Businesses With No Point of Sale System to Stop Charging Plastic Bag Levy

08/08/2017 15:19

The Consumer Council of Fiji is calling on businesses that do not have the Point of Sale (POS) System or electronic cash registers which clearly reflects the $0.10 Plastic Bag Levy on the receipts to straighten up their conduct and stop charging consumers the levy.

The Council has received several complaints and concerns from aggrieved consumers regarding the incorrect charge of levy on plastic bags. Consumer complaints reveal that some traders are charging the levy but the same is not reflected on the receipts issued to them. In most cases, consumers are not even issued receipts, which can actually allow them to verify the charge.

A market surveillance was conducted to establish the current market practices on the charging of the levy. The findings during the surveillance showed that multiple shops which neither have the POS system nor cash registers are charging the levy. These traders do not have any systems that could reflect the $0.10 levy on the receipts.

The Council particularly observed the practices in restaurants, small retail shops and bakeries. It has been ascertained that majority of them have manual cash registers in place. However, these are the very businesses that are unethically and illegally charging the levy.

The Fiji Revenue and Customs Services (FRCS) has been referred the Council’s findings for enforcement actions. We are hopeful that the unscrupulous traders and service providers will be taken to task by the enforcement agency.

Alternatively, the Council would like to remind consumers that the imposition of the $0.10 per plastic bag levy is a new initiative under the ECAL with the aim to reduce usage and disposal of plastic bags into the environment. The Council encourages consumer cooperation and adherence to the policies in place. Consumers have a social responsibility towards the environment and in exercising their responsibility they are urged to use alternative bags in place of single-use plastic bags.

Having said the above, consumers are encouraged to contact the Council immediately if they are wrongly charged the $0.10 per plastic bag levy.