Sanitary Napkins are approved to be on price control list by Consumer Affair Department. (Credit: Government of Saint Lucia, Facebook)

Saint Lucia: Sanitary Napkins placed on price control list

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Castries, Saint Lucia: The price-controlled demand for sanitary napkins is now approved by the Consumer Affairs Department. Importers are advised to follow the guidelines and fix prices properly, making sure not to make sales at higher amounts. 

The Ministry of Commerce, Manufacturing, Business Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs reminded the people that the effective August 2, 2023, suggestion to price control for the sanitary napkins was zero- rated for Value Added Tax. 

An additional support measure is rooted to ensure the consumers benefit from the VAT reduction of 12.5%. 

The Cabinet of Ministers gave approval to an amendment of the Price Control Order No. 54 of 2008 to include sanitary napkins on the list of price-controlled goods effective on Monday, October 23, 2023. 

Affordable access to Sanitary Products. (Credits: Office of Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Facebook)
Affordable access to Sanitary Products. (Credits: Office of Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Facebook)

The maximum wholesale mark-up is finalised at 30%, and a maximum retail mark-up should be 35%. Importers are cautioned that the prices of sanitary napkins are now approved by the Consumer Affairs Department prior to sale, according to Section 35 of the Distribution and Price of Goods Act Cap 13.09 of the Revised Laws of Saint Lucia.

Notably, wholesalers are reminded that they have to state ‘the retail price fixed’ on all the invoices for price-controlled goods when these items are sold to the retailers. 

All the stakeholders are pointed out to be careful about the price-controlled items as per Section 37, which states that a person is liable to punishment if he would sell or offers the sale of any good in excess of the maximum price fixed by the order.

If any seller, wholesaler or retailer is found violating this section, they will be liable on summary conviction to a fine up to $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term up to one year or both.

The Ministry of Commerce will continue to provide guidance to the business community through the Consumer Affairs Department to ensure that these guidelines are followed.

This implementation is effective from October 23, 2023, and lasts until August 1, 2025. Sanitary Napkins will be subject to price control in support of making this vitally important hygienic product more affordable to the public.