Malta

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Consumer Affairs Act (Chapter 378 of the Laws of Malta)

3 (1) (2) (a) (b) (ċ) (d) (e) ( 12A, 13(1), 14A 3. (1) There shall be a Director of Consumer Affairs who shall be a public officer designated by the Prime Minister for that purpose. (2) The functions of the Director of Consumer Affairs, (hereinafter in this Act referred to as "the Director") shall be to implement the policy established by the Minister, either personally or through public officers in the Department of Consumer Affairs and shall include - (a) to provide information and guidelines to the public on matters affecting the interests of consumers; (b) to monitor trading practices relating to the provision of goods and services to consumers, and to take measures for the suppression and prevention of any practices which may be detrimental to the interests of consumers; (c) to investigate complaints from consumers relative to the supply of goods and services and to take such action as is in his power to redress any justified grievance that may come to his notice; (d) to assist the Consumer Affairs Council in the performance of its functions and duties and to furnish such information as may be required by the Council in relation to the exercise of its duties; (e) to perform any other function or duty that is or may be assigned to him under this Act or any other law; ... 12A. In order to ensure the observance of the provisions of this Act and any regulations made thereunder, the Director shall have power to carry out investigations of his own motion or upon a reasonable allegation in writing of a breach of the provisions of this Act and any regulations made thereunder. 13. (1) When investigations in terms of article 12A relate to an offence under this Act or any regulations made thereunder, criminal proceedings may only be instituted at the instance of the Director. 14A. (1) Upon commencing investigations in terms of article 12A concerning an alleged infringement of a provision of this Act or of any regulations made thereunder, the Director shall write to the person investigated informing him of the nature of the alleged infringement and granting the person concerned a period of not less than fifteen days as the Director may determine to be appropriate in the circumstances during which period the person concerned may make his submissions to the Director: Provided that the Director may: (a) require the person concerned to furnish evidence as to the accuracy of factual claims in relation to a commercial practice if, taking into account the legitimate interest of the person concerned and any other party to the proceedings, such a requirement appears appropriate on the basis of the circumstances of the particular case; and (b) consider factual claims as inaccurate if the evidence demanded in accordance with paragraph (a) of this proviso is not furnished or is deemed insufficient by the Director. (2) Where, upon the conclusion of an investigation, having considered the submissions, if any, made to him under subarticle (1), it results to the Director that a breach of a provision of this Act or of any regulations made thereunder has occurred, he shall issue a decision finding an infringement, giving his reasons therefor: Provided that, the Director may, instead of a decision finding an infringement, seek an undertaking from the trader in terms of article 12. (3)A copy of the decision issued under subarticle (2) shall be served upon the person against whom the decision is taken.