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Support seen for Spring Singapore to enforce Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act: MTI

PUBLIC support is evident for Spring Singapore to be appointed as the administering agency for the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Thursday following a four-week-long consultation which ended on June 15.

During the public consultation on the proposed amendments to CPFTA, which aim to provide greater protection for consumers and enable them to make informed purchasing decisions, respondents expressed support for the changes which included giving Spring investigative and enforcement powers.

"This would enable Spring to gather evidence and take up court injunctions against business entities and individuals who engage in unfair practices," MTI said.

Contributors were also supportive of the additional measures that the courts may impose on errant retailers, such as requiring them to publicise injunction orders and to notify Spring of changes to their entity and employment status. This would allow Spring to monitor errant retailers and prevent them from sidestepping injunction orders by setting up new entities to continue with the unfair practices.

The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will remain the first points of contact for consumers and tourists respectively. Case and STB would assist consumers through negotiation, mediation and/or voluntary compliance agreements. Consumers can also file a claim for compensation and recourse with the Small Claims Tribunal or the courts.

MTI said it would consider the feedback in the finalisation of the proposed amendments. The CPFTA (Amendment) Bill is targeted to be tabled in parliament by the end of this year.