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Maximum prices on basket of goods to take effect mid-July.

PHILIPSBURG:--- On Friday, June 24th, 2022, importers and shipping agents met with the Ministry of TEATT (the Department of ETT and the Inspectorate Department) and the Customs Department as it pertains to the submission of invoices prior to the release of the containers in order for the Ministry to calculate the maximum prices correctly. It was in agreement that importers will provide the Customs Department with the requested information (i.e. invoices), in order for the Ministry of TEATT to properly calculate the maximum price for the basket of goods based on the latest invoices/prices. Due to global developments, such as the rise in fuel cost, importers have expressed that prices are changing very rapidly, mainly on a weekly basis. Therefore, the Ministry felt it necessary to adjust the current maximum prices prior to publishing, as these businesses may experience a loss, which is certainly not the intention. The Community can anticipate the Maximum Prices to go into effect within 2 weeks (approx. July 15th, 2022).

During the same meeting, importers were informed of all processes and procedures that will be required moving forward from the Ministry of TEATT and the Customs Department respectively. In particular, an emphasis on the enforcement by the Inspectors of TEATT was mentioned to ensure that the maximum prices are adhered to at all times. However, given that we have limited controllers (6), we will rely heavily on the public to assist with reporting any violations. The more eyes and ears (including camera’s/pictures) we have out there, the more compliance we will receive from businesses. The Ministry is currently in the final stages of developing a digital platform (website/app) where the community can view the maximum prices for the Basket of Goods, Price comparisons published on a monthly basis (to encourage shopping around) and most of all submit a complaint when required. In addition, for consumers that may not have the capabilities to submit a complaint via the digital platform, they too can do so via WhatsApp or Phone to the Inspectorate Department for processing.

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