President Uhuru Kenyatta, on Friday, signed into law the amended Competition and Insurance bills in a function that took place at State House.
The Competition Amendment Act 2019 is aimed at separating legal provisions to protect the consumer from the abuse of buyer power from those on abuse of dominant power.
“The Competition (Amendment) Act, 2019 has the objective of addressing emerging issues in the economy, including challenges of delayed payments. This problem has been highlighted in the retail sector, but is also affecting many other sectors,” said the Competition Authority of Kenya in a statement to newsrooms.
The Competition Authority of Kenya now has powers to review contracts as well as agreements between suppliers and buyers to determine whether there were or are cases of buyer power. The authority will also direct businesses that are deemed to have the potential for abuse of buyer power to develop and code of practice that will be binding.
“The amended Act elucidates practices constituting abuse of buyer power. These include;; delayed payment by a buyer without justifiable reasons in breach of contractual terms; unilateral termination of a commercial agreement without notice; transfer of costs; and a buyer’s refusal to receive or return goods without justifiable reasons and in breach of contractual terms, among others,” the Authority added.
At the same time, the Head of State signed into law the Insurance Amendment Act of 2019 that introduced provisions meant for the protection of policyholders where an insurer runs into financial turmoil, closes down and the assets are put under administration or statutory management.
The Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) has now been empowered by the new law to be in charge of prescribing the manner of submission of various kinds of returns and have clearly stipulated penalties for late submissions.
Insurance Companies, under the new law, will be required to submit premium levy returns on a regular basis to the IRA in an effort to “strengthen the regulatory framework.”