Consumer Council hosts series of activities in celebration of 15th anniversary of ‘Consumer Arbitration Centre’

This year marks the 15th anniversary of 'Consumer Arbitration Centre', which operates under the auspices of the Consumer Council. A series of activities will be held by the Council to further promote the services and regulations of the Centre. The Regulations of 'Consumer Arbitration Centre' was set up by Consumer Council in accordance with Decree-Law n.º 29/96/M and 'Consumer Arbitration Centre' was established on 12th March 1998 based on the Regulations. The Arbitration Centre aims to solve consumer disputes occurring in the territory of Macao through the provision of intermediary services, mediation and arbitration in cases in which the claims involved do not exceed MOP50,000 (patacas). Services provided at the Arbitration Centre are free, fast, and confidential and the arbitration judgment has the same legal status, weight and effects as a judicial court order. The Arbitration Centre provides services to both local residents and foreign consumers. The Arbitration Centre has handled almost 500 dispute cases since its establishment and the claims involved amounted to about 2 million patacas. To ensure smooth operation of the Arbitration Centre, Consumer Council added a general admission mechanism to the Regulations. Traders can join the Arbitration Mechanism as 'Adherent(s)' in advance and by joining this mechanism, traders who become 'Adherents' agree to submit any consumer disputes that arise between them and consumers to the Arbitration Centre for decision and the traders can only withdraw their status as 'Adherents' from the mechanism only after the disputes have been settled. In order to ensure consumer rights are safeguarded under the 'Adherents' mechanism, Consumer Council established the 'Certified Shop' mechanism in 2001. The emblem of 'Certified Shop' is issued to Adherents who have never had complaints filed against them. This emblem encourages Certified Shops to exercise due concern and care for consumer rights when promoting their businesses. Certified Shops are required to abide by the Code of Practice of their respective industries and are assessed annually for their entitlement to the emblem. Over the past 12 years, the 'Certified Shop' mechanism not only safeguards the rights of consumers but has also become a trusted brand for tourists visiting Macao. There are currently over 1,100 businesses awarded with the 'Certified Shop' emblem.
This year, the Council will hold a series of events to celebrate the 15th anniversary of 'Consumer Arbitration Centre' and to promote 'World Consumer Rights Day' in March. Activities such as an online quiz on the Regulations of 'Consumer Arbitration Centre', carnivals and exhibitions in local communities, etc.. The Council hopes to strengthen residents' knowledge about the services and operation of the Arbitration Centre through these local promotional activities. The first carnival will be held on 2nd March from 3PM to 5PM at Vasco da Gama Garden. For inquiry, please call 8988-9315.

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