The Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General (CCF) told its officials to step up inspections in markets across the country during the Khmer New Year to protect the wellbeing of consumers during the holiday period.

The orders came despite a noticeable drop in the number of non-compliant goods which have been seized.

“We have issued orders to the CCF’s branches throughout the country to increase inspection activities in markets. We aim to prevent the circulation of substandard, counterfeit or expired goods, and those that contain banned chemicals or pesticide residue. Such items can affect the health and economic interests of the public,” CCF chief Phan Oun told The Post on April 12.

Oun explained that CCF officials had carried out 198 inspections in the first three months of the year and discovered 7.394 tonnes of non-compliant commodities that had to be burned. This represented a roughly 40 per cent decrease from the 12.632 tonnes that was seized and destroyed in the same period of 2022.

“While continuing to enforce consumer protection laws, the CCF also calls on all manufacturers and producers, wholesalers and distributors, as well as traders and vendors to conduct their business in good faith and help protect the health, safety, and interests of consumers. This is to avoid legal action should we discover any non-compliance,” he said.

Hou Kreun, deputy director of Helen Keller International (Cambodia), an organisation that promotes nutrition in Cambodia, said that increased inspections over the holiday are an appropriate way of protecting the health of consumers.

“I believe that the vast majority of people who sell food think about the health of their customers, especially on such a happy occasion as the Khmer New Year,” he added.

At the same time, Kreun said he would like to see the CCF continue to enforce high standards following the festival period.

“In addition, it is always important that consumers themselves use caution and check any goods they buy,” he said.

In addition to the market inspections, during the first quarter of the year, the CCF carried out inspections of 41 warehouses and seized several items which may be counterfeit, non-compliant goods, or violate intellectual property statutes. The cases are still under investigation.

It also conducted inspections of 23 educational facility campuses, to ensure that the health and wellbeing of students was being provided for appropriately.