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Overview of the Consumer Protection Act, 2007

1. Objectives of the Act

The Consumer Protection Act 2007 came into force on 1 May 2007. It provides for the most comprehensive reform of consumer legislation in 30 years.

It provides a range of measures aimed at fostering compliance with consumer legislation, through self regulation (codes of practice) and through a suite of enforcement measures. The three main elements of the Act are:

  • Establishment of the National Consumer Agency on a statutory basis
  • Updating and consolidating consumer legislation and repealing some old consumer laws
  • Transposing the EU Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices (UCPD)

2. Establishment of the NCA

The NCA was set up on 1 May 2007 as an independent body. The powers and functions of the Director of Consumer Affairs were transferred to the new agency.

The NCA is charged with promoting and protecting the interests and welfare of consumers through:

  • Enforcement of consumer legislation
  • Advocacy and research
  • Education and awareness

3. Unfair Commercial Practices Directive

The EU Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices was adopted in May 2005. The common rules set out in the Directive are intended to give consumers the same protection against unfair practices and rogue traders whether they are buying from the local corner shop or buying abroad.

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