The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) is warning traders to ensure that they are correctly applying the 15 percent VAT rate, which came into effect on the first of this month, to the price of their goods and services.
This comes after reports of some traders directly applying either an additional 15 percent VAT or 6 percent VAT to the existing prices.
FCCC CEO, Joel Abraham, says if a trader is unsure, they could calculate the new price by taking the original price, dividing it by 1.09, and then multiplying it by 1.15, as follows: New Price = (Old Price/1.09) x 1.15.
He says it is the responsibility of traders to ensure they are correctly applying the new VAT rates, or they will be taken to task.
Abraham adds that a joint taskforce, composed of FCCC and Fiji Revenue and Customs Services officers, is conducting surveys and inspections to ensure compliance.
The CEO says since the budget announcement, they have conducted around 1,070 surveys and inspections and are maintaining the pace, through the participation of FCCC employees from all departments, not just enforcement.
He says unethical traders who are trying to unfairly profit by taking advantage of the transition should know that they are committed to ensuring that the budget changes are accurately reflected in market prices and any non-compliance will be met with decisive action.
Abraham says it is in the utmost interest of the Government to ensure that fair and ethical trading practices are being adhered to by traders in Fiji.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Co-operatives and Small and Medium Enterprises and Communications Manoa Kamikamica say awareness and enforcement remain vital to protect consumers in the country.
Effective from 1st August, the three VAT rates have been replaced with a simplified two VAT rate system. The 9 percent VAT has increased to 15 percent while the 0 percent VAT rate list of items has been maintained other than the addition of prescription medicine and prescription drugs.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations