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She said travel agents will be required to inform consumers of their option to purchase travel insurance that protects against travel agent insolvency.
She added that most agencies close down voluntarily, and only after fulfilling their contractual obligations.
The public consultation will also address scenarios that would require a copy of an NRIC - which contains sensitive data such as name, photograph, thumbprint and home address. Organisations will have up to 12 months from the release of the new advisory on NRIC use, expected to be in mid-2018, to change their business practice. Lawyer Gilbert Leong, senior partner at Dentons Rodyk & Davidson, said care must also be taken to protect the use of one's cellphone number. Irene Tham Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Errant travel agencies that close down, leaving customers in the lurch, will find it harder to reopen under a different name, after changes to the laws governing the travel industry.
"The mobile number is increasingly becoming a part of one's digital identity; one-time passwords are sent and payments can be made to one's mobile phone," he said. • Emergencies where medical workers need to ascertain the blood type or allergies of a patient. In deciding whether to issue licences to travel agencies, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will consider factors such as whether company directors and other individuals involved with the company "are suitable to hold the licence", said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Sim Ann yesterday.
She added: "We hope that this exemption will encourage more entities to offer consumers innovative and experiential tours, and in turn add to the vibrancy of our tourism landscape." Mr Lim Biow Chuan (Mountbatten) and Mr Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC), who were among four MPs who spoke in support of the Bill, asked if the Government would consider requiring travel agencies to post a performance bond, or finance a fund, which could be used to reimburse consumers in the event of closure.
It currently allows and continues to allow NRIC use without consumers' consent for: • Seeking medical treatment in hospitals and clinics. But it wants consumers to have the right to refuse to hand over their NRIC details or card when: • Redeeming free parking from mall operators. This comes as the Travel Agents (Amendment) Bill was passed in Parliament yesterday, marking the first update to the industry regulations in a decade.
"Singapore will do our part to facilitate the process where possible, but the final position between third countries is ultimately dependent on their own calculations," he said.
"Singapore remains committed to work closely with our RCEP counterparts to bring the agreement to fruition." Nisha Ramchandani Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. The Law Society refers to the letter “A more neutral platform to handle errant lawyers, fee guidelines needed“ (Nov 3).
The RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) among the 10 Asean countries as well as six partners - China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
Since the launch of the negotiations in November 2012, there have been 20 formal negotiating rounds and eight RCEP ministerial meetings, Dr Koh noted.
If new rules proposed yesterday kick in, it will become unlawful for mall operators and retailers to collect and use shoppers' NRIC numbers to track parking redemptions, manage their membership accounts or conduct lucky draws.