St Lucia’s government is pledging to give attention to the proposed Consumer Protection Bill, according to Senator Ubaldus Raymond, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

Raymond, who was speaking in an address to the nation on World Consumer Rights Day, said the government will look to cut down on red tape surrounding the development and implementation of consumer legislation and consumer policy.

“The government of St Lucia, as consumers themselves, [are] of the concerns consumers are faced with and will make every effort to ensure that policies are implemented to facilitate fair trade in the marketplace,” Raymond said.

“The Ministry of Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs is in the process of finalizing the draft consumer protection bill so that it can be taken to the other two stages: firstly, to Cabinet for approval, and then to Parliament for enactment.”

The bill contains provisions to address concerns expressed by consumers in dealing with the financial services and other sectors.

“There are provisions in the bill dealing with unfair contract terms,” he said. “Provisions have also been made to address unfair practices, particularly matters relating to false, misleading or deceptive representation.”

Other issues covered in the bill include misleading the public about goods and services, unreasonable transactions and unconscionable representation.

St Lucia has also reportedly undergone consultations on the bill at the CARICOM level.

CARICOM recently announced a regional consumer protection initiative targeting hazardous products.