The National Seminar on Development of Consumer associations was held in Shanghai on April 28th under CCA arrangement. Ma Zhengqi, Vice President of CCA and Deputy Director-General of SAIC, and Yang Dinghua, Deputy Director of the Standing Committee of the 13th Shanghai Municipal People’s Congress and Director of Shanghai Consumer Council, attended the seminar and delivered their speeches. The key content of this seminar was to study and implement the important instructions given by Zhang Ping, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People’s Congress, when he recently inspected CCA for research purpose; make an on-site visit to the Shanghai Consumer Council for experience sharing; arrange and deploy the work of election of next CCA Council at local level to strengthen the organizational architecture of consumer organizations. The purpose was to provide strong organizational safeguard for the implementation of the new version of the Law on Protection of Consumers Rights and Interests (the new consumer law) in all aspects and at all levels, and promote the sustainable and healthy development of consumer rights protection undertakings.
Officials from Shanghai Municipal Administration for Industry and Commerce and Shanghai Consumer Council shared their experiences in protection of consumer rights from different perspectives. Representatives from consumer organizations in Hubei, Shandong and Shenzhen also spoke at the seminar.
Ma summarized the successful practices of Shanghai Consumer Council in consumer rights protection in five aspects, i.e. well-developed reform ideology, sound systems and mechanisms, excellent cross-functional collaboration, strong fundamental safeguards and good results of consumer rights protection. He requested that consumer associations at all levels shall diligently study Shanghai’s experience, make good arrangement to ensure smooth election of next CCA Council at local level, make efforts to promote the transformation of consumer associations and be daring to perform the obligations specified by the new consumer law. Meanwhile, consumer associations shall take a proactive approach to gain the support of administrative and supervisory departments for industry and commerce and market of the same level to fully take advantage of the two hands of administrative organs and the public service organizations; shall exert the functions of consumers association as a social platform to drive the shared governance for consumer rights protection; shall be bold to explore and shoulder responsibilities and ally with all parties while adhering to the course charted for consumer associations to jointly push the work of consumer rights protection to a new level.
Ma remarked that an important task of consumers association is to elect the next Council, and it also serves as a significant safeguard for reform and development of consumer association. Consumer associations at local level shall refer to the working models adopted by CCA and Shanghai Consumer Council concerning election of next Council, and plan, organize and carry out the election well based on local reality so as to solidify the foundation for consumer rights protection.
Ma requested that the administrative departments for industry and commerce and of market regulation as well as consumer associations at local level shall pay high attention to the work of election and make good arrangement accordingly; shall operate the association according to law and carefully make amendments to the Articles of Association of the Council; shall develop a long-term vision and take solid actions to enhance the development of the Council; shall strengthen coordination and take a proactive approach to gain the support of all parties.
Ma stressed that protection of the legitimate rights and interests of consumers is the common responsibility of the entire society. While enhancing market supervision and adhering to strict and fair law enforcement, the administrative departments for industry and commerce and of market regulation shall further play a leading role in consumer rights protection and take advantage of consumer association as a social platform, develop innovative concepts for rights protection, enhance shared governance, elevate the level of consumer rights protection and better safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of consumers; shall make great efforts to carry out promotion programs to improve the publicity of the new consumer law and create a good environment for abiding by law, learning law, observing law and using law; shall carry out activities for rights protection in key areas with enhanced efforts, and create a safe and trustworthy consumption environment; shall promptly address the consumers’ complaints and push forward public welfare lawsuits according to law; shall work with the National People’s Congress to examine the results of enforcement of the new consumer law one year after it came into force and improve the capabilities of consumer rights protection; shall take advantage of consumers association as a platform and develop a new pattern to improve shared governance for consumer rights protection.
Ma and other participants also visited the internet entity under the Vehicle Office, the consumption education and experience bases of Furniture Office of Shanghai Consumer Council and the outstanding entities among sub-associations, complaint submission stations and 12315 liaison outlets for handling complaints and reporting violation acts.
The attendants included officials from the administrative departments for industry and commerce and of market regulation from provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities nationwide as well as secretaries-general of consumer associations. Executives from Consumer Protection Bureau and General Administration Department of SAIC and CCA also attended the seminar.
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