Updated United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection

7 November 2016

The updated United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (UNGCP) was adopted at the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 2015 and was made publicly available in February 2016.

The Consumer Council (the Council) was invited by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to participate in the revision process, which was commenced in 2012 and completed in 2015.  The Council provided advice for the strengthening and updating of the UNGCP by provision of information in relation to the application of the UNGCP principles to Hong Kong, participation in working groups and submissions of written responses on the Draft Resolution for consideration by the General Assembly.

The updated UNGCP provides new references and updated policies to tackle emerging consumer protection issues in financial services, privacy, energy, travel and tourism.  New key added areas are:

  • Access to essential goods and services, and the protection of vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers are recognized as new consumer legitimate needs;
  • New guidance on e-commerce, parity of treatment between online and offline consumers and protection of consumer privacy;
  • New guidance on financial services, public utilities, good business practices and international cooperation; and
  • A new Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE) on consumer protection law and policy to monitor the implementation of the UNGCP, serving as a forum for exchange.

The updated UNGCP is downloadable from the UNCTAD website at
http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/ditccplpmisc2016d1_en.pdf.

Other resources from the Consumers International:
Consumer Protection - why it matters to you (Video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__2LZvEc-5E&list=PL7YVP935ytF-rxyxRczKhb-HchzkoRM7y&index=1
Consumer Protection - why it matters to you (A Practical Guide to the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection)
http://www.consumersinternational.org/media/1709698/un-consumer-protection-guidelines-english.pdf