(National Coat of Arms)
Preah Karuna Preah Bat Samdech Preah Borom Neath NORODOM SIHAMONI,
the faithful and devoted servant of the country, religion, nation and the Khmer people; the protégé of Buddha and Indra; the unifier of all Khmers; and the defender of independence, territorial integrity and peace of Kampuchea; and the happiness, liberty and prosperity of the Khmer people, Preah Chao Krong Kampuchea Thipadei
- Having seen the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia;
- Having seen Royal Decree number នស/រកត/0918/925, dated 6 September 2018, on the Appointment of the Royal Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia;
- Having seen Royal Code number នស/រកម/0618/012, dated 28 June 2018, promulgating the Law on the Organization and Functioning of the Council of Ministers;
- Having seen Royal Code number នស/រកម/0196/16, dated 24 January 1996, promulgating the Law on the Establishment of the Ministry of Commerce;
- Having seen the proposal of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia;
The Law on Consumer Protection which was passed by the National Assembly on 8 October 2019 during its 3rd session of the 6th legislative term, and whose entire legal form and substance were completely reviewed by the Senate on 18 October 2019 during the extraordinary session of the 4th legislative term, and the whole content of which is as follows:
Article 1.- Purpose
This Law is aimed at ensuring the protection of consumers and contributing to the promotion of fair competition.
Article 2.- Objective
The objective of this Law is to define the rules and mechanisms for contributing to the creation of the trading environment, in which:
- The rights and interests of consumers are protected;
- The trading is fairly competitive, and
- Consumers and business persons conduct activities together with trust.
Article 3.- Scope
This Law shall be applicable to all persons engaged in business whether for profit making purpose or not, including the sale of goods or services or real rights to property to consumers in the Kingdom of Cambodia, unless otherwise stipulated herein by separate provisions.
Article 4.- Definitions
- Access refers to the access to goods and real rights to property through gifts, trading, exchange or other agreements and access to services through agreements.
- Commercial advertisement refers to a public promotion or promotion in any form to a group among the public for the purpose of promoting the supply of goods or services or the sale or grant of real rights to property.
- Competent regulator refers to any ministry [or] institution whose function and role is to protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers under its responsibility.
- Business refers to activities:
- In which goods or services have been received or supplied, or whose real rights to property have been received or waived or;
- Which are conducted in an organized and clear manner, or
- In which the person undertakes the activity with a profit-making purpose, although the activity carried out by the person is a primary or secondary activity or not conducted on a regular basis.
- Consumer refers to a person who receives goods or services:
- Which are used ordinarily for personal, domestic or household purposes and
- For the purpose of:
- Not for further supply in dealing, or
- Not for use in production chain or production process, or
- Not for use of the goods for commercial activities, such as for building repairs or for use as fixtures on property.
- Consumer rights refer to:
- The right to access information and education in order to distinguish the difference between goods or services and to prevent fraud and fraudulence by commercial advertisement;
- The right to choose goods or services with competitive prices and quality;
- The right to be heard on concerns and to examination and settlement by competent regulators and the Royal Government;
- The right to claim compensation under this Law or other laws.
- An act refers to an action, denial or ignorance of any act, including the management or leading of business activities.
- Disclosure of information refers to the act of making sufficient and accurate information public.
- E-commerce refers to any trading, tenancy or exchange of goods or services, including commercial and civil activities, as well as state activities and transactions carried out electronically.
- Fair competition refers to any competition on the basis of low cost, good quality and good service based on the principles of long-term economic sustainability and of no abuse of power or superior position on the market.
- Misleading representation refers to any representation whereby a person who is conducting any business activity convinces the consumer that something is true while it is actually untrue.
- A person refers to a natural person or legal entity that is duly established or organized under the law in force, whether for profit or not, registered or unregistered.
- Dissemination of information refers to the act of making something known to the general public, including the dissemination via the homepage of relevant regulators or via other means through which the public is able to find information freely and without interruption.
- Service refers to any rights, benefits, priorities or facilitation provided or offered under the following types of contracts, except for non-bank financial services:
A. Contracts relating to:
- The work performance irrespective of the supply of goods.
- The provision of convenience or satisfaction with convenience including accommodation, leisure, care for people, animals or other objects, recreation (excluding commercial games), parking or entitlement, benefit or priority to be paid.
B. Contracts between financial service providers and their clients.
- Supply refers to:
- The supply of goods by way of gift, sale, exchange, tenancy, or purchase by instalment payment and
- The provision of services.
- Multiple supply refers to:
- Multiple supply on a permanent basis of goods by gift, sale, exchange, tenancy or purchase by instalment payment; and
- Multiple service provision.
- Trade description refers to the display or description of goods, including the quantity or size, how it is made or produced, the substance used for production, its production time, suitability, durability, function, nature or accuracy, and the characteristics of appearance attached to the goods. Trade descriptions do not include marks or trade names.
- Unfair act refers to any act of a person in the business which may be misleading or deceptive, whether intentionally or not, to the consumers.
- Act or representation such as advertising, sales promotion, and other representations;
- Misleading of consumers regarding the cost, price or quality of the goods or services. A person in business cannot rely on hard-to-read small print and labels and misleading claims for self-defence to avoid liability;
- Failure to present to consumers promises, expectations and relevant information;
- Taking advantage of the consumers if the supplier is aware that the consumers are not in a position to protect his or her interests or are incapable of understanding the goods or services, such as the characteristics, type, language, effect of the transaction or any problem related to the transaction, or
- Other acts determined by the Prakas of the Ministry of Commerce.
Article 5.- National Consumer Protection Committee
A National Consumer Protection Committee shall be set up and chaired by the Minister of Commerce and with the participation of relevant ministries/institutions, with the Ministry of Commerce’s General Department in charge of Consumer Protection as its arm to perform the duties related to consumer protection in accordance with the provisions of this Law.
The organization and functioning of the National Consumer Protection Committee shall be determined by a subdecree.
Article 6.- Formation of a Consumer Association
Consumers in each sector have the right to form their own associations by registering with the Ministry of Interior in accordance with the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations.
Article 7.- Consumer Association
A consumer association in any sector shall obtain the prior authorization from the ministries or institutions having their roles and duties over its sector.
After forming and registering the association at the Ministry of Interior and obtaining the authorization from the relevant competent regulators, the association shall file the above registration document and letter of authorization at the National Consumer Protection Committee.
Article 8.- Roles and Duties of the Consumer Association
The consumer association shall have the following roles and duties:
- To consult independently with consumers and coordinate consumer related issues;
- To act as a representative before the National Consumer Protection Committee or before the court on behalf of any consumer or consumer group whose rights and interests are infringed;
- To represent the views and interests of consumers in public forums or the press;
- To receive consultation from any competent regulator on any regulation concerning information standard issued by the competent regulator to be provided to consumers;
- To create a consumer protection working group in each sector;
- To undertake to perform other duties as assigned by the National Consumer Protection Committee.
Unfair Acts in Business
Article 9.- Unfair Act
No person who conducts business shall be involved with an unfair act.
An unfair act refers to any act of a person in business, that may be misleading or deceptive to a consumer, whether that act is intentional or unintentional.
- An act or representation such as advertising, sales promotion, and other representations;
- Misleading of consumers regarding the cost, price or quality of the goods or services; A person in business cannot rely on hard-to-read small print and labels and misleading claims for self-defence to avoid liability;
- Failure to present to consumers promises, expectations and relevant information;
- Taking advantage of the consumers if the supplier is aware that the consumers are not in a position to protect his or her interests or are incapable of understanding the goods or services, such as the characteristics, type, language, effect of the transaction or any problems related to the transaction, or
- Other acts determined by the Prakas of the Ministry of Commerce.
Article 10.- Unfair Act Regarding Goods
No person who conducts business shall engage in any unfair act which is misleading or deceptive to the public concerning the type, production process, characteristics, suitability, quantity, measurement, dimension, standard, or quality of the goods.
Article 11.- Unfair Act Regarding Services
No person who conducts business shall engage in any unfair act which is misleading or deceptive to the public concerning the type, standard, characteristics, suitability, size, or quality of the services.
Article 12.- Misleading Representations
No person who conducts business shall supply or promote the supply or use of goods or services through any of the following misleading representations:
- The goods are specifically unique to a type, standard, quality, classification, quantity, composition, style, model, or the goods with special background or with special use.
- That service is specifically unique to a type, standard, quality, size, or the service is provided by a particular person or by person with a particular skill or special qualification of conducting businesses.
- Any reputable person has already agreed to receive the goods or services.
- They are either new goods or refurbished goods, or the goods are produced, made, invented at a specific occasion.
- That goods or services are sponsored, recognized, certified, effective for use, contains associated objects or a wide range of use or benefits.
- Any person has provided support, recognition, certification, or affiliation with.
- That goods or services are recognized for their price.
- That goods or services are in high demand.
- The goods or services include or do not include any insurance, compensation or settlement, rights or other conditions.
- The goods are originated from somewhere.
Other misleading representations shall be defined by the Prakas of the Minister of Commerce, who is the Chairman of the National Consumer Protection Committee, at the request of the competent regulators.
Article 13.- Prohibition of Unfair Sale
Any sale which will cause consumer confusion in the purchase of goods or services shall be prohibited.
Article 14.- Promise of Gifts and Prizes
No person shall offer a promise of gift, prize or other free objects with the intention to deceive or lie to the consumer with respect to:
- The supply of goods or services or
- The sale or granting of real rights to property.
Article 15.- Bait Advertising
- No person shall advertise in order to supply goods or services at a certain price for which the person has no intention of supplying or there is no reasonable ground to believe that the person can provide supply at the advertised price.
- Any person advertising the goods or services for a certain price shall supply the goods or services at the advertised price within a specified time and at a reasonable quantity.
- In the event of a complaint or protest against any person with respect to the non-provision of goods or services to the consumers in accordance with the provisions stated in this article, the person can defend himself/herself provided s/he has evidence that:
- [S/he] has supplied or asked any other authorized person to supply the advertised goods or services to the consumer on his/her behalf for a defined period of time at any defined quantity and at such price as advertised and for which such supply is also approved by the consumer.
- [S/he] has promptly supplied or asked any other authorized person to supply on his/her behalf for a defined period of time to the consumer the goods or services at a corresponding quantity and price as advertised and for which the supply is also approved by the consumers.
Article 16.- Unfair Solicitation Sales
An unfair solicitation sale refers to any sale that entices or induces a purchaser to purchase goods or services on the condition that the purchaser will receive a bonus, commission, or other benefits in exchange for provision of the name of a potential customer or otherwise assists that person in persuading or soliciting other purchasers or consumers for a commission or discount of the goods or create other events to attract other purchasers to purchase at the first consumer’s persuasion, and that potential customer has actually purchased the goods or services at the first purchaser’s or consumer’s persuasion, while those conditions are not met by the seller.
Article 17.- Demanding or Accepting Payments Without Intention to Supply Goods or Services as per the Purchase Order
Prior to supplying goods or services, the supplier shall not demand or accept any payment or other consideration in the event that the supplier:
- Does not intend to supply the goods or services as per the purchase order; or
- Has intention to supply the goods or services that are different from the goods or services as per the purchase order, or
- There is no reasonable ground to prove that the supplier is able to supply the goods or services within a defined period of time or within a reasonable time as per the purchase order.
Article 18.- False or Misleading Representations in Respect of Some Business Activities
- No person shall make false or misleading representations concerning the potential gains, risks or other significance in any business activity whereby s/he has claimed that the other person may carry out that business activity from his or her residence.
- No person shall make false or misleading representations of key points concerning the potential gains, risks or other significance of any business activity in which the person invites other persons by advertising or by any other means to participate, and that is the requirement of the business activity:
- Engagement in the work performance by other persons or
- Financial investment and engagement in the work performance by persons involved in the investment.
Article 19.- Coercion by Force and Mental Threat
No person shall exert coercion by force, disturbance or mental threat with respect to the supply of goods or services or payments for the goods or services.
Article 20.- Pyramid Scheme
No person shall promote or carry out a pyramid scheme.
A pyramid scheme is any scheme that:
- Provides supply of goods and/or services for a prize or consideration, and
- Creates a purchase-sale and investment opportunity for numerous participants, individually or through agents who are not creating real-world sales opportunities, and
- This scheme is unfair to a wide range of participants because:
- The participants’ bonus or considerations are based on the recruitment of more participants.
- New participants cannot find more participants.