Consumer policy

New 'Consumer Policy Toolkit' targets policy makers


 Roundtable discussion of the OECD's "Consumer Policy Toolkit"

On 21 July, in Washington D.C., the US Federal Trade Commission’s  Chairman Jon Leibowitz welcomed stakeholders and journalists at a roundtable discussion of the OECD's just-published Consumer Policy Toolkit. More information  

See the speeches:

  • Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the US Federal Trade Commission
  • Karen Kornbluh, US Ambassador to the OECD 
  • Andrew Wyckoff, Director, OECD Directorate for Science, Technology, and Industry


21 July 2010- The OECD has released a practical guide to help policy makers who are charged with promoting and protecting the interests of consumers. 

The   provides advice for consumer authorities on how to assess areas where markets may be failing consumers and how best to address the problems consumers may face. The Toolkit presents six clear steps for policy making and describes 12 basic policy tools that are available to consumer authorities when action needs to be taken. The Toolkit is supported by examples drawn from the actual experiences of more than 20 countries. 


“Knowing when and how to intervene in markets to deal with consumer problems is key to protecting consumers,” says Michael Jenkin, Chair of the OECD Committee on Consumer Policy. “Consumers need to be well informed, aware of their rights and responsibilities, protected from fraud and be able to resolve disputes when problems arise. Consumer authorities are active on all these fronts, and will benefit from the ideas and recommendations contained in the Toolkit.”



Authorities responsible for consumer policy are often under pressure to act quickly in order to meet public expectations. Decision making, however, has become increasingly difficult in light of the growing complexity of many markets and the challenges posed by new and evolving commercial practices, the rapid development of e-commerce being a case in point. In addition, policy makers need to keep abreast of research and findings in areas such as information and behavioural economics and new approaches to regulatory and enforcement practices. The Toolkit addresses these challenges and provides a framework to help clarify when and how effective action can be taken. The Toolkit is already being used to support the Consumer Policy Committee’s current work aimed at improving consumer protection in e-commerce and offering advice on how to protect consumers engaged in emerging markets for green goods and services.


The OECD Committee on Consumer Policy comprises senior consumer policy and enforcement officials from OECD governments. The Committee seeks to enhance the development and enforcement of effective consumer policies by (i) carrying out research and analysis on topics of common interest, (ii) exchanging information on current and emerging issues and trends, (iii) developing guidelines for addressing problematic areas, and (iv) examining ways to strengthen policy outcomes through law enforcement co-operation between governments and with other stakeholders.


For further information on the Toolkit, please contact, or visit:   


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