A new government statutory body called the Trade Commission Corporation is to be established in the British Virgin Islands. But, this non-existent body is already at the centre of a legal issue for the territory.
According to Attorney General Baba Aziz, the Trade Commission Corporation is the reason the long-awaited Consumer Protection Bill is not yet implemented.
“The Consumer Affairs Division [of government] is intended to be under the Trade Commission Corporation … That has explained why the [Consumer Protectection] Bill has not come before the House [of Assembly] — because we do not want to refer to a non-existent body within the Bill,” the Attorney General explained.
But, as calls for the Consumer Protection Bill increase, Aziz said his office has decided to advance the legislation in the House of Assembly without first establishing the Trade Commission.
He said his office will then “harmonise” the legislation with the commission once the two are independently established.
Aziz made the statement on Thursday while refuting claims from Junior Trade Minister Marlon Penn that he (Aziz) was the cause of the delay in the Bill.
“I would like to straighten the position for the general public that even if there was a delay, the Attorney General and his office did not intentionally or knowingly delay that Bill … there was [just] a legal conundrum,” he said.
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