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World Consumer Rights Day, 15th March 2018

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15th March, 2018 The Ministry of Commerce, Consumer, Trade Innovation and Labour’s (MCCTIL) Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading Division marks the World Consumer Rights Day, 15th March, 2018 with the theme: ‘BE A MORE CAUTIOUS SHOPPER’. This is a call to all consumers experiencing the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Gita which impacted the whole of Tonga on the 12th February, 2018. It is particularly crucial at this time for all consumers to pay extra attention when it comes to purchase of goods or any services.

According to the Director for Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading Division, Sandra Fifita, “It is normal after every natural disaster for there is the increasing concerns on the sales of damaged, expired and defective goods, some with normal prices and some on a discount, now is the right time to emphasize this message to consumers to be more aware of these issues and make the right decisions in their everyday purchases.”

The CEO of the Ministry, Edgar Cocker acknowledged the great work carried out by both Public Health for the Ministry of Health and the Food Division for the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Food in ceasing food items unfit for consumption.

“This cannot be tolerated,” advised, Mr. Cocker. “Related Government Departments and the public are encouraged to refer these cases to the Ministry as they have the authority under the law to cancel Business licenses which undertake these unethical practices.”

The Ministry appreciates the close working relations with the Food Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Food as well as the Public Health Division of the Ministry Health in our joint initiatives not only promote education of healthy food but also the safety and security of consumers.

The Ministry marks the World Consumer Rights Day with a Press Conference with the media, TV program, radio talk back, roadside banners displayed in Nuku’alofa, Pangai, ‘Ohonua and Neiafu.

Consumers are urged to continuously pay extra attention when purchasing goods and ensuring that damaged goods like those that are cracked, rusty and with loose packaging and as well as expired goods, are avoided. The nutritional contents of the labeling are often ignored but consumers are encouraged to take time to read them. Goods with non-English or Tongan labeling should not be sold.

The Ministry welcomes any enquiries and any complaints on these matters. Please contact our offices in Fasi moe Afi, Pangai, ‘Ohonua and Neiafu directly or by phone and through our Facebook page www.facebook.com/tongaconsumeraffairs. For all food safety related issues please note the new toll free number for the Food Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Food is 0800 038.


For further enquiries please contact:
Consumer Affairs & Fair Trading Division @ 23 688 ext 109
To place a complaints: Enforcement & Monitoring Division 24 306
Vava’u, 70 414, Ha’apai 60 688, ‘Eua 50 001
Ministry of Commerce, Consumer, Trade, Innovation and Labour



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