Legislation

Trade practice and consumer protection proclamation No.685/2010

PART FIVE INSTITUTING OF ACTIONS AND CONDUCTING INVESTIGATION
41. INSTITUTING ACTIONS
1)By stating the provisions of Part Two of this Proclamation have been violated, any person who is concerned with the application of this Part may apply to the Authority for adjudication or for his right to be protected.
2) Consumers may institute actions for adjudication to protect their rights provided for under this Proclamation at the Authority or at regional state consumer protection body.
3) Any person including the Ministry may institute action at the Authority for administrative or civil measures to be taken against violators of the provisions of this Proclamation.
4) The provisions of the Criminal Code of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on discontinuance and extinction of prosecution and penalty shall apply to criminal penalty provisions of this Proclamation.
5) Civil or administrative action to be instituted under sub article (1) of this Article shall be barred if not instituted with in six months from the happening of the cause of action.
6) Civil or administrative action to be instituted under sub article (2) of this Article shall be barred if not instituted with in one month from the happening of the cause of action.
42. CONDUCTING INVESTIGATION
1)The Ministry or the bureau shall conduct investigation based on applications submitted to it in connection with the implementation of this Proclamation or on its own initiative.
2)The Ministry or the bureau may conduct investigation through its investigation officer in order to carry out its powers and duties vested in it by this Proclamation.
3)When conducting its investigation activities and finds it necessary, the Ministry or the bureau may order the forces under the Federal Police Commission or the regional state police respectively.
4)The relevant provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ethiopia shall apply concerning the search and seizure power of the Ministry or the bureau.
5)The investigation officer of the Ministry or the bureau when conducting investigation in connection with the implementation of this Proclamation, may enter into, search, seal, order the opening of containers in, take samples of goods or other materials necessary for the investigation or seize documents from, copy the documents on papers or electronically from, seize or take copies of information contained on tape recorders or any other equipment or seize or keep goods that are believed to be necessary for the investigation from, the business of the business person against whom application is filed or the business warehouse or any other premise in which goods are stored or services are delivered or related building of any business person necessary for the investigation.
6)The owners or officials or employees of business establishments shall have the obligation to cooperate in assisting in investigations to be conducted in accordance with this Proclamation.
7)Upon completion of the investigation or when deemed necessary, the Ministry or the bureau, may cause the return of goods or other materials seized in connection with the investigation to the owner.
8)Any investigator of the Ministry or the bureau shall show the authorization issued to him to conduct investigation to the owner or representative of the business or the establishment or the building against which investigation is to be conducted.

43. RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER ORGANS
1) In the implementation of this Proclamation, where it is found out that the provisions of this Proclamation are related to duties incumbent upon other government organs by law, the Authority shall, concur with the other organ which administers the other law. Failing to reach an agreement, the matter shall be decided by the Council of Ministers.
2) In reaching an agreement, the Authority shall always take into account the objectives of this Proclamation.

PART SIX
THE DISTRIBUTION OF GOODS AND SERVICES
44. REGULATING THE DISTRIBUTION OF GOODS AND SERVICES
1)The Ministry and bureaus in collaboration with other appropriate bodies shall ban the distribution of goods and services that do not fulfill the standards of health and safety.
2)The Ministry in collaboration with other appropriate bodies may order quality inspection of locally manufactured or imported goods.
3)The Ministry and the bureaus shall inspect any acts of hoarding or diverting of goods.
4) The Ministry or the bureaus shall in consultation with other concerned appropriate bodies commission the disposition of goods that are spoiled and are dangerous to human health and safety.
5)The Ministry and the bureaus shall have the power to implement the provisions of Part Three of this Proclamation other than those provisions of Part Three which are incumbent upon the Authority.
45. THE HOARDING OR DIVERTING OF GOODS
1) The hoarding or diverting of goods contrary to regular commercial practice is prohibited.
2) Without prejudice to provisions of other laws on hoarding of goods, goods are presumed to have been hoarded or diverted, where the goods are designated by the Ministry as to have been scarce in the market, where the quantity of the goods found in hoarding or diverted amounts 25% (twenty five percent) of the capital of the business person or where it is not a business person the quantity is beyond that of personal or family consumption and:
a) where an imported good and an imported raw material of a product or a good manufactured locally from an imported raw material of a product has not been made available for sale or has not been used for manufacturing with in three months from the date of its entry in to the country or its date of production respectively; or
b) where a good manufactured from a locally acquired raw material of a product and a locally acquired raw material of a product or a locally produced agricultural product except the one who is engaged in farming practices and saves the product for private or family consumption, has not been made available for sale or has not been used for manufacturing within two months from the date of its production or from the date of its purchase by a business person or any other person respectively.
3) The provisions of sub article (1) and (2) of this Article shall not apply to persons that are empowered by law or licensed in accordance with the law to hoard goods.
46. REGULATING PRICES OF BASIC GOODS AND SERVICES
The Ministry, when deemed necessary, submits to the Council of Ministers its study on basic goods and services that shall be subject to price regulation and upon approval publish their list and prices in public notices.
47. DISTRIBUTION OF BASIC GOODS
The Ministry in consultation with other concerned government organs may determine the conditions of distribution, sale and movement of basic goods and services and, as may be necessary, order the business person to replenish the stock of the same.
PART SEVEN MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
48. RESPONSIBILITIES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE FEDERAL AND REGIONAL STATE COURTS
1) Federal and regional state courts shall organize trade practice and consumer protection divisions in order to expedite the trade practice and consumer protection activities.
2) Divisions organized pursuant to sub article
(1) This Article shall have power to adjudicate and pass decisions on criminal violations stated under Article 49 of this Proclamation.
49. PENALTY
Without prejudice to administrative and civil measures the Authority shall take pursuant to sub article (3) of Article 35 of this Proclamation, the federal and regional state courts shall decide the following criminal penalties against any person who violates the provisions of this Proclamation:
1) any business person who violates Article 8 of this Proclamation shall be punished with a fine of 15% (fifteen percent) of his annual income or where it is impossible to determine the amount of his annual income with fine from birr 500,000 (five hundred thousands birr) to birr 1,000,000 (one million birr) and with rigorous imprisonment from 5 (five) to 15 (fifteen) years;
2)any business person who violates the provisions of Article 13 sub article (1) (a) and (b) of this Proclamation shall be punished with a fine of 20% (twenty percent) of his annual income or where it is impossible to determine the amount of his annual income with fine from birr 1,000,000 (one million birr) to birr 2,000,000 (two million birr) and with rigorous imprisonment from 5 (five) to 10 (ten) years;
3)any business person who violates Article 21 of this Proclamation shall be punished with fine of 10% (ten percent) of his annual income or where it is impossible to determine his annual income with fine from birr 300,000 (three hundred thousands birr) to birr 600,000 (six hundred thousands birr) and with rigorous imprisonment from 3 (three) to 5 (five) years;
4) any business person who violates sub articles
(6) and (10) of Article 30 of this Proclamation shall be punished with fine from birr 100,000 (one hundred thousands birr) to birr 300,000 (three hundred thousands birr) and with rigorous imprisonment from 10 (ten) to 20 (twenty) years;
5)any business person who violates the provisions of Article 30 of this Proclamation other than sub articles (6) and (10) of Article 30 of this Proclamation stated under sub article /4/ of this Article shall be punished with fine from birr 50,000 (fifty thousands birr) to birr 100,000 (one hundred thousands birr) and with rigorous imprisonment from 3 (three) to 7 (seven) years;
6)any business person who has been found hoarding or diverting goods in violation of Article 45 of this Proclamation, shall be punished with fine from birr 200,000 (two hundred thousands birr) to birr 400,000 (four hundred thousands birr) and with rigorous imprisonment from 3 (three) to 7 (seven) years;
7)where the participation of a person other than a business person in the crimes mentioned from sub article (1) to (6) of this Article has been ascertained he shall be punished with fine from birr 200,000(two hundred thousands birr) to birr 400,000 (four hundred thousand birr) and with rigorous imprisonment from 3 (three) to 5 (five) years;
8)any business person or any person other than a business person who violates the provisions of this Proclamation other than those mentioned under sub articles (1) to (6) of this Article or the provisions of regulations to be issued to implement this Proclamation or the provisions of public notices to be issued to implement this Proclamation, shall be punished with fine from birr 30,000 (thirty thousands birr) to birr 50,000 (fifty thousands birr) and with rigorous imprisonment from 2 (two) to 4 (four) years;
9)without prejudice to the other provisions of this Article, where a judge or Director General or another employee of the Authority or the Ministry or the bureau or the judge of regional state consumers protection judicial organ, by taking bribes or through favoritism or nepotism or other improper relationships implements otherwise than provided for in this Proclamation shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment from 10 (ten) to 15 (fifteen) years;
10)the penalty provided for under sub article (9) of this Article shall also be applicable to the person who has given the bribe;
11)In connection with the sale or circulation of goods and services persons who participate in the sale or circulation as manufacturers or exporters or importers or wholesalers or retailers or in any other way, shall have criminal liability individually and jointly concerning the violations of the provisions of this Proclamation.
50. DETERMINATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE OR CIVIL MEASURES
When determining penalty or administrative measures, the Authority shall consider the following factors:
a) the nature, duration, gravity and extent of the contravention;
b) the loss or damage suffered as a result of the contravention;
c) the previous behavior of the violator;
d) the market circumstances in which the contravention took place;
e) the level of profit derived from the contravention;
f) The economic status of the violator;
g) The degree to which the violator cooperated with the Authority; and
h) Whether the violator has previously been found in contravention of this Proclamation.
51. DUTY TO COOPERATE
Any person shall have the duty to cooperate in the implementation of this Proclamation.
52. SERVICE FEES
1) Any person other than government organ shall pay service fee when instituting action at the Authority, concerning the violations of provisions of Part Two of this Proclamation.
2) The tariff shall be prescribed by the Council of Ministers.
53. APPEAL
Any person aggrieved by adjudicative decision of the Authority may appeal to the Federal High Court with in sixty days from the date of the decision of the Authority.
54. BUDGET
The government shall allocate the budget of the Authority.
55. POWER TO ISSUE REGULATION AND DIRECTIVE
1) The Council of Ministers may issue regulation to implement this Proclamation.
2)The Ministry may issue public notice to implement this Proclamation and the regulation to be issued pursuant to this Proclamation.
56. TRANSITORY PROVISIONS
Public notices issued pursuant to Trade Practice Proclamation № 329/2003 shall be implemented until they are replaced by public notices to be issued pursuant to this Proclamation.
57. REPEALED LAWS
1/ Trade Practice Proclamation № 329/2003 is hereby repealed and replaced by this Proclamation.
2/ No other law or customary practice that is inconsistent with this Proclamation shall have effect with respect to matters provided for in this Proclamation.
58. Effective Date
This Proclamation shall enter into force up on the date of publication in the Federal Negarit Gazeta.
Done at Addis Ababa, this 16th day of August, 2010
GIRMA WOLDEGIORGIS
PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA

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6 replies »

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