Consumer Safety

Learn about consumer safety.

The consumer right to safety is referred to as the right to be protected from the marketing and promotion of products that are hazardous to life and property. In relation to consumer safety, Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are mandated in Article 185 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC) to enact harmonized legislation to provide, inter alia:

  1. for the prohibition of production and supply of harmful and defective goods and for the adoption of measures to prevent the supply or sale of such goods including measures requiring the removal of defective goods from the market;
  2. that hazardous or other goods whose distribution and consumption are regulated by law are sold or supplied in accordance with applicable regulations;
  3. that producers and suppliers are liable for defects in goods and for violation of product and consumer safety standards which occasion loss or damage to consumers;
  4. that violations of consumer safety standards by producers or suppliers are appropriately sanctioned and relevant civil or criminal defenses to such violations are available to defendants.

Therefore, producers and suppliers of goods and services have an obligation to ensure that the goods and services placed on the market adhere to safety guidelines and regulations; and that these products do not pose any risks or threat to the health, safety and well-being of consumers.

The establishment of the CARICOM Rapid Alert System for the Exchange of Information on Dangerous (non-food) Consumer Goods (CARREX) is one of the mechanisms designed by CARICOM to provide an avenue for consumer protection agencies and other authorities in Member States to detect and remove dangerous goods that pose a serious risk to the health and safety of consumers, particularly non-food consumer goods that are in circulation on the markets of Member States.