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The Federal Consumer Affairs Bureau is affiliated to the General Secretariat of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs. Its task is to take into account the general interest regarding consumption by weighing the specific collective interests of the consumers and the general interests of the economy and by seeking a constructive dialogue with the various services of the administration. Reason for which the Office carries on its activities in a relative autonomy.
The Federal Consumer Affairs Bureau supports and advances the interests and the protection of the consumers if the market does not respect them. Thus, it contributes to the objectives of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs aiming at the introduction of a market which is able to reinforce the enterprises and to stimulate the consumers' confidence. It gives its opinions on matters concerning consumers and collaborates in the elaboration of laws and ordinances. It also participates in the works of international bodies.
Essentially, consumption touches multiple aspects of daily life. The Federal Consumer Affairs Bureau is thus interested in all the market's offers concerning the products (food security, general product safety, domestic machines, textile, furnishing, toys, drugs, packaging, etc.) and services (banks, insurances, education, transport, leisure activities, telecommunications, electricity, post office, housing, energy, etc.).
The Federal Consumer Affairs Bureau works with a restricted team. Compared to its European counterparts, it disposes of a very modest staff. This choice allows the Federal Consumer Affairs Bureau to rely on the potential of the qualified services of the administration.
Federal Commission of Consumer Affairs
The Federal Commission of Consumer Affairs is the consultative body of the Federal Council, the departments and their services in questions of consumption policy.The Commission is composed of representatives of associations of consumers, trade unions, umbrella organizations of the economy and scientific experts. The Commission presents also recommendations of its own on questions touching the interests of the consumers. The secretariat of the Commission is ensured by the Federal Consumer Affairs Bureau.
Among the main tasks of the consumer organizations are the representation of the consumer interests, the information and advisory services. The need for consumer organizations as well as their representativeness are widely recognized today. They are officially invited to give their opinion during consultations and they take part in a number of federal commissions. The Confederation grants a financial assistance to them. The money is intended for the objective information of the consumers, the execution of tests and the development of declarations on goods and services.
For further information, please consult the German, French or Italian version of our website. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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