Ministry of Economic Development, Commerce and Industry, and Consumer Protection
Consumer Protection Awareness Continues
Belmopan - 21 July, 2008
In an effort to address unfair business practices in the sale of price-controlled goods, the Ministry would like to inform businesses/merchants and the general public of the following:
It is illegal under the Supplies Control Act, CAP 293, for any vendor (whether engaged in wholesale or retail) to:
a. refuse to sell any price-controlled goods;
b. refuse to sell any reasonable quantity demanded;
c. falsely deny such goods are not available for sale (this constitutes a refusal to sell).
d. fail to indicate prices of price-controlled goods on a Price list (in public view in some conspicuous place) or clearly marked on such goods.
Any person failing to comply with any regulations contained within the Act commits an offence, and is liable to a fine not exceeding BZ$1,000.00 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both. Subsequent infractions entails a fine not exceeding BZ$200.00 for each day the offence is committed.
In addition, any person convicted on three (3) or more occasions with an offence of selling price-controlled goods above the maximum permitted price, will no longer be allowed to conduct trade or to hold a trade license for any period not exceeding one year. In addition, any goods or articles in relation to the offence will be forfeited.
It is the intention of the Ministry to stress the importance of compliance, not only for the benefit of the consumers, but for the interests of the merchants as there are legal ramifications of failure to comply.
The Ministry stands firm in its commitment to the people of Belize and its promise to protect their interests and ease their costs of living.