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Ministry of Commerce trade and Industry

Directorate of Consumer Protection

The Directorate of Consumer Protection is one of the four line directorates of CCPC. The main objective of the Directorate is to ensure consumer protection in Zambia based on consumer protection provisions contained in Part VII of the Act. The Directorate protects consumers by investigating complaints lodged in by consumers or initiated by CCPC on its own initiative, conducting inspections of trading premises and educating both consumers and traders on their rights and obligations. The Directorate has an office in each of the ten (10) provinces of Zambia. In some districts were CCPC has no physical presence, the Directorate works through appointed Inspectors mainly drawn from the Local Councils and/or Ministry of Health. The Inspectors help with inspecting trading premises, conducting education and awareness programs and also receive consumer complaints on behalf of CCPC for further action.


  1. Investigations of all unfair trading practices through complaints lodged in by consumers;
  2. Inspection of various trading premises in order to rid them of expired, defective, not properly labelled products and disclaimers;
  3. Conducting of awareness and educational programmes aimed at empowering consumers with the knowledge that they need in order to make informed purchasing decisions and to be assertive on the markets.
  4. Training of traders on fair trading practices
  5. The Directorate also formulates national guidelines to better carrying out of the consumer protection mandateEnsure enterprises comply with Part VII of the Act;
  6. The Directorate also formulates national guidelines to better carrying out of the consumer protection mandateEnsure enterprises comply with Part VII of the Act;
  7. Ensure the Directorate’s work on consumer protection meets regional and international best practices.


CCPC is mandated to handle complaints from all sectors of the economy such as retail trade; insurance; microfinance; banking; transport; energy; water and sanitation; education; real estate; information and communication technology (ICT); health; hospitality and automotive sectors as long as the person lodging in the complaint qualifies as a consumer under the Act.

Other than CCPC, other sector specific regulators such as Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA), Bank of Zambia (BOZ), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Water Resources and Management Authority (WARMA), and National Water and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) handle consumer complaints relating to the sectors they regulate. If need be, CCPC handles some consumer complaints with these regulators or may refer the complaints to the relevant regulator.


Filing a consumer complaint may seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be. The following are the steps to take when you wish to file a complaint;

Step 1: Collect the Supporting Documents

This step is key in the complaints filing procedure. Every transaction must have a record and as such before you undertake the procedure ensure that you have the following documents;

  • Receipt(s)
  • Contract(s)
  • Warranties
  • Any other documents showing proof of transaction

Step 2: Contact the Seller/Service Provider

As soon as possible and armed with either one of the above documents, contact the seller or service provider and make sure that you communicate clearly to them the outcome you desire. Discuss with them whether the problem requires a refund, repair or replacement. Ensure you follow and exhaust their redress procedure.

Step 3: Contact CCPC

If you are still having challenges resolving the matter with the trader, you may contact CCPC to seek assistance by visiting any of the CCPC offices; sending an e-mail to; writing a letter; calling or submitting the complainant by completing Form IV on our website

Please note that CCPC requires that as a complainant you contact the seller or service provider on your complaint before reporting to CCPC. Further, to aid the analysis of your complaint, CCPC requires proof of transaction as in step 1.

Step 4: CCPC Action

If your complaint was received electronically, you should expect an immediate acknowledgement. If your complaint was received in hard copy, you should expect to get an acknowledgment within two (2) working days.

CCPC will analyse your complaint and if it qualifies as a consumer complaint under the Act, will go on to investigate the matter. A complaint could be resolved immediately or may take more time depending on its nature. Complaints require a response from the provider of products and services which the Commission will request for.

If it does not qualify as a consumer complaint, CCPC will inform you and advise you were to seek redress from. CCPC may also refer consumer complaints to other regulators if they are better suited to handle the complaint.

While the Commission is committed to providing speedy redress to valid complaints, the provision of accurate information and documentation makes this easier and reduces the timelines. The Commission is committed to resolving every consumer complaint within ninety (90) days; however, some exceptions may exist beyond this timeframe depending on the complexity of the matter.


Whenever consumers decide to purchase something, it is important that they:

  • Think before you buy;
  • Shop around for the best deal;
  • Compare quality and price;
  • Ask for advise;
  • Inspect goods carefully;
  • Ask about warranties and guaranties;
  • Keep all invoices and receipts after buying
Whenever customers purchase goods that are faulty or harmful to their health, they are supposed to:
  • Stop using the goods;
  • Let the seller know as soon as possible;
  • Look after the goods until they are returned;
  • Make sure that the goods are not tempered with by any one before returning them to the supplier;
  • Return the goods and state what they want done;
  • Be calm as they explain themselves; and
  • In case of consumables, take the food stuffs to the nearest health authorities, who are in the better position to tell whether the product contains particles or ingredients which are harmful to the body or not.


Part VII of the Act particularly, Sections 45 to Section 54 provides for consumer protection provisions. These form the basis for the determination of offences under the law and what measures need to be taken when a Section of the Act is violated.

Unfair Trading - Section 45 as read together with Section 46 of the Act;

Section 45 as read together with Section 46, makes it an offence to engage in unfair trading practice. A Consumer is not supposed to be misled into a contract or coerced into making a decision against his/her will. Anything that distorts a Consumer’s purchasing decision is against the law. Whether it is by force/pressure, inducement, a lie or any other act.

False or Misleading Representation – Section 47 of the Act;

It is against the law for a trader to claim that certain goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, value, grade, composition, style or model or have a particular history or previous use when infact not.

Prohibition of Display of Disclaimers – Section 48 of the Act;

A Disclaimer is a notice where a trader states in plain language that they are not liable for anything that happens to the goods and services after supplying them to consumers. The most common form of disclaimers is “No Refund; No Exchange; No Returns.” It is against the law to display disclaimers.

Prohibition of supply of Defective Goods and Unsuitable Services – Section 49 of the Act;

Defective goods are loosely defined as unsuitable goods; not fit for the purpose or not as indicated by the consumer. It is important that all Consumers exercise reasonable care and caution when making purchases to avoid the frustration of purchasing defective products. It is against the law to supply defective goods and unsuitable services to consumers.

Product labelling – Section 50 of the Act;

Product labels are meant to give identity to products and to inform consumers about the products. Product labels should include the expiry dates; the name of the product; ingredients; instructions of use; the name of the manufacturer; and their contact details. These are important for consumers to make informed decisions and to know that the product they are purchasing is safe for consumption.

Price Display - Section 51

Traders are not supposed to charge a customer more than the displayed price displayed price. Price display helps consumers to compare products as they shop around. It also reduces arguments with the trader on how much a customer is supposed to pay. It is an offence to charge consumers more than the displayed price

Consumer Product Safety – Section 52

Consumers need to be protected from goods or services that may be harmful to them. This is the purpose of the provision on Consumer Product Safety. Consumers should not normally get ill, injured or affected in anyway by the products they buy and are found to be unsafe. Consumers need to be protected from negligence of traders. Products should meet the mandatory safety standards set by the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) or any other competent body were a mandatory standard exists, for example, mealie-meal. It is against the law to sale substandard products.

Unfair Contract Terms – Section 53

Unfair contract terms are not recommended in a contract because they cause significant imbalance in the consumers’ rights and normally, the consumers suffer at the end. Consumers understand the terms and conditions of the contract before they enter into contracts. Unfair contracts/contract terms are not binding on consumers.


What type of complaint can I lodge in with CCPC?

The Commission can investigate consumer complaints from all sectors of the economy.

Does the CCPC charge for consumer complaints?

No, it is a public service – it is free.

Does CCPC have presence in the provinces?

CCPC has presence in all 9 provincial headquarters and for Copperbelt and Southern, the offices are in Kitwe and Livingstone, respectively.

Can I lodge a complaint on behalf of another person?

No, unless the Complainant is a minor or as administrator of deceased’s person estate or if you are the legal guardian of an incapacitated adult.

What documents do I need when lodging in a complaint?

Receipts, invoices, copy of agreements, pictures, statement of accounts, or any document related to the complaint.

Receipts, invoices, copy of agreements, pictures, statement of accounts, or any document related to the complaint

Depends on the nature of the case, but our charter aims at resolving cases within 90 days. However, some cases may take longer due to particular complexities such as lack of third party expertise, evidence etc.

Can the Commission assist me if I have a complaint against a parastatal?

Yes, as long as you are a consumer.

Yes, as long as you are a consumer.

No, a consumer needs to choose one agency or channel to seek justice. The Commission cannot investigate matters already under litigation.

Can the CCPC help me, I want to be compensated for the loss suffered?

No, that can be done through the Courts of Law

I'm a business owner and want redress, as I bought defective products for resale and as an input in my business, can the Commission assist?

No, the definition of a consumer is someone who buys goods and services for their own use or personal benefit and not for remuneration

Can the Commission investigate a person who is a trader e.g. street hawkers?