On September 5, 2012, the General Secretary of the Lithuanian Direct Selling Association Gintautas Zaleckas and the Director of State Consumer Rights Protection Authority Feliksas Petrauskas signed a co-operation agreement.
By the co-operation agreement the parties committed to submit proposals for the development of mechanism of a peaceful settlement of disputes between operators and consumers, to unite efforts to promote businesses to provide high-quality and safe products and services on the market, share information regarding customer complaints. The parties also agreed to cooperate in submitting proposals for the developemtn of consumer protection legislation, to participate in working groups, joint training, conferences and seminars on consumer and business education.
“Signing a co-operation agreement is one of the best way to strengthen constructive co-operation with the business protecting consumer rights,- said the Director of State Consumer Rights Protection Authority Feliksas Petrauskas. As part of the statutory functions of the use of economic sanctions for the violators of laws protecting consumers, the Authority is increasingly focusing on business consulting and prevention of consumer rights abuses. Authority seeks encourage businesses to adopt and follow their codes of conduct, develop socially responsible business practices and self-regulatory principles, while disputes with customers encourage by mutual agreement to solve through alternative dispute resolution mechanism. Our institution is open not only to consumers but also to businesses, because better knowing the defending consumers’ rights legislation and implementation the business will less break the rights of consumers, “- said the director of the Authority Feliksas Petrauskas.
Lithuania Direct Selling Association Director Gintautas Zaleckas stressed that the members of the Association are obligded to follow a Code of Ethics, which aims to protect consumers and promote fair competition among businesses and improve the image of the direct trade by selling high quality products to end-users on fair terms. Disputes between consumers and members of the Association are solved by the independant Code administrator appointed by the Association, in the future it is expected to transfer his functions to special impartial commission.
According Gintautas Zaleckas, Lithuanian Direct Selling Association co-operation with the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority will help to expand the use of alternative dispute resolution principles, to strengthen Association’s self-regulation mechanism, and thus better ensure protection of consumer rights .