Government guards against price gouging

Government guards against price gouging

(PRESS RELEASE) – The Consumer Affairs Department through the Ministry of Commerce would like to assure consumers that the government remains committed to monitoring the distribution and prices of controlled items.

Merlicia Williams Davy, Information Officer at the department explains that there is legislation controlling the sale of certain consumer goods.

“Sugar, rice, flour, cornmeal, cornflakes, oats, milk, the 3.5 oz can of tuna, the 7 oz can of corned beef—these are a few price controlled items. We are appealing to the suppliers of price-controlled items to ensure they adhere to the provisions of the Distribution and Price of Goods Act No. 35 of 2006. Suppliers should ensure that prices of controlled goods are properly displayed, that goods are not sold above the approved prices, and of course there should be no hoarding of price-controlled goods.”

Ms. Davy reminded suppliers of controlled items to comply with existing legislation.

“Importers of price-controlled goods are also reminded that prior to the sale of any price controlled good they must submit a price calculation sheet along with all supporting documents to the Consumer Affairs Department for approval of prices. Every business engaged with price-controlled goods must keep records of their invoices and these should be made readily available to officers of the Consumer Affairs Department during monitoring exercises,” she said.

The Government of Saint Lucia is also considering further measures to protect consumers, Ms. Davy added: “The Government of Saint Lucia is fully committed to protecting the interests of consumers and rising to the challenges posed by COVID-19. In addition to monitoring price-controlled items, price gouging legislation is being considered. The Department is appealing to the business community to act responsibly, protect consumers from further harm and avoid price gouging.”

Consumer protection and consumer advocacy during the pandemic remains at the heart of consumer groups around the world. The Consumer Affairs Department, like others, continues to work on strategies to build a fair, safe, resilient and sustainable economy through consumer protection.

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