Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC)

ICCC launches new look website

ICCC Commissioner Paul Ain says the upgrading and redesigning of the website is to replace the old site with this new and improved site which is equipped with new features.

The Commissioner outlined that some of the benefits from the new website will be the online application of licences, online system of lodging consumer complaints as well as an updated tracking system for statistics of all PNG Ports and PNG Power sites.

ICCC proposes to allow airline code-share services

The code-share services will be provided under flights operated by Air Niugini.

The code-share arrangement with Air Vanuatu will be on the Port Moresby-Port Vila route via Honiara. The code-share arrangement with Solomon Airlines will be on the Port Moresby-Honiara route.

Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Paulus Ain, said whilst both code-share agreements raise competition concerns, they are likely to continue to bring more benefits to the players in the aviation industry and contribute to the growth of economic activities associated with the aviation industry. 

New retail fuel prices announced

According to the ICCC’s calculations, retail fuel prices for petrol, diesel and kerosene will increase throughout PNG as of 8th January, 2018.

“These price increases are attributed to the increases in the Import Parity Prices (IPP) for this month. Furthermore, the increases in the IPP are attributed to the increases in the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) prices for petrol, diesel and kerosene during the month of December, 2017,” ICCC said in a statement.  

Watchdog addresses EFTPOS concern

If the fees charged by the merchant/trader have not been authorised in the first instance by the commercial bank then such fees must not be charged.

This is the response by the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) complaints by consumers on some businesses and shops charging clients extra fees for using an EFTPOS.

Non-English labelled products a concern

This comes after the ICCC found an increase in the particular items during an official visit to selected provinces.

One popular product consumed by many Papua New Guineans, the Mi goreng Indomie noodles, has been found to have a counterfeit.

“They look the same, you see the colour exactly the same, except the counterfeit one is written in another language, not English,” says ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Paulus Ain.

“When we went to the shops I asked, can you eat this? If you can’t, why putting it on the shelves? Are Papua New Guineans dogs?

​Locals appeal for ICCC inspection

Residents have raised numerous concerns about the alleged sale of fake Samsung and Huawei phones.

Unsuspecting customers buy the phones, which turn out to be in bad working condition where, for instance, some of the applications fail to work. However, when they try to get a refund, their requests are refused by the shop owners.

This reporter witnessed a customer buy a Samsung J5 for K300, only to discover that the phone was faulty. None of the applications inside were working and the only way to switch it off was to remove the battery.

​Ban on non-English label food products remains

In a media statement, the ICCC said the interim ban imposed on March 31, 2016, is still in force until September 17, 2017.

Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Paulus Ain, said they have received reports about certain products that are being sold in the shops with non-English packaging and labels.

He said the ban is applicable to food products and not any other product or merchandise.

The interim ban requires that all food products must have the following minimum labeling requirement in English which include:

Fuel operator prosecuted for overcharging customers

This is the first legal action taken by the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) against a fuel station operator.

“For a very long time we have been trying our best to get our fuel station operators to comply with the requirements of ICCC or Price Regulation Act, by not charging consumers above the price set by ICCC,” said Paulus Ain, ICCC chief executive officer.  

“We try our best here at ICCC that the fuel prices charged or set are fair and reasonable, and consumers and businesses can afford.”

ICCC concerned with Telikom, DataCo deal

In a media statement, Commissioner and CEO, Paulus Ain, said the ICCC was worried that the arrangement may raise potential competition issues.

This follows a report in one of the local dailies that Telikom and PNG DataCo had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to make available domestic and international cable capacity to each other on their infrastructure under a normal commercial arrangement.

Further increase to fuel prices

Petrol, diesel and kerosene have all increased yet again, forcing motorists to dig deeper.

The new prices set, as of March 08, will see petrol increase by 1.45 toea per litre (tpl), diesel to go up by 3.25 tpl and kerosene rising by 2.12 tpl.

Petrol price now sits at 324.94 tpl (K3.25), diesel at 265.25 tpl (K2.65) and kerosene at 250.16 tpl.

The ICCC attributed the rise to increases in the Import Parity Price for the month of March, due to continued increase in the crude oil price during February.