x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Shops banned from stinging customers with credit card surcharge

Shops have been banned from imposing surcharges on credit card usage.

Retailers have been told to stop charging additional fees on credit card usage from next month.

The Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection passed a resolution banning shops from imposing surcharges on transactions as commission, the committee said today.

Intended to help bolster the rights of consumers, the committee also aims to support competitiveness and growth in the economy.

Its latest action follows recent measures by the Central Bank to clampdown on excessive service fees charges by banks.

Prices of basic goods are another issue closely followed by the consumer protection committee. It agreed to ease trade of 15 products including washing powders, detergents, dairy products, juices, drinking water, livestock, feed, fats and oils. The products list will be sent to the Cabinet for approval.

"This is strategic to reduce monopoly and exploitation and will enhance market competitiveness," said Sultan al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and chairman of the committee.

Plans to launch an electronic system able to monitor prices of 200 commodities on a daily basis were also discussed. The system is expected to be launched in the second half of the year after the completion of a pilot phase covering select commodities. It will work through electronic links between major trading centres and customs ports.