The Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA)
The Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (Cap. 52A) or CPFTA was enacted to protect consumers against unfair practices and to give them additional rights in respect of goods that do not conform to contract.

It is the result of years of advocacy by the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) because of our firm belief that we need a fair trading legislation to promote a fairer and more equitable marketplace. Such legislation would protect both consumers and businesses by making the playing field more level.

In 1979, the late Mr Ivan Baptist, then President of CASE, first urged the government to consider a fair trading legislation in Parliament. After several years of study on the feasibility of a fair trading legislation for Singapore, the CPFTA was finally passed in Parliament on 11 November 2003 and took effect on 1 March 2004.

Through the years, CASE has worked closely with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to periodically revise and update the CPFTA to ensure that it remains relevant.
Administering Agency of CPFTA
In September 2016, the CPFTA was further amended to strengthen the existing measures that may be taken against errant suppliers who persist in unfair trading practices. Under the amended CPFTA, SPRING Singapore was appointed as the administering agency with investigative and enforcement powers, which includes:
  • Gathering evidence against persistently errant suppliers; and
  • Filing injunction applications with the Courts; and
  • Enforcing compliance with injunction orders issued by the Courts.
With effect from 1 April 2018, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) took over the administration of the CPFTA. CASE and the Singapore Tourism Board remain the first points of contact for local consumers and tourists respectively to handle complaints. Errant suppliers who persist in unfair trade practices will be referred to CCCS for investigation.

While the CPFTA gives consumers the right to seek recourse, consumers should still be vigilant in protecting their own interests by exercising due care when buying goods and services.
Unfair Practices under CPFTA
The following practices in relation to consumer transactions have been identified as unfair practices under Section 4 of the CPFTA. These include suppliers who:
  • Do or say anything, or omit to do or say anything, if as a result a consumer might reasonably be deceived or misled; and/or
  • Make a false claim; and/or
  • Take advantage of a consumer if they know or ought reasonably to know that the consumer:
  • Is not in a position to protect his own interests; and/or
  • Is not reasonably able to understand the character, nature, language or effect of the transaction or any matter related to the transaction; and/or
  • Commit any of the 24 unfair practices specified in the Second Schedule to the CPFTA
Subsidiary Regulations under CPFTA
Throughout the years, there have been subsidiary regulations enacted under the CPFTA to complement and enhance consumer protection in Singapore. These include:
  • Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) (Cancellation Of Contracts) Regulations 2009
  • Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) (Motor Vehicle Dealer Deposits) Regulations 2009
  • Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) (Opt-Out Practices) Regulations 2009
  • Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) (Regulated Financial Products And Services) Regulations 2009
  • Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) (Notifiable Events) Regulations 2016
More information on the subsidiary regulations can be found here.
Lemon Law
The Lemon Law took effect on 1 September 2012. It is a law that protects consumers against goods that do not conform to contract or are not of satisfactory quality or performance standards at the time of delivery. Under the Lemon Law, businesses are obligated to repair, replace, reduce the price or provide a refund for a defective good.

The provisions of the Lemon Law can be found in Sections 12A to 12F of the CPFTA.
  • The Lemon Law covers all general consumer products purchased in Singapore (e.g. apparel, stationery, electronics, furniture, motorcars, etc). It does not apply to houses, land or rental/leased goods.
  • Second-hand goods and vehicles are included but "satisfactory quality" would take into account their age at the time of delivery and the price paid.
  • The Lemon Law does not apply to services.
  • It does not apply to business-to-business and consumer-to-consumer transactions.
Consumers are not entitled to remedies under the Lemon Law if:
  • The consumer had damaged the item.
  • The consumer had misused the item and caused the fault.
  • The consumer had tried to repair the item himself or had someone else try to repair it, and in the process damaged it.
  • The consumer had been told about the fault before he bought the item.
  • The consumer had changed his mind and no longer wanted the item.
  • The fault is due to wear and tear.

For more information on the CPFTA and the Lemon Law, download the Fair Trading & You Booklet here. Alternatively, you can purchase a copy of it from our CASE office for $3.21 (including GST)
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