CCA has set the annual theme of 2015 for protection of consumer rights as “Shared Governance to Enjoy Consumption” after having widely solicited the opinions of consumers and all sectors of the community to implement the spirits of the 18th National People’s Congress, the 3rd and 4th Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Party, the Work Meeting of the Central Government on Economy and the 1st Session of the 5th CCA Council Meeting.
1. Meaning of the annual theme
(a) Consumer associations shall fully exert the bridge-and-bond function when facing the new normality of economic and social development, integrate all forces to create synergy for protection of consumers’ rights, create a new pattern of shared governance and endeavor to turn a new page for the protection of consumers’ rights; (b) Consumer associations shall motivate and prompt all sectors of the community to observe the responsibilities and obligations prescribed by the new law in a lawful manner by adhering to the concept of “ruling the country by law” and better safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of consumers; (c) Consumer associations shall take enhanced efforts to exercise public oversight and provide education and guidance, and create a safe and worry-free consumption environment so that consumers are willing to spend, are able to spend without concerns and enjoy spending, thereby improving the significant role of consumption in economic and social development.
2. Basis of the annual theme
(a) In a new age, to adapt to new normality, embrace new challenges, explore new mechanisms and create a new pattern, are the new requests posed on protection of consumers’ rights. Currently, as China is entering into a new normality of economic and social development, the consumption concepts, behaviors and ways are constantly changing. In this new age where the society is seeing more diversified structure of consumption, more broadened space for consumption and more personalized consumer needs, consumer associations shall keep up with the times to build consensus among all parties, integrate all forces to create synergy, foster new ideologies, develop innovative mechanisms and create a new pattern for protection of consumers’ rights.
(b) To reinforce the awareness of protecting the consumers’ rights and implementing the new law according to law is the fundamental requirement under the concept of “ruling the country by law”. The year 2015 is the beginning year for the state to push forward the “ruling the country by law” in all aspects and also marks a full year of the implementation of the new law. Practical measures to push forward this strategic deployment include implementing the new law, improving the new rules for protection of legitimate rights and interests of consumers, urging all responsible parties to perform their statutory responsibilities and obligations for protection of consumers’ rights and interests and driving the incorporation of consumer protection as an integral part of the legal system.
(c) To create a safe and worry-free consumption environment, promote social harmony, and enable consumers to spend worry-freely are the fundamental tasks for protection of consumers’ rights. Along with the economic and social development of China, consumption has become an increasingly leading force to stimulate economic growth. Therefore, creation of a safe and worry-free consumption environment plays a vital role in safeguarding consumer desires, enhancing consumer confidence, exploring consumption potentials, enlarging consumption scales, fostering a multi-point supported pattern for consumption growth and exerting the fundamental functions of consumption, and is also a fundamental requirement for the work of consumer protection by economic and social development.
(d) To enable consumers to spend, be daring and willing to spend, and enjoy the happiness and pleasure brought by life through spending, shall be one of the benefits brought by our social system and also the original intention for the protection of consumers’ rights and interests. To safeguard people’s livelihood and enable the general public to enjoy the benefits brought by reform and opening, social development and economic prosperity, is a demand of our social system, an expression of the principle “building the Party for the public and wielding power for the masses”, and a key content of the work concerning protection of consumers’ rights and interests in China.
3. Purposes of the annual theme
(a) Build consensus among all parties, integrate all forces to create synergy, exert the bridge-and-bond function to prompt the shared governance for protection of consumers’ rights. As requested by the new CCA council, consumer associations shall proactively explore new mechanisms for rights protection, and play the role as a platform to integrate all forces to create synergy for rights protection, create a new pattern for shared governance for rights protection with the participation of governmental departments, social organizations, general public and business entities, and turn a new page for protection of consumers’ rights.
(b) Reinforce legal awareness and perform obligations according to law to drive the establishment of legal framework for protection of consumers’ rights. Consumer associations shall advocate and insist on practicing the concept of defending consumers’ rights according to law to serve for sound economic and social development across the board, continue to push forward the implementation of the new law, perform their obligations according to law including reporting and investigating consumer complaints, making proposals, disclosing acts infringing upon consumers’ rights and interests, supervising and inspecting, supporting with legal proceedings or initiating a litigation etc., urge and drive the whole society to perform the statutory obligations to improve the consumption environment.
(c) Promote system improvement and approach innovation to create a safe and worry-free consumption environment. As requested by the new law, consumer associations shall promote the improvement of rules and regulations on protection of consumers’ rights and interests, take enhanced efforts to improve the rapid response system for mediating and settling consumption-related disputes, providing feedbacks to consumers and responding to consumer claims, place high importance on key areas and monopolistic conducts that seriously infringe upon consumers’ rights and interests, take active measures to enhance rights protection, drive the consumer market to operate in a healthy way and in good order, and provide safeguard for consumers, enabling them to spend without concerns and enjoy the benefits of social and economic development.
(d) Strengthen consumer education and guidance, advocate scientific and rational consumption, and effectively protect the consumers’ right to know and right to choose. Facing a consumer sector of ever changing consumption patterns, consumer demands and consumption patterns, and various kinds of emerging products and services, consumer associations shall rely on social resources, collect unbiased commodity and service information by means of scientific and justified approaches, provide information for consumers in a way that is acceptable to consumers, so as to protect the consumers’ right to know and right to choose, enabling them to truly enjoy the pleasure of spending, and strive to ensure that consumers can make consumption choices freely and independently.
4. Key work arrangements
CCA and consumer associations nationwide will carry out the work around the theme of “Shared Governance to Enjoy Consumption” in the following aspects: (a) Launch featured publicity campaigns to widely disseminate the concept of shared governance for protection of consumers’ rights, timely publish the achievements in shared governance for protection of consumers’ rights, convey positive energy, protect and boost consumer confidence; b) Cooperate actively with the NPC on law enforcement inspection, summarize and study the results and problems after one year of implementing the “consumer law” to provide important practical and theoretical reference for the further implementation of the law; (c) Enhance consumer education and guidance, carry out comparative tests and experiential surveys targeting at new and hotspot products and services to screen worry-free and satisfactory products and services for consumers; (d) Exercise public oversight focusing on some key areas in the consumer sector, such as banking services, courier services, telecommunications services, online shopping and other key areas which concern the vast majority of the consumers, organize to carry out consumer satisfaction assessment and market monitoring activities, identify inferior services, reflect consumer demands, promote industrial self-regulation and further improve consumption environment; (e) Further improve the information architecture for handling complaints and inquiries, build a national complaint platform for consumer associations, develop unobstructed communication channels internally and when coordinating with external departments for acceptance and settlement of consumer complaints, thereby playing a significant role in guaranteeing worry-free consumption.
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