State Consumer Rights Protection Authority (SCRPA) – an agency under the Ministry of Justice, is established to implement public policy in the field of consumer protection.
SCRPA is the main institution responsible for the enforcement of consumer policy and market surveillance of non-food products and tourism services. The authority is composed of the central administration and 4 regional offices. SCRPA carries out the enforcement actions in the following areas: unfair commercial practices, misleading advertising, e-commerce, product safety, market surveillance of non-food products, tourism market surveillance, unfair contract terms and other violations of consumer protection requirements. In addition to its consumer protection enforcement functions, the SCRPA is also the main alternative dispute resolution (AGS) body. The SCRPA also performs a variety of monitoring activities in different fields in order to avoid consumer protection infringements and provides traders with methodological support regarding efficient compliance with legal requirements. Being the main consumer protection body in Lithuania, the SCRPA organizes and conducts educational activities for consumers, traders and service providers and every year undertakes more than 80 seminars for traders and consumers, performs various consumer awareness raising activities, prepares publications and participates in TV and radio shows.
The SCRPA is a single liaison office and main competent authority for the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 2017/2394 on consumer protection cooperation. It is also a contact point according to the Regulation (EU) No 524/2013 on online dispute resolution for consumer disputes. Besides, SCRPA actively participates in various EU and global level networks, groups, joint activities. As members of International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), SCRPA implements joint activities and projects together with other countries: Fraud Prevention Month Campaign, Internet Sweep of websites, Econsumer.gov portal, etc.
Ensuring a high protection level of consumers in the Republic of Lithuania through building of the consumer rights protection system aligned with European Union law.
Implementing the state policy on consumer rights protection market surveillance for non-food products and tourism service providers intended to guarantee effective consumer rights protection.
The European Consumer Centre in Lithuania (ECC) is the division of the SCRPA that was established by the agreement of the European Commission and the SCRPA, and has been operating since 2005. The European Consumer Centers operate in all EU Member states, as well in UK, Norway and Iceland. They have formed a cooperation network (ECC-Net) to advise citizens on their rights as consumers and to provide easy access to redress, particularly in cross-border cases.
CONSUMER PROTECTION INSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM
Generally, two ministries in Lithuania are in charge of the development of consumer related policies. The Ministry of Justice shapes national policy in the field of the protection of consumer rights and organizes, coordinates and controls its implementation. The Ministry of Economy is responsible for the development of non-food product safety and market surveillance policy.
In 2016 the consumer protection system was consolidated and the State Non-food Inspectorate was incorporated into the SCRPA structure. The SCRPA is enforcing the GPSD, Toys, LVD, Machinery, Low Voltage Equipment, Electromagnetic Compatibility, Personal protective equipment, Construction Products, Gas Appliances, Simple Pressure Vessels, Pressure Equipment, Hot Water boilers, directives. The SCRPA is also the responsible market surveillance authority for the implementation of the Energy efficiency and control of Ecodesign Directive. The SCRPA is a national contact point for RAPEX system (EU Rapid alert system for dangerous non – food products) and is a member of other market surveillance and consumer protection networks – Prosafe, OECD Working Party on Consumer Product Safety, etc.