National consumer protection policy lacks shield against contraband - Kavekotora
Outspoken member of parliament, Mike Kavekotora has said that a mechanism aimed at protecting the country’s economy and markets from unwanted and harmful products and how illicit flows of these goods and services could be curbed is missing in the draft of the National Consumer Protection Policy.
Kavekotora then called on the trade ministry to engage a more proactive mechanism to prevent illicit products and services from entering the Namibian market.
“The current world economic order of market globalisation and direct marketing through technology poses a challenge to efforts aimed at protecting consumers and this policy to a certain degree is silence on how those challenges can be mitigated.”
The policy highlights a number of general guiding principles intended to regulate the market, he said.
“I approached my contribution to this draft policy from the premise of whom does this policy document want to protect? While acknowledging that in other jurisdictions many unfair and deceptive practices are directed at the poorest and the most vulnerable members of the society, the content of the policy does not clearly spell that out to be the overarching objective.”
“For instance, the policy documents stipulate that the main objective of the policy is to encourage both domestic and international consumers to invest in economic growth and prosperity of Namibia. In addition, the policy is defining business, as consumers segment amongst other consumer segments to which this policy will apply that seems like a contradiction from the previous policy. We all know that businesses are in most cases the culprits engaging in many unfair and deceptive practice against the poorest and most vulnerable members,” he said.
In 2016, The Villager reported that the Namibia Customs and Excise depart within the Finance ministry confiscated and destroy contraband worth N$20 million.
These illicit goods were illegally imported into the country where they would have penetrated the market without control.
The villager also then reported that these illicit goods were ranging from shoes, perfumes, purses, shirts, jeans, caps, medicaments, spare parts for vehicles as well as art pieces.