PRESS RELEASE!

Vehicle owners need to be aware of major global vehicle recall 

 The Consumer Council of Fiji is urging consumers to be aware of an ongoing global vehicle recall affecting the airbags of certain vehicle brands and models.

The recall has to do with “potentially exploding airbags” which is deadly in nature putting car passenger’s lives at risk. These airbags were made by Japanese manufacturer, Takata, which is used by many renowned automakers.

According to international news reports, the recall extends to vehicles manufactured by BMW, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota. The massive recall involves 53 million-plus vehicles worldwide.

Some of the brands and models affected are: Toyota - Corolla, Vitz and other models made between March 2003 and November 2007; 2003-2005 Subaru Baja, 2003-2005 Subaru Legacy, 2003-2005 Subaru Outback and Subaru Impreza compact models,Honda CR-V 2002 to 2008; Honda Civic 2004 to 2005; Nissan N16 Pulsar; Nissan D22 Navara; Nissan Y61 Patrol; Nissan T30 X-TRAIL; Nissan A33 Maxima; Toyota Echo 2003 to 2005; Toyota RAV4 2003 to 2005; Toyota Corolla 2003 to 2007; Toyota Yaris 2005 to 2007 and Toyota Avensis 2003 to 2007. The recall also involves, BMW, Chrysler, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz.

The Council has been in touch with a major local distributor, ASCO Motors, who has confirmed that they have few Corollas which are affected. ASCO Motors had informed the Council that it was in communication with Toyota for the steps to be taken. The Council appreciates ASCO Motors honesty in coming forward with this issue unlike other dealers who are taking time to respond.

The Council is calling on other motor vehicle dealers to be proactive and inform their customers whether or not their vehicles are affected. Consumers are also urged to check with their dealers about the recall. Consumers can also check online via the OECD’s global portal on product recalls: http://globalrecalls.oecd.org/ to check if their vehicle is affected. This will require information like brand, manufacturer etc and will provide more detailed information on the recalls.

Consumers must understand that the recalls are conducted as a precaution to check vehicles for defects identified during the manufacturing process and do not necessarily mean a return or replacement of the vehicle.

Meanwhile, the Council notes that Fiji does not have a proper vehicle recall system. For example, in countries like the United States, Australia and others, manufacturers are required to immediately alert vehicle regulatory agencies of a recall. Then the manufacturers and dealers are required to notify affected owners.

The Council believes for safety reasons the Land Transport Authority should take an active role and approach towards motor vehicle dealers on any vehicle recalls occurring overseas. LTA should also establish a recall protocol or mechanism through which local dealers could inform the authority and consumers if they have sold or are selling affected brands and models.

 

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

Joint PR   Joint PR   Makoi Community

NCD Crisis, high on EU, Council agenda

The Consumer Council of Fiji with the support of the European Union held a NCD community-based programme on Thursday, 30th April 2015, to promote health and prevent disease. It is envisaged that such programs will result in increased diagnosis and better management of NCDs at community level.

The programme focused on the theme; “Non-Communicable Diseases and Consumer Choices” which was held at the Makoi Muslim Primary School in Nasinu.

This empowerment initiative led by the Council and the European Union brought the women and children participants face to face with health experts and advocates working on NCD, nutrition and healthy living.

The theme fits in well with the ongoing work on NCDs highlighting the global emergency to contain the NCD epidemic. Consumer choice to healthy food is central to combat NCD. This requires a change in consumer behaviour and mindset to make informed and healthy food choices.

The program is an effective way to create discussion on this very important subject at grass-roots level and the Council is thankful to the European Union for supporting the community intervention program, especially among women and children.

In launching the community initiative today, European Union Charge d’Affaires, Johnny Engell-Hansen said: “Health is a global issue and the promotion of good health and support for equitable access to health care must be a priority in Fiji – as in any other country in the world".

“Non-communicable diseases or NCDs are part of this international agenda and fighting them must be a priority for all. NCDs - like heart attacks and strokes, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease, account for over 63% of deaths in the world today. In recent decades, NCDs have become the biggest killer in Fiji, causing 80% of deaths in Fiji every year – many of those deaths premature – and affecting the lives of many more. The socio-economic impact is astounding. Community initiatives such as this one here today are important to highlight the need for lifestyle changes to combat NCDs,” he said.

The European Union has dedicated the month of April to Health as part of its 2015 European Year for Development campaign. The EU remains committed in working with the world to break the vicious circle in which poverty undermines health with particular regard to women’s and children’s health.

The European Union has over the years, assisted the Council in its consumer justice program and has played a crucial role in the formation of the Community Consumer Advisory Group (CCAG) last year, which is a milestone for the Council as well as the consumers.

The community visit was officiated by Johnny Engell-Hansen and was attended by Ministry of Health representatives and the newly-launched Alliance for Healthy Living members.

 

PRESS RELEASE

Traders to adhere to the Fuel and Gas Price Change

The Consumer Council of Fiji welcomes the drop in fuel prices announced by the Government in its second price review for this year. This reduction will be a big relief for many consumers who are struggling with their day to day financial pressures.

With the drop in the fuel and gas prices, the Council is issuing a stern warning to all supermarkets, shopkeepers and service station managements, countrywide, to adhere to the new fuel prices.

The Consumer Watchdog is also urging the public to be vigilant and report those businesses, which have not reduced the prices of the fuel and gas as per the price change schedule, announced by the Government last Friday (10th April 2015).

We are calling on the public to exercise their responsibility and report those unscrupulous traders to the Fiji Commerce Commission or to the Council so that appropriate actions are taken against them.

There is no point in having such significant price change when the new prices do not benefit the consumers on the ground.

The fuel price reduction as announced by the Government is across the board and is effective for both mainland and the rural areas. However, prices will vary outside the cities of Suva and Lautoka and the towns of Lami due to cartage costs.

The Council is aware that some shopkeepers especially in rural areas such as Sabeto, parts of Labasa and Seaqaqa, have not yet reduced the prices of the gas and similarly fuel.

Aggrieved consumers from remote areas have been calling the Council and enquiring about the price changes. A 4.5kg gas cylinder will now cost $13.45 and a 12 kg cylinder will cost $35.87.

However, some shopkeepers have not reduced the prices to reflect the changes made. Gas is a necessity in most homes, as many households are heavily dependent on gas for cooking and any price reduction is always a relief to the families.

This is unacceptable as it derails the efforts of the Government, which is working towards assisting the vulnerable consumers.

Traders should be honest and do the right thing by following the new price schedule. Consumers must stand in solidarity to expose those traders who, disregard the new prices.

Consumers can visit the Fiji Commerce Commission website (www.commcomm.gov.fj) to view the new price schedule.

 

UPDATE - 2015 WCRD

2015 World Consumer Rights Day

NCDS ALL ABOUT CHOICES: MINISTER KOYA
3/24/2015

“LIFE is precious and it needs to be protected.” This was the message by Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Hon. Faiyaz Koya for the World Consumer Rights Day celebrations where the theme “Consumers’ Right to Healthy Food” has brought the prevalence of Non Communicable Disease in Fiji under the spotlight.

At the Consumer Council of Fiji-organised event, Minister Koya told the youth, mothers, educators and others that beyond the responsibility the Government and the business community have towards standards, it is the consumers who make the choice.

“You as consumers have an even greater role - you make the choices. Because of this, it is important to make well-thought out choices. The Government ensures protection for all Fijians through appropriate laws and measures,” he said.

He said much has been done by the authorities to ensure that Fijians eat fresh and healthy least of all the promotion of buying fresh Fiji grown fruits and vegetables but also making imported food affordable.

“This has been evident through various policies such as the reduction of fiscal duty on fruits and vegetables from 32 per cent to five per cent to enable all Fijians to have access to a variety of fruits and vegetables,” Minister Koya said.

He commended the other stakeholders such as the business community for coming together to fight NCDs.

Council chief executive officer, Premila Kumar highlighted the various cases of misleading labels and fraudulent claims on food items on supermarket shelves.

“Consumers can only know about a product through information provided on the label and we believe these labels must contain the correct information,” she said.

The council is also exploring the idea of having the nutritional value information on the front of the label rather than the back as well as having the information presented in such a way that it is understood by the consumer.

Minister Koya said Government has also put in place the Commerce Commission Decree 2010 to provide pricing determinations which eliminates restrictive trade practices and provides for the consumer protection through provisions on false and misleading representation, misleading advertising and deceptive conduct.

Ministry of Health’s National Adviser on NCD, Dr Isimeli Tukana said the Ministry was trying to bring in the star rating system from neighbours Australia and New Zealand as this has been more effective in attracting consumers on making the right choice.

World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated globally on March 15 but had to be deferred due to adverse weather.

 WCRD

2015 World Consumer Rights Day 
Theme : Consumers' Right to Healthy Food 

https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/22307-healthy-food-now

Unhealthy diets contribute to more than 11 million deaths a year. This means it is now a bigger killer than tobacco. Obesity alone is estimated to cost $2 trillion per year. And this isn’t just a ‘rich world’ problem - some of the biggest increases in diet-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers are in developing countries.

It really is time the world woke up to the price of unhealthy diets.

Consumers International and the global consumer rights movement are calling for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to develop a global treaty to support consumers’ rights to healthy food. A global treaty would:

  • Reduce very high levels of fat, salt and sugar in everyday foods
  • Reduce the marketing of junk food to children
  • Provide clear nutrition labelling to help consumers choose a healthy diet
  • Improve the standards of food served in public institutions such as schools and hospitals

Click on the support buttons and join our call for a #FoodTreatyNow to support consumers’ rights to healthy food.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Public Notice

The Council is iniviting interested persons to join our Community Consumer Network Group (CCAG) on a voluntary basis.

Click below for more information:

Click here.

______________________________________________________________________

Public Notice

Information on Suva Private hospital's 24 hour service commencing on Februaruy 2, 2015.

Click below to acces the Public Notice published.

Click here

_______________________________________________________________________

Public Notice

Information on Water Authority of Fiji services (Free water supply)

Click below to access the Customer Information Form

Click here

Click below to access the Usage Allowance Form

Click here

______________________________________________________________________

The Fijian Government Free Medicine Program.

Click  below for the list.


List of Medicine

______________________________________________________________________

 

PRESS STATEMENT

Clarification on Price Increase Post-Budget Announcement

The Consumer Council of Fiji is reminding traders to be honest and sell old stock at the old price as duty on old stock was already paid before the budget announcement on 21st November 2014.

This reminder comes after the Council’s three regional offices were flooded with queries from the consumers who experienced immediate price increases on goods following the budget announcement last Friday.

The price increases on all imported alcohol, tobacco and cigarettes by 10 % after the 2015 national budget announcement comes into effect when there is delivery of new stock after the budget announcement. If a retailer is selling these products from his old stock then it must be sold at the old retail price.

According to [Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority] Public Circular No. 9 of 2014, the duty rates and other changes relating to the Customs Tariff Act shall apply to goods arriving for the first time in Fiji by ship or aircraft, after midnight, Thursday 20th November, 2014. The mentioned time and date also applies to goods relating to changes to the Excise Act.

The duty rates shall also apply for goods removed for home consumption fromWarehouses, Inland Freight Stations (IFS) (un-cleared cargo), Cargo Freight Station (CFS) Tax Free Factories / Tax Free Zones, Duty Suspension Scheme firms, Excise factories and all un-cleared cargo after midnight, Thursday 20th November, 2014.

The new price only applies when the retailer pays new rate of duty on the new stock of these items arriving for the first time in Fiji by ship or aircraft, after midnight, Thursday 20th November, 2014.

In other words, all un-cleared cargo after midnight, Thursday, 20th November, 2014 will be charged new duty rate by FRCA which will be passed on to consumers as “increase in price”.
For more information you can visit FRCAs website- http://www.frca.org.fj/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Custom-Budget-Circular.pdf

The same applies to other luxury items which had a duty increase of 32 %. These items are: perfumes, cosmetics, shaving, or after shave preparations, Camera’s and Camcorders, sunglass, binoculars, video & electronic games, watches, iPods, MP3 and MP4 players and Jewellery.

Retailers must uphold business ethics and fair trade practice and do the right thing and not hoodwink the consumers by increasing the price of old stock where duty was already paid before the budget announcement.
 


 


Consumer Updates


  • 28/05/2015 11:23:37
    The Consumer Council of Fiji is urging consumers to be aware of an ongoing global vehicle recall affecting the airbags of certain vehicle brands and models.



  • 21/05/2015 13:24:33
    Maritime consumers who use inter-island shipping services deserve safe and timely service as they are paying for it.



  • 19/05/2015 12:09:19
    The Consumer Council of Fiji welcomes the Health Minister, Mr Jone Usamate’s assurance to have medical complaints thoroughly investigated and improvements made to avoid further medical negligence (as reported in The Fiji Times dated 14th May 2015, page 17)


WHATS ON: Like Our Page on Facebook

Consumer Council of Fiji and Consumers Fiji

 

 

Mediation Training Workshop