Decree mandates price tags be on all food products in Egypt

Ahram Online , Tuesday 10 Oct 2017

Shoppers lined up Monday at a market on Cairo’s outskirts (Photo:AP)

Egypt's Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Moselhi has issued a decree obliging all food companies to print a price label on all their products in clear, inerasable Arabic, state-run news agency MENA reported.

The decision, which was published in the state’s official gazette on Tuesday, includes companies that produce food products locally as well as those that package imported products.

The decree also prohibits dealing with un-priced products anywhere down the line; whether in retail, packing or distribution.

The supply ministry has given a deadline of 31 December for dealers to sell any unlabelled products, which should also have set prices prior to the end of the deadline.

The decree also imposes penalties on those who violate the law with one to five years in prison and a fine between EGP 300 and EGP 1,000, in accordance with Article 9 of the compulsory pricing and profit regulation law.

In November 2016, Egypt floated its currency, slashing the value of the pound by half and triggering heavy inflation.

In August, food prices increased year-on-year by 42.2 percent. In September, however, annual urban consumer price inflation eased slightly to 31.6 percent from 31.9 percent in August.

Egypt has been pushing ahead with a series of austerity measures, including fuel and electricity subsidy cuts, to help ease the country's gaping budget deficit.

On Monday, the cabinet issued a decree stipulating that violations of certain security and economic laws, including crimes related to regulations on the supply of goods and mandatory pricing rules, will be referred to state security emergency courts as long as Egypt is under the ongoing state of emergency.

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