FAIR TRADING COMMISSION ACT, 2009

Arrangement of Sections

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

PART II

ESTABLISHMENT OF FAIR TRADING COMMISSION

3. Establishment.

4. Functions and powers.

5. Appointment of Board.

6. Term of office.

7. Disqualification.

8. Removal from office.

9. Filling of vacancies.

10. Presiding officer.

11. Disclosure of interest.

12. Prohibition of publication or disclosure of information.

13. Meetings.

14. Seal.

15. Quorum.

16. Duty to give reasons.

17. Guidelines.

18. Proceedings.

19. Remuneration.

PART III

STAFF OF COMMISSION

20. Chief Executive Officer.

21. Functions of Chief Executive Officer.

22. Appointment of other members of staff.

23. Functions of staff.

24. Appointment of experts.

25. Disclosure of interests.

26. Confidential information.

PART IV

FINANCES OF COMMISSION

27. Funds.

28. Accounts and audit.

29. Financial statement.

PART V

COMPLAINTS TO, INVESTIGATIONS BY AND PROCEDURES BEFORE COMMISSION

30. Initiation of complaint by Commission or any other person.

31. Form of complaint.

32. Evaluation of complaint.

33. Investigative powers of Commission.

34. Search and seizure.

35. Copies of document or book of account.

36. Termination of investigation.

37. Service of complaint.

PART VI

HEARINGS BEFORE COMMISSION

38. Jurisdiction.

39. Fixing of hearing.

40. Hearings.

41. Rules.

42. Decision of Commission.

43. Publication of decisions.

PART VII

APPEAL TRIBUNAL

44. Establishment.

PART VIII

APPEAL FROM TRIBUNAL

45. Appeal to Supreme Court.

46. Powers of Supreme Court on appeal.

47. Stay of execution on appeal.

48. Liability.

49. Obstruction of investigation.

50. Obstruction of execution of warrant.

51. Destruction of records.

52. Giving false or misleading information to Commission.

53. Failure to comply.

54. Non-compliance with order of Commission.

55. Other contravention of Act.

56. Contempt of Commission.

57. Regulations.

SCHEDULE 1

SCHEDULE 2

17 of 2009,

6 of 2015.

AN ACT to provide for the establishment of a Fair Trading Commission, to safeguard the interests of consumers, to monitor and investigate the conduct of business enterprises, to promote and maintain effective competition in the economy, and to provide for matters connected therewith

[Date of commencement: 3rd November 2009]

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Fair Trading Commission Act, 2009.

2. Interpretation.

In this Act—

"Board" means the Board of Commissioners appointed under section 5(1)(a);

"business"—

(a) means the carrying on of any commercial activity for gain or reward; and

(b) includes—

(i) manufacturing, producing, transporting, acquiring, supplying, storing and otherwise dealing in goods for gain or reward; and

(ii) acquiring, supplying and otherwise dealing in services for gain or reward.

"Commission" means the Fair Trading Commission established under section 3(1);

"Commissioner" means a member of the Board;

"document" includes—

(a) anything on which there is writing;

(b) a map, plan, drawing or photograph;

(c) anything from which sounds or visual images are capable of being reproduced;

(d) any record created, stored, generated, received or communicated by electronic or electromagnetic means.

"enterprise" means a person, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association or other juridical person, engaged in commercial activities for gain or reward, and includes its branches, subsidiaries, affiliates or other entities directly or indirectly controlled by it;

"Minister" means the Minister responsible for Trade;

"prescribed" means prescribed by regulations;

"service provider" means an enterprise which provides a service;

"Tribunal" means the Appeal Tribunal established under section 44(1).

PART II

ESTABLISHMENT OF FAIR TRADING COMMISSION

3. Establishment.

(1) There is established a Commission to be known as the Fair Trading Commission.

(2) The Commission is a body corporate.

4. Functions and powers.

(1) The functions of the Commission are to enforce any written laws relating to consumer protection, fair competition and other written law which it has jurisdiction to administer.

(2) The Commission shall carry out its functions in such a manner as—

(a) to promote efficiency and competitiveness among; and

(b) to improve the standards of service, quality of goods distributed and services supplied by, business enterprises and service providers over which it has jurisdiction.

(3) The Commission shall have all powers necessary for the performance of its functions and discharge of its duties and without prejudice to the generality of this section, may—

(a) keep under review commercial activities to ensure that practices that may adversely or unfairly affect the interests of consumers and businesses are prevented or terminated;

(b) take such action as it considers necessary—

(i) to prevent the abuse of a dominant position by an enterprise;

(ii) to eliminate anti-competitive practices; and

(iii) to prevent or control anti-competitive mergers;

(c) receive and evaluate consumer complaints;

(d) educate or assist consumers in resolving complaints;

(e) investigate whether enterprises are engaged in restrictive business practices;

(f) monitor the standards of services supplied by service providers to ensure compliance; and

(g) determine the standard of services applicable to service providers.

(4) The Commission shall do all that is necessary and expedient for the proper performance of its functions and discharge of its duties, and shall inform persons engaged in trade or commerce and consumers in general of its powers, duties and functions as are set out in—

(a) this Act; and

(b) any written laws relating to consumer protection, fair competition and other written laws which it has jurisdiction to administer.

(5) The Commission may on its own initiative or at the request of a person having an interest in a matter—

(a) carry out such investigations as will enable it to prevent the use of trading practices which contravene any written law relating to consumer protection, fair competition and any other written law which it has jurisdiction to administer;

(b) enquire into the practices of any professional association to ensure that such practices are not contrary to any written law relating to consumer protection, fair competition and any other written law that it has jurisdiction to administer;

(c) undertake studies and publish reports and information regarding matters affecting the interests of consumers and enterprises;

(d) co-operate with consumer interests for the purpose of enforcing compliance with any written law relating to consumer protection and fair competition;

(e) make available—

(i) to persons engaged in business, general information with respect to their rights and obligations; and

(ii) to consumers, general information with respect to the rights and obligations of persons that affect the interests of consumers; and

(f) to assist a national body in developing and promoting the observance of standards of conduct for the purpose of ensuring good business practice.

5. Appointment of Board.

(1) The President upon the advice of the Minister appoints—

(a) a Board comprising five Commissioners, and the Chief Executive Officer who shall be an ex-officio member of the Board; and

(b) the Chairperson of the Board from among the Commissioners appointed under paragraph (a).

(2) The Commissioners appointed under subsection (1)(a) shall be persons from the public and private sector appointed by virtue of their qualifications and experience in law, economics, accountancy or commerce.

6. Term of office.

(1) Every Commissioner shall, subject to subsections (2) and (3) be appointed for a term of three years.

(2) A Commissioner may be re-appointed.

(3) A Commissioner may resign from office at any time by giving not less than 28 days notice in writing.

7. Disqualification.

A person shall not be appointed as a Commissioner if he or she—

(a) has in terms of a written law in any country—

(i) been adjudged or otherwise declared insolvent or bankrupt and has not been rehabilitated or discharged; or

(ii) made an assignment to, or arrangement or composition, with his or her creditors which has not been rescinded or set aside;

(b) has been convicted—

(i) in Seychelles, of a criminal offence involving fraud or dishonesty; or

(ii) outside Seychelles, of an offence which, if committed in Seychelles, would have been an offence involving fraud or dishonesty.

8. Removal from office.

(1) The President may remove a Commissioner from office upon being satisfied that the Commissioner—

(a) is for whatever reason, incapable of performing the functions of a Commissioner;

(b) has neglected the duty of a Commissioner or has engaged in misconduct; or

(c) has been absent, without leave of the Board, from three consecutive meetings of the Board.

(2) A Commissioner unless he or she resigns under section 6(3) or is removed from office under this section, continues in office until a successor comes into office, notwithstanding that his or her term has expired.

9. Filling of vacancies.

(1) Where a vacancy occurs in the office of Commissioner, the President upon the advice of the Minister, shall appoint a person to replace the Commissioner.

(2) A person appointed under subsection (1) shall hold office for the remainder of the term for which the Commissioner who resigned or was removed was appointed.

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