Monday, September 7, 2009

applicability of the existing law to e-commerc: Trade Description Act 1972

Issue that has arose since the electronic commerce first introduce is does our law fully protect the consumer in the e-commerce transaction like how the law protect them in other method of business?

Government of Malaysia has enacted few act in order to protect the consumer in business transaction in Malaysia. The laws are

• Trade Description Act 1972
• Copyright Act 1987
• Consumer Protection Act 1999
and some others.

In this entry, we will be focusing on the first part which is to what extend does the Trade Description Act applicable in transaction made in electronic commerce.

The Trade Description Act was enacted to protect the buyers or consumers in business transaction. This act gives protection as to trade practices or unhealthy business for example prohibition to use false description on products, prices and services. Other than that, the act also gives power to the minister to acquire information needed before the product distributed. There were also provisions on offences and penalty offender will faces and also powers relating to the offences.

Prohibition of false description on products, prices and services for example false advertisement or having the element to deceive on the business transaction. As commonly known, advertisement is an important element in any form of business. In electronic commerce, advertisements play role to promote products or services provided to attract users to certain websites.

Advertisement that advertised must follow the guideline laid under this Act. According to this Act, the advertisement must not confuse the customer and the products on sale must be in line with the descriptions on its labeling or brochure or any document relating to it or comes with it in the promotion. The same rule also applies in the transaction by electronic transaction.
By virtue of section 2 of the Act, advertisement is included any advertisement in form of written form, sound, picture, film or in any other way for the purpose of price listing, circular and any other.

Question arise here is that, there is no word ‘internet’ mentioned in this provision. Does it mean that advertisement in e-commerce transaction is also included under this definition of advertisement?

The solution to this problem is, the court must interpret this widely when dealings with cases involving electronic commerce. For example, the word ‘internet does not mentioned in this provision but does it mean that all the advertisement in the internet is not an advertisement?

Therefore even though the term internet does not specifically mentioned in the provision, we could assume it to be included under the term ‘any other way’ and also refers to commercial transaction via internet. Therefore, we can conclude that this Act is applicable to the electronic commerce transaction or e-commerce.

On our next discussion, we will be discussing on other relating Act to the electronic commerce transaction.

readers may refer to the Malaysian Trade Description Act 1972 [click here]


digital signature autocad said...

I heard about the laws but never thought about it deeply. I read it thoroughly and found it quite useful for protecting the buyers or consumers in business transaction. This is awesome.

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