The penalties included in the Consumer Protection Law are still a subject of disagreement between the parliament and the government on the one hand, and the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) and the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC) on the other.
The two unions asked the parliament long enough to study the penalties included in the draft law and compare them with those contained in the Fraud and Food Safety Act.
The Economic Committee of the Parliament raised the minimum fine in some cases from EGP 5,000 to EGP 20,000. The maximum fine was raised in some cases to EGP 500,000 or EGP 2m, in addition to imprisonment.
In this review, Daily News Egypt publishes the text of amendments made by the Economic Committee on the consumer protection bill made by the government.
The committee amended Article 54 of the draft law to limit the fine to be EGP 500,000 instead of EGP 200,000, leaving the article as follows, “Any supplier who does not abide by the provisions of any of the articles below shall be punished by a fine not less EGP than 10,000 and not exceeding EGP 500,000 or the value of the product—whichever is higher. “The articles include 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – first paragraph – 12 first paragraph – 14 15 – First Paragraph – 16 – 18 – 21 – 33 – 35 – 36 – 40 – First paragraph 55 – 56 – First paragraph – 62 last paragraph of this law.
Any person who contravenes the decisions made in Article 33 shall be punished by the same penalty. The Court may order the closure of the service centre and maintenance of the violator for a period not exceeding six months.
The minimum fine in the text of Article 55 has been raised to “be punished by a fine of no less than EGP 30,000 and no more than EGP 1m or twice the value of the product in the violating site, whichever the largest, for each supplier contrary to the provisions of any of articles no. 10 – 12 – 13 – 21 – 22 – 24 – 25 – 26 – 29 – 30 – 31.”
In Article 56, the Economic Commission raised the minimum fine to EGP 50,000 instead of EGP 20,000. The article reads as follows, “A fine of no less than EGP 50,000 and no more than EGP 2m, or twice the equivalent of the value of the product subject to the violation, applicable on whoever violates the law.”
The minimum fine in the text of Article 59 is EGP 5,000 was raised to EGP 20,000 and provided that “a fine of no less than EGP 20,000 and no exceeding EGP 500,000 shall be imposed on anyone who commits any of the following acts: 1. Hinder judicial inspectors from fulfilling their role. 2. To refrain from providing the Authority with the data, papers, or documents provided for in Article 54 of this Law.
The Legislative Committee introduced new penalties that were not set by the government in the draft law sent to the Parliament to combine the fine and the prison sentence of up to 5 years in case of violation of some provisions of the law.
Article 17 states that: “A penalty of imprisonment and a fine of not less than EGP 50,000, not exceeding EGP 2m or the equivalent of the value of the goods subject to the crime, whichever is greater, or one of those penalties shall be imposed on anyone who contravenes Article 19 of the Law.”
Article 72 states that offenders shall be punishable by imprisonment for a period of not less than one year and a fine not less than EGP 100,000 and not exceeding EGP 2m or the equivalent of the value of the goods subject of the crime whichever is greater, whoever contravenes Article 8 of the Law.
In case of committing the same crime again, the penalty shall be imprisonment for a period of not less than two years and not exceeding five years and the value of the fine shall be doubled. In all cases, the court shall issue the confiscation and the judgment shall be published in two daily and widely circulated newspapers at the expense of the convicted person.
Permanent injury and imprisonment
Article 73 states that if a violation of any provision of this law results in the permanent injury of a person, the penalty shall be imprisonment and a fine of not less than EGP 100,000 and not more than EGP 1m or the equivalent value on the subject of the crime, whichever is greater.
The article adds: “If the court applies the provision of Article 17 of the Penal Code in this case, it is not permissible to take the penalty restricting freedom from imprisonment for one year.”
If the violation results in the death of one or more persons, the penalty shall be life imprisonment and a fine of not less than EGP 200,000 and not more than EGP 2m or equivalent value of the subject of the crime, whichever is greater.
Article 74 states: “In addition to the penalties prescribed in this law, the supplier shall be sentenced to refund the value of the product in violation of the consumer law in each case where the consumer has the right to recover the value unless he has recovered it before the verdict.
Prime Minister and Minister rights
The Economic Committee granted the Prime Minister the right to issue the executive regulation of the draft law within three months from the date of its implementation. Until such regulation is issued, the regulations and decisions in force shall continue to be in force and in a manner not inconsistent with its provisions.
Article 3 of the draft law discusses the competence of the Minister of Supply and Internal Trade to issue the executive regulations of the law.
In the text of Article 4, the supplier shall inform the consumer of all essential data about the products, in particular the source of the product, its characteristics, its price, its basic characteristics and any other data specified by the executive regulations.
Whereas prior to the amendment, the supplier was obliged only to declare the characteristics of the product and its basic characteristics and any data described by the executive regulations.
The Economic Committee introduced a new article in the draft law to provide for the prohibition of hoarding strategic products prepared for sale by trading, by hiding them, not offering them for sale, refraining from selling them or any other forms.
A decision shall be issued by the Prime Minister after taking the opinion of the Regulatory Authority to determine the strategic products for a specified period of time and the controls of their circulation and the competent authority. The decision shall be published in two daily and widely circulated newspapers.
The holder of strategic products for non-personal use shall notify the authority of the stored stock and quantities thereof.
The Committee also amended the text of Article 14 to read as follows: “Competitions may not be announced by any means other than on the basis of a license issued by the Authority after submitting the data specified by the Regulations at least five days before the announcement date.”
In the event that the license is not issued during this period, it shall be considered as approval by the Authority for the declaration. The Authority may reject the competition and any advertisements thereof if it becomes apparent that the competition is not serious or misleading, or if the advertisement is contrary to the provisions of Article 12 of this law.
The decision to suspend the competition shall be issued in accordance with the rules and procedures provided for in Article (72) of this competition in case of violation of the license conditions.
Prior to the amendment, it was stipulated that competitions may not be announced by any means except after notification to the Regulatory Authority of the data specified by the Regulations before the announcement date of at least three days. The Authority may suspend the competition and any advertisements thereof if it becomes apparent that the competition is not serious, Contrary to the provisions of Article 13 of this law, and issued a stay decision in accordance with the rules and procedures provided for in Article 72.
The Commission also prohibited in the text of the draft law article 15, the announcement of the seizure of real estate units or contracting for the sale or sale of land intended for construction or division only after obtaining a building permit in accordance with the provisions of the Building Code
While the bill before the amendment had mentioned the word, it is not permissible to declare the seizure of real estate units or the contract to sell them or sell the land intended for construction or division only after obtaining a building permit in accordance with the provisions of the Building Code.
The contract shall not include any requirement that the seller or his successor will receive a percentage, fee, commission or any circumvention under any name of the purchaser’s price in the real estate unit.
The amendment to Article 18 was also amended to oblige the supplier to develop a statement including consumer rights to product substitution and recoveries approved by the Authority, and provided for in this law and its executive regulations in a visible place within the places of display or sale of products.
The supplier is prohibited from suspending the sale of products on a condition contrary to the trade convention or condition of selling a certain quantity or linking the sale to the purchase of other products or otherwise.
The article stipulates that the supplier shall be obliged to place in a visible place within the places of display and sale of the products a statement containing the rights of the consumer in the substitution and retrieval provided for in this law or its executive regulations
Article 19 of the draft law was also amended to comply with the supplier, within a maximum of seven working days.
Since the discovery or knowledge of the existing defect in the product, inform the authority of this defect and potential damage. If this defect affects the health of the consumer committed the supplier to inform the authority of this defect immediately after being discovered, and withdraw the product from the market immediately, and warn consumers not to use the product, by publishing in the various media.
In any case mentioned above, the supplier is obliged to repair the defect or replace the product or return it with a refund of its value at no additional cost.
The Committee kept the text of Article 21 and added that in the event of a dispute regarding the existence of a defect in the goods or their conformity with the specifications or the purpose for which the contract was contracted, the matter shall be referred to the Authority for a binding decision.
In all cases, suppliers shall be responsible in the case of goods which require anything by the supplier according to the actual date of receipt of the consumer from the date of installation or actual operation, which is set with a maximum of 30 days from the receipt date by consumer.
Article 21 of the draft law states that within 30 days of the receipt of the commodity, the consumer shall have the right to replace or refund the value, if it is defective, or is not in conformity with the specifications or for the purpose for which it was contracted.
In such cases, the supplier shall comply with the demand of the consumer to replace the item or to refund its value at no additional cost to the consumer, all without prejudice to any guarantees or legal conditions or a better agreement for the consumer or less determined by the authority in view of the nature of the commodity. And in all cases, supplier responsibility is solidarity.
Informing the customer of periodic maintenance
In addition, the Committee committed the supplier in the text of Article 23 of the draft law during the warranty period to inform the consumer of periodic maintenance periods and to grant to the consumer a receipt explaining the repairs and maintenance works conducted. If the supplier did not repair the product, they shall be committed to replace the good with new ones of the same type and specification or refund their value, all in accordance with the terms and conditions specified by the executive regulations of this law.
Article 24 of the draft law states that if the defect is repeated more than twice during the first year from the date of the consumer’s receipt of the product, which significantly affects the quality of the functional performance of the goods, the supplier commits to replace the commodity with a new one of the same type and specifications without any cost to the consumer or refund its value, unless the Authority specifies a period less than the period referred to, in view of the nature of the commodity in accordance with the provisions of the Executive Regulations of this Law.
Article 25 states that the word “suppliers” is replaced by “service provider” and obliged them to refund its value or the value of the defect part, or grant the good back to consumer in the event of a defect or partial lacking, according to the nature and terms of contract and commercial custom and the implementation of the decision by the authority when the dispute.
The text of article 27 has been amended and the producer is liable for any damage caused by the product if it is established that the damage was caused by a defect in the product due to its design, manufacture or installation.
The supplier shall be responsible for any damage caused by the product due to the wrong use of the product if it is proved that the damage caused by the failure of the supplier to take sufficient care to prevent the occurrence of damage or alert to the possibility of occurrence.
The distributor or seller shall be responsible for any damage caused by the product if it is proved that the damage was caused by a defect due to the way it is prepared for consumption, preservation, packaging, circulation or presentation.
The Committee also postponed the discussion of the text of Article 33 until it submits to the rules governing the service and maintenance centres. The article stipulates that the minister concerned with industrial affairs shall issue a decision on the rules, conditions and procedures for practicing the activity of the service and maintenance centres and determine the competent authority to supervise them.
The discussion of Article 35 has been postponed until the passage of the Traffic Law by the parliament. The article stipulates that the supplier shall, in the case of the sale of second-hand goods, commit to show the consumer the condition of the goods and their defects, as specified in the Executive Regulations.
In the case of the sale of used vehicles, the supplier shall submit to the consumer a technical report on the condition of the vehicle and its defects, issued by a licensed service centre to carry out this activity, unless otherwise agreed. The responsibility of the supplier and the service centre shall be the source of the joint report if it is proved that either of them deliberately concealed significant data that affects the purchase price or the completion of the sale or the failure of the inspection report to result in gross negligence by either of them
The discussion of Article 36 was also postponed to redraft the paragraph on the exceptions to non-compliance with the provisions of this law, which includes banking, financial services and services related to trading in the capital market, delivery services and home grocery for personal consumption and contracting for newspapers and other periodicals. The Executive Regulations shall specify the other conditions excluded from this Chapter
In addition, the committee added, in article 37, that the supplier must provide the customer with explicit data of the maintenance centre and its method of preparing the goods as specified by the law, as well as the contracting data to be sent to the consumer in the event of completion of the contracting process and any other data that guarantees consumer rights.
The Committee amended article 38 to states that “if the consumer remotely agrees to the contract, they must confirm their approval. They shall also have the right to amend their request within seven days of accepting the original request, unless both parties agree on extending the period—all in accordance with the executive regulations.
Article 44 of the draft law concerned the financial resources of the Consumer Protection Agency. The first item, which is allocated to the budget allocated to it in the general budget of the State, has been kept unchanged and the third item is maintained as it relates to the State’s allocation of grants.
While the provisions of the fourth item are amended and stipulate that the Authority shall have the equivalent of 25% of the cash proceeds of the reconciliations in cases of violation of this law. The second item concerns grants and subsidies, which it accepts in accordance with the law in a manner not inconsistent with its objectives.
Articles 67, 69, 70, 73, 72, 75, and 76, as well as Article 52, provide that consumer associations receive 10% of the amounts obtained by the Authority from conciliation in cases contrary to the provisions of the law, were postponed.