan consumers were front and centre of an information sharing exercise to communicate critical outcomes of an novel voluntary peer review.


Over 500 Moroccans, representing a cross-section of society, had the chance to contribute to a landmark process underway in the African nation to strengthen consumer protection law and policy.

UNCTAD organized two dissemination events to reach the public in the Moroccan capital Rabat in November.

The events were an opportunity to share the practical recommendations emanating from the First Voluntary Peer Review on Consumer Protection Law and Policy process in Morocco.

Zahra Maafiri, the director general of trade at Morocco's ministry of industry, investment, trade and the digital economy in charge of foreign trade, said she hoped the proposals by UNCTAD would stimulate momentum for the policy development process.

She was referring to the need to complete the implementation of Law No. 31-08 on consumer protection through regulatory and enforcement development, part the government’s strategic vision for consumer protection for 2018-2021.

“The review was extremely useful for Morocco,” said Ms. Maafiri. “As was the process of engaging citizens with a view to strengthening the legal framework.”

The dissemination events gathered participants from the public sector, consumer associations, businesses, academia and the media.

The recommendations were also shared at several high-level bilateral meetings with members of Government and Parliament.

consumer protection
 

Legislative landmarks ahead

Morocco’s Voluntary Peer Review on Consumer Protection, for which a background UNCTAD report was issued, produced “very substantive recommendations” said Teresa Moreira, who is in charge of UNCTAD’s competition and consumer policies arm.

The review highlighted four key areas for attention:

  • issuing principles for unfair commercial practices

  • improving access to justice

  • deepening consumer protection in electronic commerce

  • reinforcing dispute resolution and redress

The review process was a tailor-made technical assistance project to reinforce the effectiveness of consumer protection law and policy in Morocco.

It was designed by UNCTAD and carried out by the consumer protection authorities from Belgium, Lebanon and Portugal on 9 July 2018 in Geneva.

The exercise was mandated by the UN General Assembly in its resolution on consumer protection of 2015.

“Disseminating the peer review’s recommendations brings the work undertaken in Geneva closer to Morocco’s reality,” said Ms. Moreira.

“We are contributing to raising consumer protection in the political and social agenda of the country.”

Further recommendations

The review suggested that the Moroccan Directorate for Consumer Protection be recognized as focal point within the consumer protection authorities and that its enforcement powers, capacities and public profile be strengthened.

It also noted the Directorate should build its capacities and participate in international gatherings and networks to benefit from the sharing of experiences.

The Voluntary Peer Review of Morocco was conducted in the context of the UNCTAD Middle East and North Africa Programme (MENA) to promote regional economic integration, with the support of the Swedish government.


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