Government will be creating a tribunal to handle trade-related disputes that may arise in the British Virgin Islands.
In a public announcement last Friday, Junior Minister for Trade Sharie de Castro said the tribunal will be tasked with hearing and resolving disputes between consumers and suppliers of goods and services.
This tribunal is being created as part of the long-awaited Consumer Protection legislation that was recently tabled in the House of Assembly.
De Castro said the proposed legislation is now to undergo a series of public consultations before it is debated in the House.
“Because of our government’s desire to ensure that the bill is as thorough as possible and has a positive impact on trading here at home, it is important that we discuss this legislation – and [hear what] all has a say in the various matters addressed so that the final document will be something we all agree on and will all be proud of,” the Junior Trade Minister said.
She continued: “These issues all reaffirm our collective belief that the implementation of such a critical piece of legislation will go a far way in strengthening and even triggering the evolution of commerce here in the Virgin Islands. I say commerce because this Act not only protects the consumers but makes business better for the merchants or service providers as well.”
De Castro said the bill address areas such as complaints and investigations, consumer rights, duties of suppliers, unfair trade practices, unfair terms, and consumer safety.
Dates of meetings
The first public meeting is scheduled for 6 to 8 pm at the Eileene L Parsons Auditorium at the H Lavity Stoutt Community College on Wednesday. The second is scheduled for the same time at the Catholic Community Centre on Virgin Gorda on Thursday, and at 3 pm upstairs Foxy’s, Jost Van Dyke on Sunday.
Meetings will culminate at the Anegada Community Centre at 10 am on Monday, July 15.
There will be two meetings specifically designed to address the concerns of all business owners. The first is scheduled for Tuesday, July 9 from 6 to 8 pm at Maria’s by the Sea on Tortola and the second on Thursday, July 11 at the Village Café conference room on Virgin Gorda from 3 to 5 pm.
The former NDP administration had been promising to implement the long-awaited bill for years and cited many reasons for not following through on those promises.
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