Gov't Stages The Consumer Is King Stages C.A.R.E. Drive
The Department of Trade, Industry, and Fair Competition is responsible for the promotion and enforcement of the TCI Consumer Protection Ordinance.
The goal of the Ordinance is to establish provisions for the protection of consumer interests in relation to the supply of goods and services in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
In February 2023, the Department of Trade will be unveiling its Compliance and Regulatory Enforcement (C.A.R.E) Drive. The overall objective of the C.A.R.E. Drive is to actively educate providers whilst enforcing the main provisions to protect consumers under the Consumer Protection Ordinance. It is anticipated that this will lead to a more predictable and efficient trading environment for both consumers and providers alike.
The C.A.R.E. Drive will focus on (2) major work activities:
(i) Part IV and V Checks – Consumer Officers will monitor businesses activities across the Turks and Caicos Islands to ensure that providers are compliant with their duties to consumers as outlined in Parts IV & V of the Ordinance.
The Ordinance specifies that providers should give certain basic information to consumers about goods and services being sold, inform consumers about terms and conditions before payment is made (e.g., warranties, refunds, returns, exchanges, etc.), as well as abstain from misleading and deceptive conduct, false representation and unfair business practices.
(ii) Section 33 Check – Consumer Officers will monitor the prices of selected breadbasket items to assess if there is evidence of price gouging, a practice which is prohibited in Section 33 of the Ordinance.
The Department will monitor the prices of twenty-three (23) items in specific retail outlets across the TCI to assess how these prices compare with the prices of similar goods or services that are available to like consumers in the TCI. A monthly price report will be published on the Department of Trade’s website for informational purposes.
It is anticipated that the C.A.R.E. Drive will reach over 85 businesses throughout the islands. If businesses are found to be non-compliant with provisions under the Consumer Protection Ordinance, the Department of Trade will investigate the matter thoroughly and issue warnings to providers to desist from these practices. If no corrective action is taken, fines will be issued in accordance with the Ordinance.
The Department of Trade encourages businesses throughout the islands to get familiar with their duties to consumers under the Consumer Protection Ordinance. For more information about the Ordinance and to ensure that your business is compliant, contact the Department of Trade on 338-3703 or visit our website: www.gov.tc/trade.