Scope of Application
The application of the Consumer Protection Law has been expanded to cover all goods and services provided within the UAE as well as to cover e-commerce service providers which are registered in the UAE. In fact, the Consumer Protection Law intends to protect the consumers from the risks that may arise from the rising e-commerce markets in the UAE and the increasing dependance on such platforms due to the global pandemic Covid-19.
Moreover, under Article 25 of the said law, e-commerce service providers that are licensed and registered in the UAE must provide consumers and the UAE authorities with their names, legal status and details of the licensing authority, their address, licensing and sufficient information in Arabic on the products or services they are providing.
The definition of an “electronic commerce service provider” was finally explicitly provided[LS1] .
In fact, the Old Law did only include a wide definition of a supplier and not of an electronic commerce service provider. This advancement was a must since the UAE has one of the highest percentages of internet users in the world. Under this new law, and as per its first article, an electronic commerce supplier is considered an individual engaged in commercial operations in the e-commerce field providing manufactures, dispositions, trades, sells, imports, or sells the goods.
- Data protection has now been announced as a consumer right and is now a new supplier responsibility under the Consumer Protection Law to protect consumers’ privacy and data security and to avoid using their data and information for marketing and retailing.
- This Consumer Protection Law now shall apply to all electronic commerce employees registered in the UAE which are now obligated to ensure to both consumers and UAE authorities details of their registration, products and other relevant information.
- UAE authorities (Ministry of Economy) can only impose the obligations of the Consumer Protection Law on electronic commerce service providers registered in the UAE and will not be seized responsible for e-commerce dealings that are conducted between customers and non-UAE based e-commerce service providers.
- Under Article 8 of the said law, suppliers are under the obligation to provide customers with ads, publicity, announcements and contracts in Arabic. With the possibility of these to be translated to any other language at the supplier’s discretion
- Firmer penalties have been imposed on suppliers who breach any provision of the Consumer Protection Law and suppliers can be liable for charges starting from AED 10,000 rising up to AED 2 million along with an imprisonment period for breaches of certain obligations contained in the Consumer Protection Law.