A Workshop on Enhancing Cross-Border Enforcement in the ASEAN Region – Ecommerce, Cross Border Complaint Sharing and Sweeps was held from 24-25 April in Makati City, the Philippines. Convened on the margins of the 9th ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection (ACCP) Meeting, the workshop served as a platform to exchange information, deliberate on issues, challenges and share best practices on handling cross-border consumer complaints, e-commerce cases and developing law enforcement sweeps.
The participants, which consist of consumer protection officials from ASEAN Member States, shared experiences on their respective legislation and the challenges in enforcing effective consumer protection laws in ASEAN. In particular, Myanmar provided information regarding its recently enacted consumer protection legislation which came into force on 14 March. Enhancing coordination among consumer protection agencies and the technical capacities and resources of the staff were among the identified challenges in consumer protection law enforcement. Further the participants recognized the importance of consumer education programmes and the usefulness of the ACCP website for consumers in the region to lodge claims and complaints.
The United States Federal Trade Commission (U.S. FTC) presented an analysis of consumer complaints and cross-border cases, the usefulness of the cross-border consumer complaint databases such as econsumer.gov, which consolidates and assesses the trends of cross-border consumer complaints worldwide, as well as best practices in conducting sweeps or coordinated law enforcement actions among multiple agencies to address consumer scams. The U.S. FTC also stressed the importance of AMS joining the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), a global network of over 50 international members which provides a platform to share information and intelligence on consumer protection trends and cases, as well as key best practices on consumer protection law enforcement and regulatory approaches.
This Workshop was supported by the ACCP, the Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines (DTI) and U.S. FTC.