The offences were uncovered by department officers during daily routine inspections at business premises in the Kilanas, Sengkurong, Rimba and Mentiri areas in the Brunei-Muara District between December 13 and 19.
The businesses were found to be selling several brands of cooking oil above the Maximum Retail Prices (MRP) set by the JPKE.
Three of the companies were previously issued with warning notices in February, July and September this year. One company was previously issued with a warning notice and a compound fine of BND500 for the same offence in December 2015 and January 2016 respectively.
The JPKE advised retailers to comply with the Price Control Act, Chapter 142 by ensuring price-controlled items are not sold above the approved maximum prices.
Updated goods maximum prices can be obtained from JPKE’s Pengguna Bijak/Smart Consumer mobile app (downloadable for free on iOS and Android devices) and its website.
Businesses are also reminded to adhere to the price display and cheap sales regulations by ensuring goods sold are clearly price-tagged and sales activities are conducted in an ethical manner.
Compliance with these regulations and ensuring price transparency is needed to protect consumers’ interests and enable them to make informed purchase decisions, as well as to support business growth by building consumer confidence and sustainable consumption.
Businesses found not complying with the Price Control Act, Chapter 142 and related regulations can be subjected to a compound fine of up to BND1,000 after an initial warning notice. Subsequent offenders can be prosecuted and face a maximum fine of BND20,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.
The JPKE highlighted that maximum prices are set only on 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.
The public have been reminded that price controls are subjected to only specified goods listed in the Act, in order to maintain market dynamics. Consumers are therefore advised to understand their rights and responsibilities to make informed purchase decisions and to get the best value for their money by comparing prices and substitutes in the market.