Consumer Protection Act of Bhutan, 2012

Link to law: http://www.nationalcouncil.bt/assets/uploads/docs/acts/2014/Consumer_Protection_Act_of_Bhutan_2012eng8th.pdf

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Table of ConTenTs

Title Page

Preamble ...................................................................................... 1

Chapter I - Preliminary ................................................................. 1

Chapter II - Rights and Responsibilities of Consumers ............ 2

Chapter III -Misleading and False Representation ..................... 4

Chapter IV - Safety of Goods and Services .................................. 9

Chapter V - Guarantee in Respect of Supply of Goods ............ 11

Chapter VI - Rights against Suppliers ......................................... 14

Chapter VII - Rights Against Manufacturers ............................ 20

Chapter VIII - Guarantees In Respect Of Supply of

Services .................................................................. 22

Chapter IX - Rights against Service Providers In

Respect Of the Guarantee ....................................... 23

Chapter X - Product Liability ...................................................... 27

Chapter XI - Administrative Penalties ........................................ 29

Chapter XII - Consumer Board ................................................... 30

Chapter XIII - Consumer Protection Forums ........................... 32

Chapter XIV - General and Miscellaneous ................................ 41

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Preamble

An Act to provide for the protection of economic interest and
safety of consumers and ensure better consumer products and
services, to facilitate quicker redressal mechanisms, to avoid
economic harm and adverse consequences in the course of
acquiring and using goods and services made available in the
market;

Parliament of the Kingdom of Bhutan do hereby enact the
Consumer Protection Act of Bhutan 2012 on the 23rd Day of the
11th Month of Iron Female Rabbit Year of the Bhutanese Calendar
corresponding to the 16th Day of January 2012 at its 8th Session of
the First Parliament as follows:

Chapter I
Preliminary

Title, Commencement, and extent
1. This Act shall:

(a) Be called the CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT OF
BHUTAN, 2012;

(b) Come into force on the 4th Day of the 4th Month of
Water Male Dragon Year of the Bhutanese Calendar
corresponding to the 25th Day of May 2012; and

(c) Extend to the whole of Bhutan.

application
2. This Act shall:

(a) Subject to subsection (b), apply in respect of all
offering, selling and marketing of goods and services.

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(b) Be applied in supplement and without prejudice to
any other law regulating goods and services.

(c) Apply to all goods supplied and service provided in
Bhutan irrespective of the residence and location of
the supplier and the service provider.

ouster of Choice of law
3. This Act shall have effect notwithstanding any contract

term to the contrary or which applies or purports to apply
the law of another country.

Chapter II
Rights and Responsibilities of Consumers

Consumers’ Rights
4. The Consumer shall have the right to:

(a) Protection of their lives, health and safety in the
consumption of goods and services;

(b) True, sufficient, clear and timely consumer education
including information on goods and services offered,
as well as on prices, characteristics, quality and risks
that may be encountered in the consumption of goods
and services;

(c) Fair, non-discriminatory and equitable treatment by
businesses which will include fair terms of contract
and sale;

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(d) Be assured, wherever possible, access to a variety of
products, technologies and services at competitive
prices;

(e) Get redress against unfair trade practices and
unscrupulous exploitation of consumers;

(f) Form consumer associations;
(g) A physical environment that will enhance the quality

of life for present and future generations; and
(h) Basic goods and services, which guarantee dignified

living.

Consumers’ Responsibilities
5. The Consumer shall endeavor to promote:

(a) Awareness concerning the availability, price and
quality of private and public goods and services;

(b) Solidarity with consumer groups, which, together, can
acquire the necessary influence to ensure adequate
public attention and support to consumer interests;

(c) Social responsibility to guard against the erosion of
cultural, social and economic traditions;

(d) Responsibility to consider the impact of consumption
patterns on the environment to maintain the ecological
balance; and

(e) Safe environment for consumption of goods and
services by providing information on the supply of
goods and services which are harmful and not safe for
consumption.

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Chapter III
Misleading and false Representation

Misleading Representation
6. No person shall make a false or misleading representation,

among others, that:
(a) The goods are of a particular kind, standard, quality,

grade, quantity, composition, style or model;
(b) The goods have had a particular history or particular

previous use;
(c) The services are of a particular kind, standard, quality

or quantity;
(d) The services are provided by a particular person of a

particular trade, qualification or skill;
(e) A particular person has agreed to acquire the goods

or services;
(f) The goods are new or reconditioned;
(g) The goods were manufactured, produced, processed

or reconditioned at a particular time;
(h) The goods or services have any sponsorship,

approval, endorsement or affiliation, performance
characteristics, accessories, uses or benefits;

(i) Concerns the existence, exclusion or effect of any
condition, guarantee, right or remedy;

(j) Concerns the place of origin of the goods.

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Misleading Indication of Price
7. A person shall not mislead the consumers on the price of

the goods and services.

8. An indication given to a consumer is misleading as to a
price or a method of determining a price if what is conveyed
by the indication, or what the consumer may reasonably be
expected to infer from the indication or any omission from
it, includes any of the following:
(a) That the price or method is not as indicated;
(b) That the applicability of the price or method does not

depend on facts or circumstances on which it does in
fact depend;

(c) That the price covers or the method takes into account
matters in respect of which an additional charge is in
fact made;

(d) That a person, who in fact has no such expectation,
expects the price to be increased or reduced, whether
or not at a particular time or by a particular amount;
and

(e) That the facts or circumstances by reference to which
the consumer may reasonably be expected to judge the
validity of any relevant comparison made or implied
by the indication are not what they in fact are.

Price Tag
9. Goods displayed for sale and, wherever applicable, services

shall have the price affixed conspicuously.

Gifts, Prizes, free offers
10. No person shall offer any gift, prize or other free item with

the purchase of any goods or services, whether or not

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contingent on the purchase of other goods or services:
(a) With the intention of not providing it, and
(b) With the intention of not providing it as offered.  

11. No person shall in offering any gift, prize or other free item
with the purchase of any goods or services, whether or not
contingent on the purchase of other goods or services:
(a) Charge more than the regular price for the goods or

services to be purchased; or
(b) Reduce the quantity or quality of the goods or services

to be purchased.

Claim That Goods are limited  
12. No person shall, in supplying or offering to supply goods

for sale to consumers, describe the goods as limited unless
the production is restricted to:
(a) A pre-determined maximum quantity; or

(b) A specified and reasonably short period of time.

13. A claim that goods are limited shall state clearly:
(a) The maximum quantity of goods which are offered for

sale; and
(b) The specific time period or dates for which the goods

are offered for sale.

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Demanding or accepting Payment without Intending To
supply
14. No person shall demand for or accept any payment or other

consideration for goods or services, if at the time of the
demand or acceptance that person:
(a) Does not intend to supply the goods or services;
(b) Intends to supply goods or services materially different

from the goods or services in respect of which the
payment or other consideration is demanded for or
accepted; or

(c) Does not have reasonable grounds to believe that he
will be able to supply the goods or services within
any specified period, or where no period is specified,
within a reasonable time.

land and building
15. No person shall in connection with the sale or grant or

possible sale or grant of an interest in land and building
make a false or misleading representation concerning any
or all of the following:
(a) The nature of the interest;
(b) The price payable;
(c) The location;
(d) The characteristics;
(e) The use to which land or building is capable of being

put or may lawfully be put; and
(f) The existence or availability of facilities associated

with the land or building.

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Misleading advertising
16. No person shall advertise for supply of goods and services

at a specified price, which that person:
(a) Does not intend to offer for supply;
(b) Is unable to supply at that price for a period that is,

and in quantities that are reasonable having regard to
the nature of the market in which the person carries
on business and the nature of the advertisement.

(c) Does not intend to supply or provide quality goods or
services; and

(d) Does not intend to supply or provide safe goods or
services.

Presumption of liability for advertisement
17. The representation in relation to any goods or services

made or published in an advertisement shall be deemed to
have been made by:
(a) The person who directly or indirectly claims to supply

the goods or services;
(b) The person on whose behalf the advertisement is

made; or
(c) Both of them, as the case may require, unless the

contrary is proved.

non Discrimination in the supply of Goods and services
18. The supplier and manufacturer shall not discriminate

consumers in the supply of goods and services.

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Chapter IV
safety of Goods and services

safety standards
19. The Consumer Board, in consultation with the relevant

agencies/organizations may by regulations prescribe the
safety standards in respect of:
(a) Any goods or class of goods;
(b) Any services or class of services; and
(c) May prescribe different safety standards for different

goods or services, or classes of goods or services.

20. The safety standard in relation to goods may relate to any or
all of the following matters:
(a) The performance, composition, contents, manufacture,

processing, design, construction, finish or packaging
of the goods;

(b) The testing of the goods during or after manufacture or
processing; and

(c) The form and content of markings, warnings or
instructions to accompany the goods.

21. Where no safety standard has been prescribed under section
19 the person supplying or offering to supply the goods or
services shall adopt and observe a reasonable standard of
safety to be expected by a reasonable consumer, with due
regard to the nature of the goods or services concerned.

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Prohibition against Unsafe Goods
22. The Consumer Board may by notification declare any

goods or any class of goods to be prohibited goods where
the goods or goods of that class have caused or are likely
to cause injury to any person or property or is otherwise
unsafe.

23. A notification made under section 22 may require the
supplier, in such manner and within such period as may be
specified in the order, and at the supplier’s own expense, to
do any or all of the following:
(a) Recall the prohibited goods;
(b) Stop the supply of or the offer to supply the prohibited

goods;
(c) Stop the advertisement of the prohibited goods;
(d) Disclose to the public any information relating to;

(i) The characteristics of the prohibited goods which
render them unsafe;

(ii)  The circumstances in which use of the prohibited
goods are unsafe; and Any other matter relating to
the prohibited goods or the use of the prohibited
goods as may be specified;

(e) Repair or replace the prohibited goods; and
(f) Refund to any person to whom the prohibited goods

were supplied the price paid or the value of the
consideration given for the prohibited goods or any
lesser amount as may be reasonable having regard to

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the use that person has had of the prohibited goods if
supplied after the order was made.

24. A notification under section 22 need not be provided
directly to the supplier and may be provided by general
methods, including placing notices in the public news
media, provided that the notice is clear and reasonable.

Chapter V
Guarantee in Respect of supply of Goods

Implied Guarantee of Title
25. Where goods are supplied to a consumer, there shall be an

implied guarantee that:
(a) The supplier has a right to sell the goods;
(b) The goods are free from any undisclosed security; and
(c) The consumer has a right to quiet possession of the

goods.

Implied Guarantee of acceptable Quality
26. Where goods are supplied to a consumer, there shall be an

implied guarantee that the goods are of acceptable quality.

27. A reasonable consumer fully acquainted with the state
and condition of the goods would consider the goods as
acceptable having regard to:
(a) The nature of the goods;
(b) The price;

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(c) Any statements made about the goods on any
packaging or label on the goods;

(d) Any representation made about the goods by the
supplier or the manufacturer; and

(e) All other relevant circumstances of the supply of the
goods.  

Implied Guarantee of fitness for Particular Purpose
28. Subject to section 29, where goods are supplied to a

consumer, there shall be an implied guarantee that the
goods are fit for any particular purpose:
(a) That the consumer makes known, expressly or by

implication, to the supplier as the purpose for which
the goods are being acquired by the consumer; and

(b) For which the supplier represents that they are or will
be fit.

29. This section shall apply whether or not the purpose is a
purpose as to which the goods are commonly supplied.

Implied Guarantee of Price
30. Where goods are supplied to a consumer, there shall be an

implied guarantee that the consumer shall not be liable to
pay to the supplier more than the reasonable price of the
goods if the price for the goods is:
(a) Not determined by the contract;
(b) Left to be determined in a manner agreed by the

contract; or

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(c) Left to be determined by the course of dealing
between the parties.

31. Where there is a failure to comply with the implied guarantee
under section 30, the consumer shall not pay more than the
reasonable price.

Implied Guarantee of Repairs and spare parts
32. Where goods are supplied to a consumer, there shall be

implied a guarantee that the manufacturer and the supplier
shall provide for the repair of the goods and the supply of
spare parts.

33. Section 32 shall not apply where reasonable action has
been taken to notify the consumer, at or before the time the
manufactured goods are supplied, that the manufacturer or
the supplier or both does not undertake that repair facilities
and spare parts will be available for those goods.

Manufacturer’s express Guarantee
34. An express guarantee given by a manufacturer of

goods which are supplied to a consumer shall bind the
manufacturer.

35. An express guarantee in respect of goods given by a
manufacturer in a document binds the manufacturer where
the document is given to a consumer with the actual or
apparent authority of the manufacturer in connection with
the supply by a supplier of those goods to the consumer.

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36. For the purposes of this section, “express guarantee”, in
relation to any goods, means an undertaking, assertion or
representation in relation to:
(a) The quality, performance or characteristics of the

goods;
(b) The provision of services that are or may at any time

be required in respect of the goods;
(c) The supply of parts that are or may at any time be

required for the goods;
(d) The future availability of identical goods, or of goods

constituting or forming part of a set of which the
goods in relation to which the undertaking, assertion
or representation is given or made form part of; or

(e) The return of money or other consideration, should
the goods not meet any undertaking by the guarantor,
given or made in connection with the supply of the
goods or in connection with the promotion by any
means of the supply or use of the goods.

Chapter VI
Rights against suppliers

Consumer’s Right of Redress against suppliers
37. The consumer has a right of redress against a supplier

of goods where the goods fail to comply with any of the
implied guarantees.

non Compliance with Guarantees
38. If the goods fail to comply with a guarantee under this Act,

the consumer may exercise the following remedies:

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(a) If the failure can be remedied, the consumer may
require the supplier to remedy the failure within a
reasonable time; and

(b) If the failure cannot be remedied, the consumer may:
i. Reject the goods; or
ii. Obtain from the supplier damages in compensation

for any reduction in the value of the goods below
the price paid or payable by the consumer for the
goods.

39. In addition to the remedies under section 38, the consumer
may obtain from the supplier damages for any loss or
damage suffered by the consumer, other than loss or damage
through a reduction in the value of the goods.

40. If the supplier refuses or neglects to remedy the failure as
required under section 38 (a), within a reasonable time, the
consumer may:
(a) Have the failure remedied through appropriate forum

under this Act or any other laws and obtain from the
supplier all reasonable costs incurred in having the
failure remedied; or

(b) Reject the goods. 

Remedy for non-Compliance
41. A supplier shall remedy a failure of any goods to comply

with a guarantee by:
(a) Repairing the goods;

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(b) Curing any defect in title;
(c) Replacing the goods with goods of identical type; or
(d) Providing a refund of any money paid or other

consideration provided by the consumer in respect
of the goods where the supplier cannot reasonably be
expected to repair or replace the goods or cures any
defect in title.

loss of Right to Reject Goods
42. The right conferred under this Act to reject goods shall

not apply if:
(a) The right is not exercised within a reasonable time;
(b) The goods have been disposed of by the consumer;
(c) The goods have been lost or destroyed while in the

possession of a person other than the supplier;
(d) The goods were damaged after delivery to the

consumer for reasons not related to their state or
condition at the time of supply; or

(e) The goods have been attached to or incorporated in
any real or personal property and the goods cannot be
detached or isolated without damaging them.

43. For the purposes of section 42 (a), “reasonable time” means
a period from the time of the supply of the goods within
which it would be reasonable to expect the defect to become
apparent having regard to:
(a) The type of goods;

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(b) The use to which a consumer is likely to put the goods;
(c) The length of time for which it is reasonable for the

goods to be used; and
(d) The amount of use to which it is reasonable for the

goods to be put before the defect becomes apparent.

Rejection of Goods
44. The consumer may reject the goods by notifying the supplier

of the decision to reject the goods and of the ground or
grounds for the rejection.

45. If the consumer exercises the right to reject goods, the
consumer shall return the rejected goods to the supplier
unless:
(a) Because of the size or height or method of attachment,

the goods cannot be returned or removed or
transported without significant cost to the consumer,
in which case the supplier shall collect the goods at its
own expense;

(b) Because of the method of attachment, the goods
cannot be returned or removed without significant
damage to the real or personal property to which
they are attached, in which case the supplier shall
compensate the consumer for any loss or damage
resulting from or consequent upon such removal; or

(c) The goods have already been returned to, or retrieved
by the supplier.

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46. If the ownership in the goods has passed to the consumer
before the consumer exercises the right of rejection, the
ownership in the goods re-vests in the supplier upon
notification of rejection.

Refund or Replacement
47. If the consumer exercises the right to reject goods conferred

under this Act, the consumer may choose to have:
(a) A refund of any money paid or other consideration

provided by the consumer in respect of the rejected
goods; or

(b) Goods of the same type and of similar value to replace
the rejected goods where such goods are reasonably
available to the supplier as part of the stock of the
supplier, and the supplier shall make provision
accordingly.

48. The obligation to refund cannot be satisfied by compelling
the consumer to acquire other goods from the supplier.

assessment of Damages in case of Hire-Purchase agreements
49. The damages that a consumer may recover for a failure of

goods supplied under a hire-purchase agreement to comply
with a guarantee under this Act shall be assessed, in the
absence of evidence to the contrary:
(a) On the basis that the consumer will complete the

purchase of the goods, or
(b) Would have completed the purchase if the goods had

complied with the guarantee.

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liability for Representation
50. Where goods assigned or procured to be assigned to the

supplier by a person acting in trade (the “dealer”) are
supplied to a consumer, every representation made to
the consumer by the dealer or by any person acting on
the dealer’s behalf in connection with, or in the course of
negotiations leading to, the supply of the goods shall give
the consumer:
(a) As against the supplier, the same rights as the consumer

would have had under this Act if the representation
had been made by the supplier personally; and

(b) As against the dealer who made the representation
and any person on whose behalf the dealer was acting
in making it, the same rights against any or all of them
personally as the consumer would have had under
this Act if that person had supplied the goods to the
consumer as a result of the negotiations.

51. Without prejudice to any other rights or remedies to which
a supplier may be entitled, a supplier shall be entitled, where
the representation was made without his express or implied
authority, to be indemnified by the dealer who made the
representation and by any person on whose behalf the
dealer was acting in making it, against any damage suffered
by the supplier through the operation of section 50.

liability of assignees and financiers
52. This section shall apply only in respect of hire – purchase

agreements.
(a) The liability under this Act of an assignee of the rights

of a supplier under a contract of supply shall not
exceed the amount owing by the consumer under the
contract at the date of the assignment;

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(b) The liability under this Act of a financier who has
lent money on the security of goods supplied to a
consumer shall not exceed the amount owing by the
consumer at the date of the loan;

(c) Where the assignee referred to in section 52 (a) or
the financier referred to in section 52 (b) suffers any
losses because of a liability to the consumer under
this Act, the assignee or financier shall, subject to
any agreement with the supplier, be entitled to be
indemnified by the supplier against those losses; and

(d) No assignment of the rights under a contract of supply
shall affect the exercise of any right or remedy given
under this Act against the supplier.

Chapter VII
Rights against Manufacturers

Right of Redress against Manufacturers
53. A consumer shall have a right of redress against a

manufacturer of goods if the goods fail:
(a) To comply with the implied guarantee as to acceptable

quality;
(b) To comply with the implied guarantee as to repairs

and spare parts; or

(c) During the currency of the guarantee, to comply with

any express guarantee given by the manufacturer that
is binding on the manufacturer.

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exceptions to Right of Redress against Manufacturers
54. Notwithstanding section 53, there shall be no right of

redress against the manufacturer under this Act in respect
of goods which fail to comply with the implied guarantee
where the failure is due to:
(a) An act, default or omission of, or any representation

made by, a person other than the manufacturer; or
(b) A cause independent of human control, occurring

after the goods has left the control of the manufacturer.

non-Compliance with Guarantees
55. Where a consumer has a right of redress against the

manufacturer under this Chapter in respect of the failure of
any goods to comply with a guarantee under Chapter V, the
consumer may obtain damages from the manufacturer:
(a) For the reduction in the value of the goods resulting

from the manufacturer’s failure, namely;
(i) The reduction below the price paid or payable by

the consumer for the goods; or
(ii) The reduction below the average retail price of

the goods at the time of supply, whichever price
is lower; and

(b) For any loss or damage to the consumer resulting from
the manufacturer’s failure, other than loss or damage
through a reduction in the value of the goods.

56. Where the consumer is entitled by an express guarantee
given by the manufacturer to require the manufacturer to

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remedy the failure by - repairing the goods; or replacing
the goods with goods of identical type, no action shall be
commenced under section 55 (a) unless the consumer
has required the manufacturer to remedy the failure and
the manufacturer has refused or neglected to remedy,
or has not succeeded in remedying, the failure within a
reasonable time.

Chapter VIII
Guarantees In Respect of supply of services

Implied Guarantee of Reasonable Care and skill
57. Where services are provided to a consumer, there shall be

implied a guarantee that the services will be carried out
with reasonable care and skill.

Implied Guarantee of fitness for Particular Purpose
58. Where services are provided to a consumer, there shall

be implied a guarantee that the services, and any product
resulting from the services, will be:
(a) Fit for any particular purpose; and
(b) Of such nature and quality that it can reasonably

be expected to achieve any particular result, that
the consumer makes known to the provider, before
or at the time of the making of the contract for the
provision of the services, as the particular purpose for
which the services are required or the result that the
consumer desires to achieve.

Implied Guarantee of Time of Completion
59. Where services are provided to a consumer, there shall be

implied a guarantee that the services will be completed
within a reasonable time where the time for the services to
be carried out is:

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(a) Not determined by the contract;
(b) Left to be determined in a manner agreed by the

contract; or
(c) Left to be determined by the course of dealing between

the parties.

Implied Guarantee of Price
60. Where services are provided to a consumer, there shall be

implied a guarantee that the consumer shall not be liable to
pay to the supplier more than the reasonable price for the
services where the price for the services is:
(a) Not determined by the contract;
(b) Left to be determined in a manner agreed by the

contract;
(c) Left to be determined by the course of dealing between

the parties; and
(d) For non-compliance with the implied guarantee

under this section, the consumer may refuse to pay
more than the reasonable price.

Chapter IX
Rights against service Providers In Respect

of the Guarantee

Consumer’s Right of Redress against service Provider
61. A consumer shall have a right of redress against a service

provider, if the services or product resulting from the
services fail to comply with any of the implied guarantees.

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exceptions to Right of Redress against service Provider 
62. Notwithstanding section 61, there shall be no right of

redress against the service provider under this Act in respect
of the failure of the services or any product resulting from
the services to comply with the implied guarantee, where
the failure is due to:
(a) An act, default or omission of, or any representation

made by, a person other than the service provider; or
(b) A cause independent of human control.

options against service Provider Where services Do not
Comply With Guarantees
63. Where a consumer has a right of redress against the service

provider under this Chapter in respect of the failure of
any services or any product resulting from the services to
comply with a guarantee, the consumer may exercise the
following remedies:
(a) Where the failure is one that can be remedied, the

consumer may require the supplier to remedy the
failure within a reasonable time; or

(b) Where the failure is one that cannot be remedied, the
consumer may, with immediate effect:
(i) Subject to section 62, cancel the contract for the

provision of the services in accordance with this
Act; or

(ii) Obtain from the service provider damages in
compensation for any reduction in the value of
the product resulting from the services below the
charge paid or payable by the consumer for the
services.

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64. In addition to the remedies under section 63, the consumer
may obtain from the service provider, damages for any
loss or damage suffered by the consumer, other than loss
or damage through a reduction in the value of the product
resulting from the services, which is proved to be a result or
consequence of the failure.

65. Where the service provider refuses or neglects to remedy
the failure as required under section 63 (a), or refuses or
neglects to do so within a reasonable time, the consumer
may:
(a) Have the failure remedied under this Act or any

other laws and obtain from the service provider
all reasonable costs incurred in having the failure
remedied; or

(b) Revoke the contract for the supply of the services in
accordance with this Act.

loss of Right to Revoke Contract
66. The right to revoke a contract shall not apply if:

(a) The services provided under the contract is merely
incidental to the supply of the goods; and

(b) The consumer has or had the right to reject the goods
under this Act, whether or not he exercises that right.

effect of Revocation of Contract
67. If the consumer exercises the right conferred under this Act

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to revoke a contract for the use of services the consumer
shall be entitled to obtain from the service provider a
refund of any money paid or other consideration provided
in respect of the services:
(a) In so far as the contract has been performed at the

time of the revocation, no party shall by reason of
revocation be divested of any property transferred or
money paid under the contract, except as provided
under section 68 (a); and

(b) In so far as the contract remains unperformed at the
time of the revocation, no party shall be obliged or
entitled to perform it further.

68. Nothing in section 67 shall affect the right of a consumer
to:
(a) Recover damages in respect of a misrepresentation or

the repudiation or breach of the contract by another
party;

(b) Obtain damages for failure to comply with a guarantee;
or

(c) Reject goods supplied in connection with the services
in this Act.

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Chapter X
Product liability

Defective Product
69. For the purposes of this Chapter, the product is defective if

the safety of the product is not such as a person is generally
entitled to expect or as prescribed under the laws.

70. In determining what a person is generally entitled to expect
in relation to a product, all relevant circumstances shall be
taken into account including:
(a) The manner and purpose in which, the product has

been marketed;
(b) The use of any mark in relation to the product;
(c) Instructions for or warnings with respect to doing or

refraining from doing anything with or in relation to
the product;

(d) What may reasonably be expected to be done with, or
in relation to the product; and

(e) The time when the product was supplied by its
producer to another person.

71. For the purposes of this section, “safety”, in relation to a
product, shall include the safety:
(a) With respect to products comprised therein;
(b) In the context of risk of damage to property; and
(c) In the context of risk of death or personal injury.

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liability for Defective Products
72. Where any injury is caused to the consumer’s life, body or

property by the defective product, the following persons
shall be liable for the injury:
(a) The producer of the product;
(b) The person who, by putting his name on the product

or using a trade mark or other distinguishing mark in
relation to the product, has held himself out to be the
producer of the product; and

(c) The person who has, in the course of his business,
imported the product into the Kingdom of Bhutan in
order to supply it to another person.

73. Where injury is caused wholly or partly by a defect in
a product, the person who suffered injury may within
a reasonable period after the injury occurs, request the
supplier to identify any or all of the persons referred to in
section 72.

74. For the purpose, of section 73, it is immaterial whether the
supplier supplied the defective product to:
(a) The person who suffered the damage;
(b) The producer of a product in which the defective

product is comprised therein; or
(c) Any other person.

75. Where the supplier fails to comply with a request under
section 73 within a reasonable time having regard to all
the circumstances, the supplier shall be held liable for the
loss or injury.

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76. Where two or more persons are liable for the same injury,
their liability shall be joint and several.

77. The manufacturer shall not be liable for the defective
products after the expiry of two years from the date of
injury.

Chapter XI
administrative Penalties

Penalties against Grievances
78. If the Office of Consumer Protection or the Consumer

Advocate is of the opinion that a person has violated
sections 6 to 18, it shall issue the following orders to:
(a) Pay a fine equivalent to the value of the goods or

services; or
(b) Rectify the misleading representation within 14

(fourteen) days.

79. If the person fails to comply with section 78:
(a) The fine equivalent of the value of the goods or services

shall be imposed; and
(b) The business license shall be revoked in consultation

with the relevant authorities.

80. If the consumer has suffered an injury or damage as a result
of the acts of the person under section 6 to 18, the consumer
shall be compensated according to the provisions of this
Act.

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81. An aggrieved person under sections 78 and 79 may
appeal to a court of Law.

82. A notice sent by post shall be deemed to have received
by the party on the fourteenth day after posting and a
notification sent electronically shall be deemed to have
arrived on the day it was sent.

Chapter XII
Consumer board

83. There shall be a Consumer Board established by this Act.

Composition of the board
84. The Consumer Board shall consist of the following

members:
(a) Chairperson, who shall be a Secretary from the

relevant ministry;
(b) One member each from different relevant ministries

subject to a maximum of two;
(c) Two representatives of Civil Society Organizations;
(d) Two representatives of the general public, who shall

be senior citizens or experts;
(e) Head of the Office of Consumer Protection who shall

be the ex-Officio Secretary to the Board.

Meeting of the board
85. The meeting of the Consumer Board shall be determined as

follows:
(a) The Board shall meet at least once in every three

months;
(b) The Chairperson shall preside at every meeting of the

Board;
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(c) In the absence of the Chairperson, the members shall
elect one among them to chair the meeting; and

(d) The quorum for any meeting of the Board shall be
two-third of the total members.

Decision of the board
86. All the decisions at any meeting of the Consumer Board

shall be through consensus, and where no consensus is
reached by a majority of the Members present and voting,
the Chairperson shall have a deciding vote.

functions and Powers of the board
87. The Consumer Board shall be the highest body in the

country dealing with consumer affairs and policy issues,
and shall be empowered to:
(a) Formulate policy guidelines concerning the interests

of consumers in the country and monitor its
implementation;

(b) Establish committees to deal with specific issues in
relation to consumer policy and guidelines;

(c) Consider all matters of concern to consumers and
make recommendations to relevant agencies;

(d) Direct the Office of Consumer Protection on matters
affecting the interests of consumers, and protect and
promote the interests of the consumers of goods and
services made available to them through trade and
commerce;

(e) Review the implementation of policies and
programmes by the Office of Consumer Protection;

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(f) Advise the Office of Consumer Protection on the
enforcement of this Act;

(g) Advise the Office of Consumer Protection on the
promotion of consumer protection and awareness of
consumer issues;

(h) Recommend to the Government for approval the
remuneration of Board members, dispute settlement
committee members, any other committees and
functionaries of the institutions under this Act; and

(i) Any other matter which may be referred to it by the
Office of Consumer Protection.

Chapter XIII
Consumer Protection forums

Establishment of the Office of Consumer Protection
88. An Office of Consumer Protection shall be established

under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Powers and functions of the office
89. The Office of Consumer Protection shall:

(a) Enforce the provisions of this Act;
(b) Appoint Consumer Advocates in accordance with the

requirements for enforcement of this Act;
(c) Receive complaints from consumers and initiate

enquiries;
(d) Investigate any trade practices detrimental to

consumers and refer its findings to the Board;
(e) Disseminate information and educate consumers on

provisions of this Act; and

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(f) Advise and educate consumers about goods and
services including on the following matters:
i. The legal rights and remedies of consumers;
ii. Health risks;
iii. Product hazards;
iv. Weights and measures, prices, quality, credit

conditions;
v. Product labeling;
vi. Safety, quality, healthfulness, durability,

performance, repair ability, truthfulness,
availability; and

vii. Consumer choice and a competitive market.
(g) Carry out research on consumer issues;
(h) Be the Secretariat to the Consumer Board;
(i) Promote the development of policy on sustainable

consumption of goods and services;
(j) Encourage sustainable consumption by disseminating

information on;
(i) Environmental impacts of consumer choices;

and
(ii) Impact of products on the environment.

(k) Make all information available to the public pertaining
to complaints filed and actions taken.

(l) Perform any other functions as directed by the Board.

Manner of educating Consumers
90. The Office of Consumer Protection shall educate consumers

on goods and services by:

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(a) Publishing a standard catalogue containing prices;
(b) Conducting consumer awareness campaigns;
(c) Encouraging consumer associations to disseminate

information on goods and services; and
(d) Distributing pamphlets containing information on

consumer welfare.

The Consumer advocate
91. The Consumer Advocate shall:

(a) Receive complaints from consumers;
(b) Investigate the complaints;
(c) Mediate and conciliate the disputes;
(d) Refer the disputes to the Committee if it cannot be

resolved amicably; and
(e) Report the decisions of the Committee to the Office of

Consumer Protection;

Dispute settlement Committee
92. There shall be Dispute Settlement Committees consisting

of three members at Regional or Dzongkhag or Munucipal
levels as appropriate.

93. The Local Government shall appoint the Members of the
Dispute Settlement Committee from among the following
for a period of three years:
(a) Representative of the Royal Governement; and/or
(b) Representative of Civil Society Organizations;

and/or
(c) Eminent persons/experts/senior citizens.

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election, Powers & functions of the Chairperson
94. The members shall elect a Chairperson from among them

upon their appointment. The Chairperson shall:
(a) Receive complaints referred to it by the Consumer

Advocate or the Gup;
(b) Convene the hearing on the complaints referred to it;
(c) Request any individual to give expert opinion on the

subject matter in dispute; and
(d) Request the Consumer Advocate & Gup to conduct

further inquiry on the disputes.

Dispute settlement in Gewogs
95. The Gup shall receive complaints and mediate the disputes

amicably.

96. If the disputes cannot be resolved amicably, the Gup shall
refer the matter to the Dispute Settlement Committee.

Criminal offence
97. Any consumer dispute which is of a criminal nature shall be

brought before the Court of law for prosecution according
to the laws.

lodging of a Complaint
98. Any complaint on goods and services shall be lodged with

the Gup,  the Consumer Advocate or Office of Consumer
Protection by:
(a) The aggrieved consumer;
(b) Any recognized consumer association;
(c) One or more consumers on behalf of or for the benefit

of all consumers; or

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(d) Any agency/organization of the Government.

Procedure on Receipt of Complaint
99. Upon receiving complaints on goods or services, the Gup

or the Consumer Advocate shall investigate the complaint
and deal with it in accordance with this Act.

100. The Dispute Settlement Committee, after the dispute is
referred to it:
(a) Shall summon both the parties and hear the case

within ten days;
(b) Proceed to settle the dispute ex parte on the basis of

evidence brought to its notice by the complainant, if
the supplier or the service provider omits or fails to
take any action to represent the case within the time
given by the Committee;

(c) May either dismiss the complaint for default or decide
it on merits, if the complainant fails to appear on the
date of hearing before the Committee.

101. If the supplier of goods denies the allegations, the Committee
shall:
(a) Obtain samples of the goods from the complainant;
(b) Refer the sample to the appropriate laboratory to

make an analysis on whether such goods suffer from
any of the defects alleged in the complaint, or suffer
from any other defects, and report its findings within
a reasonable period; and

(c) On receipt of the report from the laboratory, the
Committee shall accordingly make an award.

The defaulting party shall be liable for costs under this
section.

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102. The Committee shall:
(a) Hear every complaint expeditiously and shall make

an award within a reasonable period from the date of
receipt of the complaint; and

(b) Not ordinarily grant an adjournment unless sufficient
cause is shown.

103. If, during the proceeding before the Committee it appears
necessary, the Committee may make such interim order
as is just and proper in the facts and circumstances of the
case.

104. The Committee shall have the power to:
(a) Summon and enforce the attendance of any defendant

or witness and examination of witness;
(b) Ask for the production of any document or other

material;
(c) Ask for a report of analysis or test from an appropriate

laboratory or from any other relevant source; and
(d) Any other matter which may be prescribed.

finding of the Committee
105. If after hearing the case in accordance with the provisions

of this Act, the Committee is satisfied that the goods

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complained against suffer from any of the defects specified
in the complaint, or that any of the allegations contained in
the complaint about the services are proved, it shall issue an
order to the alleged person directing him to do one or more
of the following:
(a) Remove the defect pointed out by the appropriate

laboratory from the goods in question;
(b) Replace  the goods with new goods of similar

description;
(c) Return to the complainant the price, or, as the case

may be, the charges paid by the complainant;
(d) Pay such amount as may be awarded by it as

compensation to the consumer for any loss or injury
suffered by the consumer due to the negligence of the
alleged person;

(e) Remove the defects in goods or deficiencies in the
services in question;

(f) Not to offer the hazardous goods for sale;
(g) Withdraw the hazardous goods from being offered for

sale;
(h) Cease manufacture of hazardous goods, and desist

from offering any services that are hazardous in
nature;

(i) Correct misleading advertisement at the cost of
the party responsible for issuing such misleading
advertisement; and

(j) Provide for adequate costs to parties;

106. In addition to any compensatory damages, the Committee
may impose a fine equivalent to the value of goods or
services involved.

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107. Every order made by the Committee shall be signed by its
Chairperson and the members.

108. The decisions of the Committee shall be reported to the
Office of Consumer Protection and the Consumer Board.

appeal
109. Any person aggrieved by an order made by the Committee

may appeal against such order to the Court of competent
jurisdiction within a period of ten days from the date of the
order.

Defense
110. A person shall not be liable in respect of supply of goods

and provision of service if the person shows that:
(a) The defect is attributable to compliance with any

requirement imposed under any law;
(b) He did not at any time supply the defective product to

the person;
(c) The defect did not exist in the product at the relevant

time; and
(d) The state of scientific and technical knowledge at the

relevant time was not such that a producer of products
or services of the same description as the product or
services in question may reasonably be expected to
discover the defect if it had existed in his product or
services while it was under his control.

Disposal of Perishable Goods
111. If the subject-matter of the claim is goods of perishable

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nature and storage of such goods pending final disposal
of the claim involves loss, unreasonable expense or
inconvenience, the Committee may, on the application of a
party to the proceedings, at any time order that:
(a) The goods be sold;
(b) The goods be destroyed if deemed dangerous; and
(c) The proceeds of the sale are held to abide by the award

of the Committee.

act or omission Done In Good faith
112. No action or suit shall be instituted or maintained in any

court against:
(a) The Committee;
(b) A member of the Committee; or
(c) A person authorized to act for or on behalf of the

Committee; for any act or omission done in good faith
in the performance of the functions of the Committee
or the person and the exercise of such powers under
this Act.

Regulations In Respect of the Committee
113. The Board may make such regulations, as may be necessary

or expedient in respect of the Committee.

114. Without prejudice to the generality of sub-section (a),
regulations may be made for:
(a) Prescribing the procedure of the Committee;
(b) Prescribing forms;

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(c) Prescribing and imposing fees and providing for the
manner for collecting and disbursing such fees; and

(d) Prescribing anything required to be prescribed under
this Act.

Chapter XIV
General and Miscellaneous

Receipt
115. A person who supplies or offers to supply any goods or

services shall provide the consumer with a receipt for any
purchase of goods or services exceeding the prescribed
value as fixed by the Consumer Protection Office.
Notwithstanding this provision, a receipt shall be issued on
the demand of the consumer.

116. A receipt issued under this section shall contain the
following particulars:
(a) The trade name and address of the supplier;
(b) The date of purchase;
(c) The amount of money paid for each item of purchase;
(d) The total amount of money paid including a separate

statement of any amount paid as tax;
(e) If applicable, the make and model number of the

goods; and
(f) Any other particulars as may be prescribed in the

regulations.

117. Any person who contravenes this section shall be imposed
a fine ten percent of the value of goods and services subject
to a maximum of six month’s minimum wage.

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offences by employees, agents or employees of agents
118. If an offence under this Act is committed by either:

(a) an employee;
(b) an agent; or
(c) an employee of the agent of any person (the

“principal”); The principal shall be deemed to have
committed that offence, unless he proves that:  
(a) The offence was committed without his

knowledge, or
(b) That he took reasonable precautions to prevent

its commission; and
(c) The offence was committed:
(i) In the case of an employee, outside the course of

his employment; or
(ii) In the case of an agent, when the agent was not

acting on the principal’s behalf; or

(iii) In the case of an employee of the agent, outside

the course of his employment by the agent or
otherwise on behalf of the agent.

non-Compliance of the award
119. If any person fails to comply with the decisions of the

Committee or Orders of the Board, the person shall be
guilty of the offence of obstruction of lawful authority.

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Rule Making Power
120. The Consumer Board may make such Rules and Regulations

necessary and expedient for the enforcement of the
provisions of this Act.

amendment
121. The amendment of this Act by way of addition, variation

or repeal shall be effected by a simple majority of the
respective Houses or vote of no less than two-thirds of
the total members of Parliament present and voting on a
motion submitted by one-third of the members of either
House.

authoritative Text
122. The Dzongkha text shall be the authoritative text, if there

exists any difference in meaning between the Dzongkha
and the English text.  

Definition
123. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) “business” means any undertaking whether in the
private or public sector, involved in production,
supply and distribution of any goods or services to
consumers.

(b) “Complainant” means an aggrieved person or
party including legal entities, who or which lodges a
complaint.

(c) “Complaint” means any allegation in writing made
by a complainant that: as result of the trade practices
of the supplier of goods or service provider.

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(i) The complainant has suffered loss or damage;
(ii) The goods mentioned in the complaint suffer

from one or more defects
(iii) The services mentioned in the complaint suffer

from deficiency in any respect.
(d) “Consumer” means a natural person:

(i) Who buys goods and services for personal,
family or household use with no intention of
resale,

(ii) And shall include farmers.
(e) “Contract” means a contract for the supply of goods,

or services, for a price or consideration,
(f) “defect” means any fault, imperfection or shortcoming

in the quality, quantity, or standard which is required
to be maintained by or under this Act or any other law
in relation to any goods & services,

(g) “goods” refers to anything that is movable or
immovable at the time of contract for sale, including
technology, animal, minerals, oil and gas, agricultural
products, land, buildings and other things to be served
from real property,

(h) “Implied Guarantee” means a guarantee arising by
operation of law because of the circumstances of a
sale, rather than by the sellers express promise.

(i) “Manufacture” includes any process which transforms
goods in order to add value to them for purpose of
resale,

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(j) “Manufacturer” means a person who:
(i) manufactures the product or a component part;
(ii) places a raw material or a natural product on

the market;
(iii) presents himself or herself as the manufacturer

by affixing to the product his name, trade mark
or other distinctive mark;

(iv) Reconditions the product.
(v) Imports into the Kingdom of Bhutan or

distributes within the Kingdom of Bhutan goods
manufactured outside the Kingdom of Bhutan
and the foreign manufacturer of the goods does
not have an ordinary place of business in the
Kingdom of Bhutan.

(k) “Person” shall have the same meaning as defined
under the Civil and Criminal Procedure Code of the
Kingdom of Bhutan, 2001;

(l) “Price” in relation to supply, provision or sale of goods
or services, includes every valuable consideration
whether direct or indirect,

(m) “Representation” means a presentation of fact either
by word or conduct made to induce some one to act
or believe that the goods or services are of particular
nature as advertised or offered;

(n) “supplier” means the person, who directly or
indirectly makes the goods or services available to the
consumer for consideration,

(o) “sale” includes a sale, an agreement to sell or offer for
sale and an offer for sale shall be deemed to include
the exposing of goods for sale, the furnishing of a
quotation, and any other actor notification by which

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willingness to enter into any transaction for sale is
expressed,

(p) “service” means service of any description, which is
made available to potential consumers and includes,
but is not limited to the provision of facilities in
connection with banking, finance, insurance,
transport, telecommunication, processing, supply
of electricity or other energy, board and lodging,
entertainment, amusement or the purveying of news
or other information, healthcare,  but does not include
the rendering of a service free of charge by a charity or
under a contract of personal service.

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