The 6th Session of the IGE on Consumer Protection Law and Policy, The Ministry of Trade Encourages the Strengthening of Consumer Protection through the Development of a National Online Consumer Complaint System
Indonesia , 02 August 2022
Senior Advisor to the Indonesian Minister of Trade on Management and Governance Ms. Frida Adiati conveyed that the involvement of the Ministry of Trade in the 6th Session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE) on Consumer Protection Law and Policy by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is crucial. This is because the Ministry of Trade is the coordinator for consumer protection in Indonesia under the Consumer Protection Law. The event took place on in Geneva, Switzerland held on 18–19 July 2022.
In addition, the Ministry of Trade is developing a national online consumer complaint system to encourage the strengthening of consumer protection. This system will serve consumer complaints, both from conventional and digital trade (E-commerce), largely due to the increasing in number of complaints received from the digital trade sector.
"Within the period of 2021 to 2022, around 92.7 percent of the complaints received by the Ministry of Trade came from the E-commerce sector, which have been resolved. The government is also working with online platforms to organize consumer education activities and build a special channel for consumers to submit complaints on e-commerce transactions," explained Ms. Frida as the Indonesian Delegation at the IGE forum.
Also attending the meeting was the Chairman of the National Consumer Protection Agency (BPKN) Mr. Rizal E Halim, the BPKN Commissioners, as well as representatives from the Directorate of Consumer Empowerment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia (PTRI) Geneva.
Ms. Frida explained that the Ministry of Trade is developing a national online consumer complaint system as the forerunner of the National Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). This system will provide easy, cheap, and fast access for consumers throughout the country to file complaints. "This business process of the system is the result of discussions with all relevant ministries, institutions, and consumer protection experts," said Ms. Frida.
For the period of 2020 – 2023, UNCTAD has been aiding Indonesia on developing the Digital Online Dispute Resolution (DODR). The project was awarded to Indonesia (through BPKN) and Thailand with financial support from the Silk Road Group. To date, Indonesia has held two workshop programs related to ODR system policy and technology. Indonesia is also discussing plans for a follow-up workshop with UNCTAD. "Indonesia is committed to the success of the DODR project in order to support the development of the national online consumer complaint system, as well as consumer protection policies in general," Ms. Frida continued.
As part of DODR's assistance, UNCTAD will organize two activities in Indonesia. First, a workshop on law and policy reform to enhance dispute resolutions and online dispute resolution which is planned for 10–12 October 2022. Second, a workshop on Consumer Protection, online dispute resolution for consumers, considering lessons learned which will be held on 1–2 December 2022.
Separately, the Director General of PKTN, Mr. Veri Anggrijono said, Indonesia must actively cooperate with international organizations and regularly participate in forums related to consumer protection. This is because the trade sector continues to experience such dynamic developments that the issue of consumer protection has become a global issue.
"Indonesia must be able to optimize the DODR project for the national interest and gain a cross-sectoral perspective in the implementation of the program, including the two workshops. In addition, the program will also involve relevant ministries, institutions, and stakeholders," Mr. Veri concluded.
At the IGE meeting, Ms. Frida also conveyed several other issues related to consumer protection policies in Indonesia. Among other things, the implementation of the Indonesian National Standard (SNI) to protect consumers from harmful, unhealthy, and environmentally unfriendly products and the implementation of Indonesia Single Risk Management (ISRM) to improve the supervision of the import trade system. Meanwhile, the Head of BPKN acts as a speaker and reports on the progress of the implementation of the DODR program in Indonesia.
IGE on Consumer Protection Law and Policy is a UNCTAD organization that discusses efforts to improve consumer protection nationally and globally. This meeting discussed the implementation of the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (UNGCP). The meeting is also a forum for consultation, exchange of experiences, and formulating technical assistance related to consumer protection.
The meeting was chaired by Mexico's Permanent Mission Ms. Francisca Elizabeth Méndez Escobar and attended by delegates from various countries, as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academics, entrepreneurs, and representatives of other international organizations.