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CPA launches 3-week campaign for safe online shopping

20 Feb 2024 CPA launches 3-week campaign for safe online shopping By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – Consumer Protection Authority (CPA) has initiated a three-week campaign aimed at promoting a culture of safe online shopping among consumers. Launched on Tuesday, the campaign seeks to educate community members about e-commerce, focusing on consumer rights, responsibilities and features of a consumer-friendly online marketplace.

Elaborating on the objectives of the campaign, a CPA official said, “It is designed to raise public awareness on the principles of safe online shopping and to ensure both consumers and suppliers understand their rights and obligations within the digital marketplace.”

The campaign targets a wide audience, aiming to enhance legal awareness and knowledge about secure e-commerce practices.

During the campaign, efforts will include educating sales outlets, e-commerce entities and consumers on CPA’s role and activities related to online shopping. Significant emphasis will be placed on informing suppliers, especially those operating e-stores, about their responsibilities towards consumers.

The campaign’s activities are diverse, ranging from the release of a booklet – ‘Consumer Rights and Provider Duties in the Light of E-Commerce’ – to broadcasting awareness videos on television and CPA’s digital platforms. Additionally, the campaign will feature lectures aimed at all consumer categories and meetings with e-store owners to discuss their responsibilities under the law.

The CPA official also informed that the campaign will be conducted in a number of governorates, indicating a nationwide effort to enhance e-commerce safety and awareness.

In 2023, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MoCIIP) issued decision No 499/2023 laying down regulations for conducting e-commerce in the sultanate. The decision allows individuals, even those without commercial registration, to apply for an e-commerce licence under certain conditions. Commercial entities are required to be registered in the commercial registry, while non-Omani entrepreneurs must adhere to the guidelines provided in the Foreign Capital Investment Law.

MoCIIP has been vested with the authority to enforce these regulations stringently, with measures including fines of up to RO500 or suspension of online store licences until regulatory compliance is achieved. In cases of severe or repeated violations, MoCIIP has the power to revoke licences and block access to online stores.

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