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European Union: Introduction of Stricter Requirements for Nursery Products

(Oct. 23, 2009) On October 21, 2009, the European Commission took measures to ensure that the youngest consumers across the European Union (EU) enjoy safe nursery products, including sleeping bags, crib mattresses, and duvets. The proposed new rules are designed to eliminate the risk of death or injury due to loose parts, entrapment from bad […]

South Africa: Consumer Protection Law to Allow Preemptive Blocking of Telemarketers

(July 27, 2009) It was reported on July 15, 2009, that a new South African consumer protection law, already passed by parliament and signed into law by the President of the country but not in effect until April 29 of 2010, will provide tools for consumers to reject unwanted sales solicitations by traders and to […]

Canada: New Consumer Product Safety Act Proposed

(Feb. 23, 2009) Canada's Conservative government recently introduced a bill in the House of Commons to create a Canada Consumer Product Safety Act to replace extant legislation that has not been thoroughly reviewed in over 40 years. (Bill C-6, 40th Parl. 2d Sess., available at (last visited Feb. 13, 2009).) The key provisions of […]

South Africa: Product Recall Law

(Jan. 28, 2009) It was reported on January 22, 2009, that a consumer protection bill, which seeks to impose strict liability on suppliers of goods for any damage caused by goods that they distribute, is under consideration by the South African Parliament. Under this bill, claimants are only expected to prove a causal link between […]

European Parliament: Stricter Rules on Toy Safety

(Nov. 14, 2008) On November 5, 2008, the Internal Market Committee of the European Parliament voted unanimously on a new directive that establishes stricter criteria on toy safety and prohibits the use in toys of certain dangerous substances, such as mercury and lead. Imports from countries outside the EU are subject to the same requirements. […]

Italy: Lawsuit Seeks to End Large Lottery Payoff

(Oct. 23, 2008) Codacons, a consumer rights organization in Italy, has filed suit against the Italian lottery, with the goal of having the current large jackpot divided into several smaller pots for separate lotteries. No date has yet been set for the hearing. No one has won the Italian lottery prize since April 2008, and […]

Bhutan: Consumer Protection

(May 2, 2008) It was reported on April 14, 2008, that Bhutan's Department of Trade (DOT) has drafted a consumer protection bill. Efforts to develop consumer awareness date back to 1999, when consumer education research officials from India had first conducted a workshop in Bhutan on consumer protection. According to DOT Director Sonam P Wangdi, […]

Israel: Consumer Protection

(May 2, 2008) On April 2, 2008, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) passed an amendment to the Consumer Protection Law, 5741-1981. The amendment prevents an automatic extension of contractual relations between consumers and providers. It requires full awareness of the contractual time period and the expressed consent on the part of the consumer for its extension. […]

Taiwan: Consumer Insolvency Proceedings Law Takes Effect

(May 2, 2008) On April 11, 2008, the Statute on Consumer Insolvency Proceedings took effect in Taiwan; the law was promulgated on July 11, 2007. Its four chapters, in 159 articles, cover general provisions, rebirth, liquidation, and supplementary provisions. The aim of the measures is to protect debtors who are unable to pay off their […]

Germany: Reform of Law on Insurance Contracts

(Apr. 2, 2008) A major reform of the German laws governing insurance contracts was enacted on November 23, 2007 (Gesetz zur Reform des Versicherungsvertragsrechts, BUNDESGESETZBLATT I at 2631). It aims primarily at increasing consumer rights and providing more transparency of the contractual terms. The reform affects virtually all branches of contractual insurance except for health […]