The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) in collaboration with Local Authorities in six (6) districts of Luapula Province has seized assorted goods collectively worth K7,675, Commission Public Relations manager Namukolo Kasumpa has said.

In a statement Thursday, Kasumpa said this followed joint inspections conducted in over 100 trading places in Luapula Province this month.

“The seized items had defects and therefore, did not meet the mandatory product information standards set by Section 50 of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act No 24 of 2010 and the Food and Drugs Regulations under the Food and Drugs Act Cap 303 of the Laws of Zambia. Defects on the seized items was that they had expired while others did not have expiry dates. Other seized items had insufficient labels and some had broken seals. The products seized included sausages, biscuits, assorted snacks, agro inputs and cosmetics,” Kasumpa said.

“Another notable product that was seized were expired drinks. Traders had rubbed off the expiry dates and some drinks were labelled in foreign language which is in contravention of the Act and poses a health risk to Zambian consumers.”

She said the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission was in the province on a sensitisation and advocacy tour.

“The seizure of the goods was conducted during a sensitisation and advocacy tour of Luapula Province aimed at sensitising the consumers on their rights and obligations as well as inspecting trading premises in selected districts in the Province with the view of ascertaining the trader’s compliance levels with the Competition and Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) No 24 of 2010. The Commission would like to warn suppliers, retailers and distributors to cease selling unsuitable products, which have exceeded or are close to reaching their shelf life especially to rural areas. Traders are further 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 a target of unscrupulous traders. The Commission will not allow this conduct to continue and has since intensified inspections in rural areas,” said Kasumpa.

“Further the Commission would like to advise consumers countrywide to be proactive and report perpetrators of both anti-competitive business behaviour and unfair trading practices to the Commission. Our appeal to members of the public is to be alert and check for expiry dates and general information of the products so as to avoid consuming products that might endanger their lives.”

The local authorities involved in the exercise were Samfya, Mwense, Kawambwa, Mwansabombwe, Nchelenge and Chembe District Councils.