An ombudsman may protect Georgian consumers
26 December, 2013
An ombudsman may protect Georgian consumers
An institute of Consumers Ombudsman is expected to be set up in Georgia after a new law on consumers’ protection becomes effective. The law is under consideration at the moment, but there are hopes it will be approved in Parliament by the end of this year.  Once sanitary inspection was canceled by the former government in 2005, as part of its liberal economic policy, some Georgian consumers may have felt that they were left at the mercy of god.
Some
sectors such as food, energy, and water, as well as communication service, were handed to separate regulatory bodies. The quality of the products and services was left to the discretion of producers and market regulation.
If a person eats a sausage and is poisoned, that person will not buy the sausage again - this was the idea of market control suggested by Kakha Bendukidze, an economic think-tank for the previous government and the initiator of its liberal economic policy. And although a food and veterinary product control agency was set up with the Agriculture Ministry, food poisoning cases tripled in the country after the former government suspended the law on food regulation until 2010. The explanation: to give small businesses a “time-out” to get stronger and re-equip enterprises in line with state-of-the-art standards.
“In unregulated sectors consumers remained completely unprotected in fact,” Madona Koidze, Chairperson of the non-governmental Association for Consumers Rights’ Protection, said to Georgian Journal. The product and service quality issue became acuter after EU offered to start negotiations with Georgia on a Deep and Comprehensive Trade Agreement in 2008.
Food and phytosanitary regulations have been improved, but consumers remained unprotected. The new government addressed the issue, and a working group including non-governmental watchdogs was set up under the initiative of the Parliamentary Committee for European Integration. The Group has been discussing a draft law on consumers’ rights protection that is expected to be passed by the end of this year.
Adoption of the institute of Consumers Ombudsman is built into the law. According to Vakhtang Kobaladze, Senior Program Manager at Eurasia Partnership Foundation, a participant in the working group, the Consumers’ Ombudsman very likely will help consumers to have direct access to the court, and will protect the aggrieved consumer there. Also, authors of the law want the Ombudsman to have a market monitoring function and be mandated to give obligatory recommendations to both government and the private sector alike.
“There has been no [state] institute that might have covered all possible sectors of goods and services,” Kobaladze told GJ. “Therefore there came the idea to establish an Ombudsman for consumers that will incorporate regulation of all products. Besides, there is no mechanism today in Georgia that enables consumers to appeal to the court directly if their rights are infringed. The Ombudsman will give such an opportunity and will also protect the interest of consumers at court.”
The Consumers’ Ombudsman is expected to be accountable to the Prime Minister and make reports twice per year at parliament. The Prime Minister will name the candidate for the post, and Parliament will be asked to approve.
Details are not finally agreed upon, but very likely the Ombudsman’s term will be 4 or 5 years, and a candidate may not be elected more than twice, Koidze elaborated. However, since the new law
is still outside the 2014 state budget, there is no funding of the Consumers’ Ombudsman as of yet. Kobaladze expects the law to be approved early next year, and the Ombudsman institute to become operational only in 2015.

Print
Other Stories
Georgian citizens are granted the right to work in France
The French Embassy in Georgia made remarks on granting Georgian citizens the right to work in France
The New York Times: Bitcoin declines but Georgia still bet on it
The New York Times has recently published an article about reasons, challenges and causes of generating Bitcoin in the former Soviet country Georgia.
EU to allocate € 13 billion for Eastern Partnership countries, including Georgia
The European Union together with the World Bank plans to allocate investment worth € 13 billion for infrastructure projects in the Eastern Partnership countries.
Anaklia Port and its importance for Georgia
In 2016, Anaklia Development Consortium was authorized to launch the construction of Anaklia Port.
Cryptocurrency mining threatens electrical network in Abkhazia
In the breakaway region of Akbhazia rampant cryptocurrency mining is threatening the shaky electrical network, reports an article of the news portal EuroNet.
Caucasus Wine University to be opened in Gurjaani
In the Kakheti region a new viticulture campus of the Caucasus University is in the process of planning.
Photos describing life of the poorest in Georgia
Fight with poverty should be among top priorities of every government in every country.
Training farmers to rescue the organic hazelnut production in Georgia
Even drizzling rain and unpleasant gusts of wind can’t prevent the farmers from coming and participating in the agricultural training.
Bleak times for organic farmers in Georgia – but there is hope
Organic hazelnut production is a delicate plant in Georgia that has emerged just a couple of years ago. Various pests, among them the Asian stink bug Parosana, trouble hazelnut farmers and menace their livelihood – even before their businesses could really take off.
Hybrid car imports are going through the roof in Georgia
Thanks to their fuel economy, the popularity of hybrid cars is increasing in Georgia, where fuel affordability is low and prices for fuel are unstable.
The New Year offer from MAQRO Construction - Apartments with unbelievable discounts and the parking spaces for FREE!
Location, green yard, spaces for various needs, experience of the construction company and parking space are the main important criteria for potential buyers of apartments.
Interview with the co-founder of Kiwi Vegan Café – the first vegan place in Tbilisi
Behind the Kiwi Vegan Café stands a group of activists who wants to raise Georgian’s awareness for animal rights and welfare.
Biblusi opens first shop for tourists - Georgian
The largest book shop in Georgia Biblusi opens the first shop specially designated to the needs and interests of tourists and named it Georgian.
Georgia improves by five ranks in the Prosperity Index
In the overall Prosperity Index rankings, Georgia has climbed by 5 positions from 85 to 80 when compared to last year. As such, Georgia is the best performing country in the CIS zone.
The future is bright for electric cars in Georgia
The numerous hybrid cars in the streets of Tbilisi cannot be overlooked. Entrepreneur Sulkhan Gvalia calls them “pagers”, referring to the predecessor of mobile phones.
Georgia’s fight against the big tiny enemy – Asian Parosana
It’s a tiny creature, but the harm it did to the Georgian agriculture sector was and still is immense.
New cable route: from Kobi to Gudauri in 15 minutes
On the 15th of December, cable transport is scheduled to be opened connecting Kobi and Gudauri.
Tourist boom in Gudauri – majority of hotels are booked by foreigners
Gudauri is among the most popular winter resorts in Georgia.
Medical tourism increases in Georgia
In the last 9 months, Georgia was visited by 19 500 foreigners for medical and recovery purposes.
Doing business in Georgia has become easier than in America
According to the Doing Business 2019 report published by the World Bank, Georgia ranked 6th among 190 countries in terms of simplicity of doing business. This was an improvement over two ranks compared to last year.
Problems that foreigners frequently face in Georgia
The importance of Georgia as a tourism hub is growing year after year.
Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower – Better than the Eiffel Tower?
It is planned to renovate the Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower, one of the landmarks in the capital.
Georgian Fusion Menu by The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi
5,895,914 international visitors have visited Georgia between January and August of 2018. Compared to the previous year the number has increased by 12.2 per cent.
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia. Those who violate the new rule would be fined GEL 10 000.
Lebanese café-lounge Beirut opens in Tbilisi
What is necessary to organize an unforgettable event? – Fun, emotions, lots of surprises, good music and delicious menu.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
15.02.2019
16.02.2019
USD
1
USD
2.6420
2.6413
EUR
1
EUR
2.9778
2.9791
GBP
1
GBP
3.3915
3.3851
RUB
100
RUB
3.9577
3.9608
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6413
EUR
1
EUR
2.9791
GBP
1
GBP
3.3851
RUB
100
RUB
3.9608
February 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28