Ministry of Commerce Releases New Regulations to Prevent Exchange Rate Profiteering

In an effort to have control and stability in the Liberian Business sector, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has released new regulations to guide the sector.

In a release issued Wednesday October 28, 2021, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said they recognize increasing transactions using the Liberian dollars with quotation of prices different from the officially published exchange rate by the Central Bank of Liberia, which is directly constraining the purchase of goods and services by the ordinary citizen, especially as the Liberian Dollar appreciates in relations to the United States dollar.

According to them, the decision to come up with the new regulations is to prevent exchange rate profiteering by businesses and individuals.

The release stressed that the Administrative Regulation of 2019 mandates all businesses operating within the Republic of Liberia to carry on all commercial transactions in both Liberian and United States dollars as legal tenders.

They also said that all businesses are hereby instructed to display the daily Central Bank of Liberia exchange rate, as well as a full price list of commodities in both Liberian and United States dollars at their business premises at all times to give consumers purchasing options.

At the same time, the release states that no business entity is allowed to coerce consumers to transact or purchase goods and services in either of the dual currencies in our economy; to do so would fall in breach of the Administrative Regulation of 2019, which constitutes an offence punishable by law with a fine.

“With immediate effect, all business entities are required to take due notice of prevailing CBL daily exchange rate in setting the prices of their goods” the statement noted.

All purchases at all medium and large businesses above L$500 should be invoiced to authenticate price stabilization.

Unhealthy business practices such as hiking of prices and hoarding of commodities, et al are deemed illegal.

There shall be imposition of fines on individual(s) or business entity(ies) in proven violation of this regulation.

At the same time, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said its’ Inspectorate Division will closely monitor all businesses to ensure full compliance to this regulation in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice.

Meanwhile, after the publication of the regulations, there has been a series of reactions and mis-reactions from the public. Some citizens said the statement from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is just another mere statement but nothing will be done to accomplish the objective.

Others are saying the government will make sure that those regulations a adhere to.

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