AmCham Macedonia Winter 2018 (Issue 56) - Page 9

COVER STORY Winter 2018 / Issue 56 better competitive environment and protecting consumers according to the reputation of the EU countries. Even more important is to re-exam- ine the possibilities for policy-makers and institutions that protect compe- tition and consumers to make efforts to integrate both policies in the face of dishonest market practices and unfair competition, and use posi- tive examples in others countries and European experience. Other- wise, there are sectors that are not involved in the supervision of dishon- est market practices at the European level, such as transport, environmen- tal protection, financial services, and real estate sales, where such prac- tices should be prohibited through specific laws and should be covered in the future by the LCP. The need for continuous improve- ment of the capacities of the compe- tent authorities for dealing with unfair commercial practices in controlling sales through online shops is also evi- dent, especially the need to introduce a register of the most common dis- honest practices in online shopping. The cooperation between the busi- ness sector and consumer organiza- tions with the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services (AAVMS) and program operators, as well as with all other competent authorities for suppression of broadcasting of illicit advertisements with fraudulent information, is insufficient. Naturally, cooperation with all stakeholders is necessary in order to work jointly to reduce and/or eliminate the negative phenomena in the sale of products and services in both the traditional and the digital markets. One of the pretexts for better consumer protection is the advancement of corporate culture through the adoption of business codes, as well as stimulating project activities for the acceptance of such codes. In addition to strengthening their institutional capacities, consumer organizations should be strengthened both financially and their staff should be highly skilled in order to be able to cope with the daily needs of consumers and to conduct market research. The new rules for online sales and sales out of business premises (edited by the CLP with the amendments of 2014) in some cases indicate that there is a creation of unfair competition and distrust among consumers. The recent warning about the sale of the “Keyla doll” that was pro- hibited in many EU countries due to the illegal collection of personal data, or similar sales of watches with features that allow pinpointing children’s locations which can be traced not only by their parents, but other people as well, can certainly lead to unwanted conse- quences. The application of standards for the protection of personal data when selling such products is a burning topic at this moment in the EU countries where consumer organizations appeal for the application of higher standards of safety and consumer protection. The number of fraudulent sales targeted to consumers is still high. Should I remind you about the scams that found fake parameters in the fuel consumption and exhaust gas emissions in cars? The question arises whether consumers who have been tricked into fuel consumption data and a reduced amount of exhaust gases would opt to buy these vehicles if they had the correct data when purchas- ing. Deliberate targeting of consumer decisions by presenting unre- liable information represents not only an attack on consumer rights, but also encourages unfair competition on the market. Although the manufacturers of these vehicles have faced collective lawsuits in the EU and the United States, the process for organizing consumers and initiating the procedure is quite lengthy. An additional problem is that the legal reg ulation is not harmonized in all EU countries and consumers are not indemnified. When it comes to collective law- suits, consumers in Macedonia, as well as in other Western Balkan countries, expect that there will be a positive step forward in advanc- ing the legal framework for initiating lawsuits for collective consumer protection, which will promote the rights of consumers in the region, and the indemnity will be feasible. New Member Highlight Law Office Pepeljugoski is widely recognized as lead- ing full-service law firm headquartered in Skopje. Our law office is renowned is pioneer in the field of intellectual property and it has extensive knowledge and experience in providing legal services in civil and commercial matters. Since our inception, we became one of the largest leading offices in Macedonia establishing working relations with other law offices worldwide and permanent cooperation with notaries, enforcement agents, evaluators, transla- tors. For the past years, the Law Office Pepeljugoski has been representative of domestic and international clients in complex issues, enabling to create large top client portfolio. AmCham Macedonia Magazine 9