A local department store was issued with a warning notice for selling above the maximum price set on several cooking oil products, while another company received a warning notice for displaying misleading weight marks as stated on the package of meats and vegetable products.
The warning notices were issued during a joint enforcement operation conducted by the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) through the Weights and Measures Unit (SDT), Industry and Business Ecosystem Division (IBE) and the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), Department of Economic Planning and Statistics (DEPS) in the Tutong District recently.
During the operation, SDT officers found 14 units of weighing machines complied with the Chapter 151 of the Weights and Measures Act 1983 and its stipulated guidelines.
The operation was part of a routine enforcement initiative to ensure weights and measures machines used for business activity are registered and verified in accordance with Chapter 151 of the Weights and Measures Act 1983. The operation also enforced Chapter 142 of the Price Control Act and its regulations to ensure controlled items under the Act are not sold above maximum prices set by DEPS and other relevant sector regulators. Prices of goods must be clearly displayed in upholding consumer welfare in the Sultanate.
In view of misleading weight marks, the SDT shared the proper and correct practice on packing and weighing procedures with the company’s management and packing workers.
Businesses are reminded to comply with Chapter 142 of the Price Control Act to help the country build a sustainable business environment with ethical business conducts.
Consumers are also advised to ensure weighing and measuring machines used for trading activities involving weight, volume and length of the devices bear a valid visible registration sticker issued by the SDT.
As stipulated in the Weights and Measures (Verification) Regulations, 1994 under Section 3(2), every person using or has in their possession for use for trade any weight, measure, or instrument for weighing not stamped as required by this regulation shall be guilty of an offence.
The penalty for such an offence is a BND1,000 fine or imprisonment for three months or both.
The instrument in question shall be liable to be forfeited. Any contract, bargain, sale, or dealing made by such a weight, measure, or weighing instrument shall be deemed void.
Failure to comply with the Price Control Act and its regulations may result in a compound of up to BND1,000.
Repeat offenders can potentially face a maximum fine of up to BND20,000.00 and imprisonment of up to five years.