In the first six months of this year, officials from the Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General (CCF) discovered about 20 tonnes of defective or counterfeit goods in markets and warehouses across the country, while more than 700 fuel business stations were warned and fined for dishonest practices.
A CCF report seen by The Post on July 4 said some of the goods have already been destroyed, while some others had been seized and were being retained at the capital and provincial CCF branches for destruction at an appropriate time.
“The products found to be non-compliant include fresh and processed food, beverages, consumables and counterfeit alcohol . . . If these non-compliant goods were allowed to remain in circulation, they had the potential to affect the health and safety of consumers and fair competition,” it said.
It added that during the same period, 745 fuel outlets were also found to be conducting dishonest business practices. They were warned and fined by officials in accordance with the consumer protection law.
The CCF has warned that owners would face suspension or revocation of their business registration if they repeated the offences.
In June alone, officials found about 2.5 tonnes of defective and counterfeit goods, along with 99 fuel stations that were in breach of regulations.
CCF director-general Phan Oun said that in the context of the national economy, production and trade are very competitive. Some vendors were prepared to explore means of unfair competition for profit, although in a few cases the errors were due to a lack of understanding of legal standards, he added.
“Defective and counterfeit goods are still circulating in the market, despite regular inspections by the authorities. In some cases, the goods are in breach of some laws and legal documents that were implemented in the past year,” he said.
Oun called on business owners across the country to do business honestly. It would increase consumer confidence, protect the public health and national economy, he said, adding that his officials were ready to prosecute those who ignored the warning.
“The CCF will continue to monitor and investigate all offences, whether acts or misconduct, and dishonest competition,” he said.
In 2021, the CCF carried out 569 inspections and confiscated and destroyed 36.4 tonnes of non-compliant goods. They also seized and destroyed 2,340l of unmarked fertiliser.
Inspections of fuel merchants in 2021 found 693 locations were not in compliance with quality (Octane index) or quantity, according to the report.