Greater Consumer Protection for the General Public (26/08/2008)
People living in Thailand will soon be provided with greater consumer protection. The Government will establish consumer protection coordinating offices in all regions of the country to protect people from being exploited by unscrupulous traders.

The decision was made recently during a meeting of the Consumer Protection Board, chaired by Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Chousak Sirinil, in his capacity as Chairman of the Consumer Protection Board.

A total of nine coordinating offices for consumer protection will be set up within a period of five years, from 2009 to 2013. At the initial stage, the first coordinating office will be formed in Bangkok by next year and the remaining eight offices will be set up in the provinces in the next few years. This project aims to enhance the capacity of consumer protection mechanisms and empower local administrative organizations, so that they will work with greater efficiency in providing fairness to the people and protect them from exploitation. It will help strengthen Thailand’s overall economy and ensure its sustainable development.

The Consumer Protection Board has issued an announcement requiring used cars to be label-controlled goods. The announcement will take effect on 31 August 2008. From that date, dealers of used cars need to display labels on their cars on sale, with all relevant details, such as the day of registration, registration number, the name of brand, the color of the car, the type of fuel, and the name of previous owners. Violators will be subject to a jail term of up to six months, or a fine of up to 50,000 baht, or both.

The Consumer Protection Board has sent officials to give advice on label-controlled goods to traders for a certain period. It has also appointed a subcommittee to prevent and crack down on violations of consumers’ rights. The subcommittee is sending its staff to follow up on the displaying of labels on used cars, before the announcement of the Consumer Protection Board takes effect.

The Office of the Consumer Protection Board is a government agency attached to the Office of the Prime Minister. Its main duties are to handle complaints received from consumers and institute legal proceedings when an infringement of consumer rights is recognized. The Office covers three major areas of consumer protection: consumer protection against misleading advertising, protection against false labeling, and protection in contracts.

The protection of consumers in Thailand is regulated by the Consumer Protection Act, which calls for the protection of the rights of consumers and aims to prevent businesses from deceiving consumers. According to the law, consumers have the rights to full knowledge about the goods that they are purchasing, or the services they are obtaining, so that they will be provided with full protection.

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