ASEAN Strategic Plan for Consumer Protection 2016-2025 (ASAPCP)

Consumer protection is an essential tool in building up a people-oriented ASEAN Community. ASEAN has been more mindful that consumer interests and welfare have to be taken into account in all measures implemented to achieve an integrated economic region.

Consumer protection laws ensure fair competition and the free flow of correct information in the marketplace. At present, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam have principal consumer protection acts in place. Cambodia is expected to enact its consumer protection law by end of 2016.

As initiated under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint 2025, consumer protection is an integral part of a modern, efficient, effective and fair market place. The market place requires a comprehensive and well-functioning national and regional consumer protection systems enforced through effective legislation, redress mechanisms and public awareness initiatives.

The ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for Consumer Protection 2016-2025 (ASAPCP) charts the course of the ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection (ACCP) work until 2025 and contains the following strategic measures:

  1. Establish a Common ASEAN Consumer Protection Framework through higher levels of consumer protection legislation, improve enforcement and monitoring of consumer protection legislation, and make available redress mechanisms, including alternative dispute resolution mechanisms;
     
  2. Promote a higher level of consumer empowerment and knowledge by addressing consumer concerns as well as enhancing consumer knowledge and advocacy;
     
  3. Build higher consumer confidence and cross-border commercial transactions by strengthening product safety enforcement, stronger participation of consumer representatives, and promotion of sustainable consumption;
     
  4. Encourage consumer-related matters in ASEAN policies through impact assessment of consumer protection policies and development of knowledge-based policies; and
     
  5. Promote consumer protection measures in products and services sectors such as finance, e-Commerce, air transport, energy, and telecommunications. 
 
An implementation schedule is attached to the action plan that list out specific targets and action lines for the first 5 years of the implementation of the ASAPCP. Furthermore, three supportive measures are drawn to support the strategic goals under the ASAPCP.