Starting Monday a new regulation goes into effect that requires vendors of food and personal hygiene products to express the prices in units of measurement, most likely centimeter, milliliter or gram, depending on the product.
The idea is to give the consumer a clear point of reference to compare prices.
Merchants met Tuesday at the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comerico to discuss the finer points of the regulation.
Small businesses are getting a break in that shops with two or fewer cash registers only have to post the prices there instead of pasting them on individual products.
As an example, the ministry’s consumer section showed how a 2,500 milliliter bottle of carbonated beverage would be expressed. The store would have to display the price for the entire bottle and then break it down into price per milliliter.
Products that are packaged in oil or water should have to show the drained weight, according to the rules. That can be critical because a 115 gram can of codfish drains out to 72 grams of product. That is, four and one-sixteenths becomes two and nine-sixteenths. The difference is the vegetable oil in which the fish is packed.
Certain products that are sold as units are not subject to the rules. These include toothbrushes, razors and disposable diapers that will continue to be priced by the unit. Also excluded are products that weigh less than 50 grams, such as a package of two Chiclets. Some food products, like French bread and fruit, that are sold by the unit also are excluded from the rule.
The regulations were published in September with a long lead time so merchants could comply.
The Dirección de Apoyo al Consumidor most certainly will do surveys to make sure the regulations are followed.