Imports to Myanmar are often sub-quality and unsafe, but more stringent consumer protection laws will soon lead to charges against violators, according to an official from the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).
Daw Myo Myo Htaik, assistant director at Consumer Affairs Department of the ministry, said, “There are unsafe products sold in the market and we are taking necessary actions against them.”
The Myanmar Consumer Protection Law was announced in mid-2014, and the Central Committee led by MOC is carrying out field inspections and educating the public around the country on food and health issues.
U Khin Zaw, director of Consumer Affairs Department, said, “We are currently educating the public because we can’t just press charges before they fully understand the law. All 52 million citizens need to follow the respective rules. Other laws can be implemented quickly but the Consumer Protection Law must be handled delicately.
“There would be no food to consume if charges are filed against all violators, but illegal products are now being inspected.”
He said that both businesses and consumers must bear some responsibility, and consumers must choose not to buy low-quality products and report the products that are deemed unsafe.
If local businesses are found guilty of breaking Consumer Protection Law, they will be sentenced for up to three years of prison time or fined K5 million or both, according to law. The law also allows consumers to press charges and claim compensation accordingly.