New CCAC compliance certificate increasing consumer confidence
Consumers are once again placed at the forefront by the Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission (CCAC) with the launch of its compliance certificate.
The compliance certificate speaks to the Consumer Affairs Act of 2011, which aims to promote and protect consumers’ interests with regard to the supply of goods and services.
The programme launched on Tuesday at the Cara Lodge Hotel, Georgetown also represents the opportunity to assist small, medium and micro-enterprises in an effort to increase consumer confidence, their quality of service and competitive advantage.
CCAC Director (ag), Anil Sukhdeo highlighted the important role the certificate plays in consumer confidence.
“What we have come to recognise is that there is nothing firmly given to the suppliers who pass these compliance tests that we have, so what we are doing currently is we are giving them a mark of recognition so that when consumers enter those business, they know that this is a business, a firm or enterprise that is compliant with the Consumers Affairs Act.”
Further, Sukhdeo noted that the agency is achieving its goal by carrying out thorough inspections when necessary. It is also actively working to convert as many non-compliant suppliers as possible.
The application of the ‘mark of recognition’ comes as a result of Guyana’s massive economic and infrastructural developments which must have matched quality of service being offered by suppliers.
With the mark, consumers can easily recognise a compliant establishment and know that they are entitled to a seven-day refund, exchange or return.
This will sequentially boost the sale of goods and services at an establishment.
How to attain a compliance certificate
Businesses should note that the Consumer Affairs Act of 2011 only covers suppliers of durable goods and services. However, the compliance certificate can be attained in two ways; through business inspections or through an application for voluntary compliance.
- Business inspections are conducted countrywide pursuant to section six of the Consumer Affairs Act of 2011. The business inspections not only serve to verify compliance, but serve as a sensitisation campaign.
CCAC verifies receipt books and warranty documents, inspects the business premises to ensure that there are no signs of “no refund, no exchange and no return”. The agency also checks to ensure all items are clearly marked. Once the business is proven to be in conformity with the obligation of the act, the supplier is immediately issued a conformity form and subsequently, the compliance certificate.
- A voluntary compliance programme was implemented to broaden the agency’s reach countrywide.
Interested suppliers can access an online application form on the agency’s website https://ccac.gov.gy/. Once the form is completed, the supplier has the option to submit online or in person. The agency then peruses the application and conducts the necessary verification checks at the establishment. Once completed the supplier will be issued the compliance certificate.
Meanwhile, Private Sector Commission (PSC) Vice President, Ryan Alexander extended gratitude to CCAC for its accomplishment. The Vice President highlighted the pivotal role the certificate plays in the standard of service being offered by suppliers to consumers locally and internationally especially as Guyana experiences unprecedented growth.
“The private sector is thanking this organisation for its work. We are happy to see the launch and the roll out of this certificate programme… we not only want to ramp up the type of service that we offer to the general public, but you are well aware that there is a new industry which is the oil and gas industry that requires a lot of these types of certifications.
“We at the private sector commission don’t see it as a hindrance for business. We are happy to have this certification. In your written submission to us, you said that you will give the non-compliant the opportunity to get compliant with this programme and we think that it all speaks well for a more improved service for the general public, and the companies that are coming to Guyana. They will receive a much higher level of service, and to this, I say thank you again. I am very impressed.”
In addition, CCAC has recently launched a consumer road map for home building which highlights all aspects of construction and is collaborating with service providers to feature the necessary requirements when providing goods and services.