Jakarta: The ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection developed a Code of Conduct that provides guidance for online businesses in ASEAN on how to act responsibly and fairly towards consumers.
"The development of the Code is in-line with the initiatives under the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for Consumer Protection 2025, and the ASEAN e-Commerce Work Programme," the ASEAN Secretariat stated in a press release issued on Friday, March 6, 2020.
"It is also consistent with the ASEAN High-Level Principles on Consumer Protection, which calls for ASEAN Member States to provide effective protection to consumers on e-Commerce," it stated.
The emergence of a number of highly successful locally-based e-commerce platforms makes it convenient for consumers to access goods and services. However, it also results in consumers having greater exposure to fraud when engaging in online purchases. Consumers may also become overwhelmed with the amount of information available which may lead them into making incorrect decisions.
"Thus, while consumer protection and relevant authorities set out to develop and strengthen policies for consumer protection in e-Commerce, the Code serves to promote voluntary commitments on responsible online business conduct," it stated.
The Code covers 15 core commitments that can easily be applied and adapted in different contexts such as complying with laws and regulations, ensuring quality and safety of products and services, ensuring data privacy, and ensure the safety of online payments.
Businesses operating in the region are encouraged to comply with the Code as a practical solution from navigating cross-sectoral legislations that may not be fully developed.