This year’s World Consumer Rights Day conference organised by the MCCAA focused on how consumers can be best safeguarded in today’s digital world.
Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Protection and Valletta 2018 Deo Debattista said that online shopping is nowadays entwined in consumers’ everyday lives. In fact, more than half of the Maltese population opts to shop online for the goods and services it requires.
“The importance of e-commerce to small countries like Malta is evident, as the 2017 Consumer Conditions Scoreboard rates Malta among the countries who are more likely to buy online, not only from another EU Member State, but also from outside the EU. The limited product choice on our island and competitive prices found online tend to urge our consumers to venture more in online shopping,” Debattista noted.
During Malta’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, it was this Government’s priority to make as much progress as possible on the legislative dossiers, which aimed at strengthening the Digital Single Market. A very important achievement was the general approach reached for the Review of the Consumer Protection Co-operation Regulation, a Regulation which aims at modernising cooperation between national administrations and reducing damage for consumers because of cross-border infringements to EU consumer law.
“The Maltese Government is committed to change this by implementing initiatives and policies that encourage entrepreneurs to take their business online. E-commerce presents a great opportunity for Small and Medium Enterprises to reach new customers,” the Parliamentary Secretary said.
During her address Chairperson for the MCCAA, Ing. Helga Pizzuto, emphasised the importance for consumer authorities, consumer associations and the digital market platforms to work together to provide consumers with access to fair and secure markets.
She added that “Digital market places are providing unprecedented choice and convenience to consumers. That the consumer is benefitting from access to a global digital market is confirmed by the steady rise in online sales. This in turn necessitates a review of the safety nets, which need to be in place to ensure that consumers’ rights are safeguarded at all times. The theme of this year’s World Consumer Conference puts the spotlight on this reality”.