The General Department of Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Prevention under the Ministry of Commerce has checked 154 fuel distribution depots since January this year, finding that 101 depots did not follow law and sending 14 cases to court.
The inspections were conducted in 12 provinces across the Kingdom this year, according to a report received by The Post on November 25.
The report found that of the 154 distribution depots inspected this year, 51 were in compliance with the law, while 101 were not. Seven depots were fined for violations, one depot reached an agreement through negotiation and 14 cases went to court.
In 2019, officials inspected 238 depots, finding that 121 were legally compliant while 117 were not. The inspectors also sent 14 cases to court last year.
The general department’s director-general, Phan Oun, told The Post on November 26 that commerce minister Pan Sorasak had asked his department to increase awareness about the laws on consumer protection, quality control, and the safety of products and services.
Oun said his inspectors will hand out legal notifications to owners of petrol depots across the country.
“We have distributed the documents to 12 provinces already. Our next action plan is to deliver notifications about the laws in all 24 provinces and Phnom Penh,” he said.
According to Oun, in December his department will begin to impose fines on stations and depots that do not comply with the laws on consumer protection and competition.
“We can use the prakas of the Inter-Ministerial Committee to implement the laws in January or February 2021, following the advice of the National Committee for Consumer Protection,” he said.
Officials with the Kandal provincial consumer protection department on November 18 worked with local authorities to check 35 petrol stations, including 25 along National Road 21, four in Sa’ang district’s Roka Khpos and Prek Koy communes, and six in Kien Svay district.
The Kandal officials said five fuel distribution depots were found to be balanced in quality and quantity, three depots did not comply with the quantity requirements, and one depot did not meet the mandated level of quality.
“Since this case was discovered for the first time, officials asked the station and the depot owners to make a contract to correct the non-compliance. If a second mistake is discovered, the officials will build a case to send to court,” he said.