International organizations relevant to consumer affairs01.06.2020
The table below supplements the section on international organizations in the Handbook chapter on “Consumer affairs.” International bodies can help national regulators to handle consumer affairs in various ways, including:
- Ensuring that frameworks for international trade and cooperation take account of consumer interests – for example, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD).
- Supporting each other’s enforcement efforts related to cross-border e-commerce and illegal activities – for example, the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN) and Unsolicited Communications Enforcement Network (UCENET).
- Devising international standards, among others for ICT and digital-related products and services – for example, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and ANEC (the European consumer voice in standardization).
- Providing training and examples of good practice in ICT and digital consumer affairs, primarily for regulators and other officials – for example, ITU.
- Setting legal and policy frameworks for consumer affairs that command widespread acceptance and influence – for example, EU and OECD.
- Articulating consumer perspectives on ICT and digital issues – for example, Consumers International and BEUC (the European consumer organization).
Many other international bodies, in particular regional associations, also play useful roles.
|Body||Consumer-relevant functions||Selected URLs of possible interest|
|Major intergovernmental bodies|
|ITU||Global exchange on ICT standards, regulatory issues and best practices||www.itu.int/ITU-T (ICT standards)
https://www.itu.int/net4/ITU-D/CDS/sg/index.asp?lg=1&sp=2018 (ITU-D Study Groups)
|UNCTAD||Research on competition and consumer issues||https://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/ditccplpmisc2016d1_en.pdf Guidelines for Consumer Protection
https://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/ditccplp2017d1_en.pdf Consumer Protection Handbook
|EU||Legislation applies in EU and has wider influence||https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32018L1972&from=EN (Electronic Communications Code. See Part III, Title I for universal service and Title III for end-user rights)|
|OECD||Research and publications||http://www.oecd.org/sti/consumer/consumersinthedigitaleconomy.htm|
|ISO||Considers consumer views in standards||https://www.iso.org/consumer-standards-resources.html (Members are national standards bodies of 164 countries)|
|Cross-border enforcement co-operation|
|ICPEN||Enforcement network for consumer protection authorities||https://www.icpen.org/ (International cooperation to enforce consumer protection rules. Members are consumer protection authorities from over 65 countries)
http://econsumer.gov (Consumer-facing website in eight languages)
|UCENET||Unsolicited communications enforcement network||https://www.ucenet.org/ (International cooperation to enforce rules against all kinds of spam. Members include regulatory and enforcement agencies from 29 countries)|
|International consumer bodies|
|Consumers Inter-national||Umbrella body for consumer organizations||https://www.consumersinternational.org/what-we-do/digital/ (Member organizations in more than 100 countries. Digital is a major focus)|
|ANEC||European body representing consumers in standards formation||https://www.anec.eu/priorities/digital-society https://www.anec.eu/publications/tagged/9-digital-society
(Privacy handbooks and policy statements)
|TACD||TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue||http://tacd.org/policy/information-society/ (75 member organizations from United States and EU. Useful policy briefings)|
|BEUC||Umbrella body for European consumer organizations||https://www.beuc.eu/digital-rights (Provides consumer perspectives on digital issues in advanced economies)|