The Get Information About a Merchant tool compiles the number of interventions the Office de la protection du consommateur has carried out with a merchant. Such interventions aim to ensure compliance with the law and can take the following forms:
A notice of offence notifies the merchant that, based on the elements and documents that have been collected, the Office has reasons to believe that the merchant has violated the law. The notice specifies that, if the merchant fails to comply with the law, the Office may undertake proceedings against it. After 3 years, the notice of offence is withdrawn from the Get Information About a Merchant tool.
A criminal prosecution begins with a notice of offence being served on the merchant, one of its representatives, or one of its directors. The notice of offence is a legal document that describes the offence of which the defendant is being accused. The defendant may plead guilty or not guilty. If the merchant pleads not guilty or fails to respond within the prescribed deadline, the file is referred to the courts. Information about the prosecution is withdrawn from the Get Information About a Merchant tool 5 years after the notice of offence is served on the merchant, or 3 years after the result of the prosecution has been processed by the Office.
A voluntary commitment is a document by which a merchant enters into a commitment with the President of the Office to change its business practices in order to comply with the law. Failure to abide by that commitment is an offence that could result in prosecution against the merchant. The voluntary commitment is withdrawn from the Get Information About a Merchant tool when it ceases to be in effect. The validity period of a voluntary commitment may vary.
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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.