The Department performs in particular the following duties:
a) works with competent Ministry units and other central state administration authorities on tasks relating to consumer protection
b) under its competence, it supervises the observance of laws relating to consumer protection and, in accordance with the laws, implements necessary remedial measures,
c) works, as needs arise, with the Spokesman and the Communications and Public Relations Unit in the preparation and realisation of the Ministry media outputs,
d) works with the Ministerial Co-ordination Group Secretariat in developing EU Council documents - framework position, instruction, opinion and mandate to the extent of its subject-matter jurisdiction,
e) works with the Legislative Department in drawing up the Ministry´s opinions by drafting legal rules of central state administration authorities submitted for Government and National Council discussion, for discussion of the Legislative Council of the Slovak Government as well as of the Economic and Social Agreement Council and of the Economic Ministers Meeting,
f) works with the Legislative Department on working out opinions on international treaties drawn up by other central state administration authorities,
g) submits the Legislative Department the intents of draft legal rules including the subject and contents of legislation,
h) follows EU/EC legal rules relating to the Department competence
Furthermore, the Consumer Protection Department provides for:
- European Consumer Centre duties,
- execution of state administration in consumer protection matters,
- monitoring, analytic and conceptual activities relating to consumers´ economic interests and the pursuit of consumer policy in the Slovak Republic,
- pursuit of the state consumer policy,
- subject-matter inputs, the preparation and development of generally binding regulations on consumer protection,
- notification authority duties under the implementation of the system for rapid exchange of information on dangerous non-food products on the market - RAPEX - within EU Member States,
- Ministry duties under the membership of EU and OECD working groups and committees on consumer and health protection,
- issues decisions under two-tier proceedings against second-instance rulings from the Slovak Trade Inspection (STI)´s Central Inspectorate and decides on motions to review rulings outside of the appellate procedure.
The Department co-operates:
a) with civil associations set up to safeguard consumers´ rights and economic interests and it creates required conditions to develop their activities,
b) with civil associations set up to safeguard consumers´ rights and economic interests in providing the tasks under the membership of a representative of civil associations set up to safeguard the consumer in the EC Consumers´ Committee,
c) in the performance of the market supervision.
1. As regards the European Consumer Centre, the Department in particular:
a) works with the European Commission and European consumers to support the use of the internal market as effectively as possible,
b) supplies information on legislation and contingent studies at European and Member State levels, notifies of procedures,
c) provides counselling and assistance in mediations, consultancy and advisory to consumers facing difficulties and support them in handling consumer complaints,
d) settles disputes out-of-court,
e) furnishes the primary basic legal information and recommends consumers to specific authorities,
f) works with the other centres within the network and different networks such as EEJ-Net (a network of centres for out-of-court dispute settlement) or FIN-Net (a similar network for out-of-court dispute settlement relating to financial services),
g) works with non-government consumer organisations,
h) assists in inter-state complaints,
i) informs consumers of the possibilities offered by the internal market,
j) conducts price and market researches,
k) consolidates the confidence in the common market and cross-border purchases and consumers´ education,
l) prepares campaigns,
m) draws up the annual plan for its activities, initiatives outside of the plan shall be approved by the EC,
n) publishes reports on activities.
2. The Department monitors the activity of those civil associations set up to safeguard consumers´ rights and economic interests that are subsidised by the state budget through the Ministry in the form of annual reports on association activity and management of public funds.
3. The Department is in charge of the market supervision in consumer protection.
4. The Department co-ordinates international projects on consumer and health protection and the co-operation with international government and non-government bodies and institutions operating in the consumer and health protection.
5. The Department handles consumer protection motions and investigates complaints directed against the STI Central Director.
6. The Department carries out control for the performance of STI state administration duties relating to consumer protection (except for decisions issued under administrative proceedings).
7. The Department provides market supervisory authorities with methodical guidance in developing analyses of their activities in relation to the application of legal rules on consumer protection.
The Department elaborates analyses of the application of the relevant consumer protection regulations by the market supervisory authorities and of judicial rulings in relation to regulatory and supervisory authorities with a view to amending generally binding legal rules on consumer protection and analyses of the consumer position in the Slovak Republic