Act No. 8 on Fair Competition
(enacted in 2003)
Act No. 8 on Fair Competition of 2003 is administered by the Fair Competition Commission and aims to promote and protect effective competition in markets and prevent unfair and misleading market conduct throughout Tanzania in order to: (a) increase efficiency in the production, distribution and supply of goods and services; (b) promote innovation; (c) maximize the effective allocation of resources; and (d) protect consumers (section 3). The definition of “consumer” provided in the act includes “any person who purchases or offers to purchase goods or services otherwise than for the purpose of resale but does not include a person who purchases any goods or services for the purpose of using them in the production or manufacture of any goods or articles for sale.” The act also defines “customer” as any person who purchases or offers to purchase goods or services. The list of “services” covered by the act includes insurance, banking, and lending of money (section 2).
The norms particularly relevant to financial consumer protection are:
- Part III (Misleading and Deceptive Conduct, sections 15-21) on false or misleading representations in relation to the nature, the characteristics, the suitability, the quantity or the price of services;
- Part IV (Unfair Business Practices, sections 22-24), in particular on advertising (section 22);
- Part V (Unconscionable Conduct, section 25) on the conduct requested to the supplier of the services, which could be regarded for the purpose of determining whether it has contravened the act; and
- Part VI (Implied Conditions in Consumer Contracts, sections 26-36) in particular on the exclusion or modification of provisions of Part VI of the act (section 27), the limitation of liability for breach of certain conditions or warranties (section 28), liability for loss or damage from breach of certain contracts including some typologies of credit contracts (section 33), warranties in relation to the supply of services (section 34), the rescission of contracts (section 35), and standard form contracts (section 36).
Other provisions indirectly affect financial consumer protection, in particular those focused on horizontal agreements – such as collusion, price fixing between competitors, bid-rigging, restricting output, cartels, collective bargaining, discriminatory practices, tying – and vertical agreements – such as resale price maintenance, exclusive distribution, tying, quantity forcing, franchise fee contracts, royalty, discriminatory practices, open ended provision and others – as well as those on market dominance and monopoly. To promote the interest of consumers, the act establishes the National Consumer Advocacy Council (section 92). Also, the Fair Competition Tribunal is established by the act for the purposes of resolving disputes that arise from unfair business practices including consumer protection.