Since 1 January 2018, the former Consumer Safety Commission (CVC) and the Consumer Council have been integrated in the new special consumer advisory commission. This commission, founded by Royal Decree of 13 December 2017 within the Central Economic Council, takes on the tasks of the Consumer Council and some of the tasks of the CVC. Some other tasks carried out by the CVC are taken over by the FPS Economy.
The special consumer advisory commission comprises:
- a chairman and two vice-chairmen;
- the members:
- thirteen representatives of consumer organisations;
- eight representatives of production organisations;
- two representatives of distribution organisations;
- two representatives of self-employed organisations;
- one representative from agricultural organisations.
The special consumer advisory commission's most important task is issuing advice on problems affecting the consumption of products and the use of services, and on problems that are significant to consumers. This task is carried out at the request of one or multiple ministers, the Council of Ministers, parliament, another federal government body, or the CRB itself. The commission can also issue recommendations of its own volition. It is thus the central advisory body for all consumer affairs and consumer protection issues.
The commission is also a platform for dialogue and consultation where consumer and professional representatives exchange information, publish views, and reach compromises. It is a privileged instrument of strategic support. The recommendations may not be binding for the government but are more likely to be followed up if they are unanimously supported.
The commission carries out a number of tasks regarding consumer health and safety. These are:
- Issuing recommendations when drafting regulations in relation to protecting user health and safety;
- Providing advice on the policy of the federal government regarding the protection of user and consumer health and safety as a result of products being supplied and used;
- Providing advice to the Minister when the public needs to be informed of risks and general problems with specific products or services;
- Organising discussions between producers, distributors, users, the government and specialised bodies.