24 compounds, 73 warning notices issued for offences under price, sales regulations

THE Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE) issued 24 compounds of BND500 each and 73 warning notices for offences under the Price Control Act, Display of Prices and Sales regulations, from September to early December 2018. The infringements involved 91 retailers.

The offences were found during daily routine inspections throughout the country by the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs, JPKE.

The items involved were cooking oil, powdered infant milk, sugar and rice sold above the maximum price, set by JPKE and sector regulators. Some premises were found not displaying prices on products sold and also conducting sales activities without notification to JPKE.

The Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs advised retailers to comply with the Act by ensuring price-controlled items are not sold above the approved maximum prices.

Updated maximum prices can be found on the PenggunaBijak/SmartConsumer mobile application and JPKE’s website.

Businesses are also reminded to adhere to the price display and sales regulations by ensuring goods sold are clearly displayed with price tags and sales activities conducted in an ethical manner.

Compliance with these regulations is not just intended for consumers’ interest in price transparency and making informed purchase decisions, but also to support business growth by building consumers’ confidence and sustainable consumption an essential factor in creating a vibrant business environment.

Businesses found not complying with the Price Control Act, Chapter 142 and related regulations can be subject to a compound of up to BND1,000 after one warning notice. Subsequent offenders can be prosecuted and face a maximum fine of BND20,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.

JPKE highlighted that maximum prices are set on only 12 items listed under the Price Control Act, Chapter 142. These items include cooking oil, powdered infant milk, passenger motor vehicles, rice, sugar, and energy products. Despite the maximum prices set on these items, businesses are encouraged to offer competitive prices to attract customers.

The public is reminded that price controls are limited to only specified goods listed in the Act, to maintain market dynamics. Consumers are advised to understand their rights and responsibilities to make informed purchase decisions and get the best value-for-money by comparing prices and substitutes in the market.

JPKE encourages the public to make use of the PenggunaBijak/SmartConsumer mobile application, which is downloadable for free on iOS and Android devices to support the ‘smart consumer’ initiative.

JPKE welcomes feedback, and any clarification related to price control and consumer protection functions can be referred to the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs at 2230223 (during office hours), mobile application: PenggunaBijak/SmartConsumer, email: consumercomplaint@jpke.gov.bn or walk-in to the Department of Competition and Consumer Affairs at Jalan Ong Sum Ping.