The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) in collaboration with two Local Authorities in Northern Province has seized assorted goods collectively worth K23, 045 following two separate joint inspection operations conducted in over 95 trading places in Luwingu and Mbala Districts within the month of July 2017.
The seized items did not meet the minimum required standard for them to be sold to consumers as some products were expired and others had no expiry dates while others had broken seals and insufficient labeling. Further, some products were poorly packaged which contravened consumer protection provisions as outlined in the Food and Drugs Act Cap 303 of the laws of Zambia Act as well as the Competition and Consumer Protection Act No. 24 of 2010. The products seized included beverages, biscuits and cosmetics.
The seizure of the assorted goods was conducted during random inspections of trading places in the aforementioned Districts of Northern Province with the view of ascertaining the traders’ compliance levels with the Competition and Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) No 24 of 2010, specifically with regards to product labelling, display of disclaimers and product safety.
The Commission would like to warn traders that is; suppliers, retailers and distributors to cease selling unsuitable products which have exceeded or are close to reaching their shelf life and further supplying them to rural areas.
The long arm of the Law will catch anyone who violates the law including those in rural areas. Traders are therefore advised to abide by the law and desist from engaging in unfair trading practices or any conducts that erode consumer welfare.
The Commission has noted with great concern that rural communities are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous traders and CCPC will not allow this conduct to continue and will intensify on inspections in these areas.
The Commission also wishes to urge consumers to take their obligations seriously by ensuring that they always check for labels and expiry dates on all food and non-food items to ensure the products are at their highest level of quality for their intended use.
The Local Authorities involved in the operations were Luwingu District Council and Mbala Municipal Council.