ICCC News

The Independent Consumer & Competition Commission (ICCC) as the sole consumer watchdog and the economic regulator in the country has expressed grave concern on the recent increase in hotel room rates in Port Moresby.

ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Paulus Ain said the hotel rates in the country, particular in Port Moresby started to increase during construction of the PNG LNG Project which saw thousands of expatriates, investors and business travellers’ flock to the city straining the limited supply of high-end rooms.

“That has created a supply constraint and available rooms have seen their rates increasing significantly. The demand has eventually eased off due to the completion of the PNG LNG Project, however, the hotel room rates have never subsided.”

In the last two or three years, there were more developments in hotel industry adding to new additional room with the expectation of the 2018 APEC Summit, hence, Port Moresby city appears to be well-positioned to meet an anticipated surge in foreign delegates arrival, despite delays on several high profile planned projects in the country.”

Commissioner Ain added that although there has been increase in the supply of hotel rooms, this is not reflected in the rates. Comparably, they are more expensive than some of the best hotels you find in another jurisdiction, including our very close neighbour economies.

“The room rates seem to be continuously increasing over the years, when will it decrease or when will the room rates come down?”

The ICCC views that supply of hotel rooms can be in excess of demand. This, according to Commissioner Ain, can cause a situation where some hotels can experience high room vacancy with falling revenue and profit.

Commissioner Ain said that given the increase in hotel rooms in Port Moresby compared to previous years, the hotel rates should be responsive to supply change.

“The room rates should decrease as the supply increases. Hotel supply has increased dramatically over the years in Port Moresby, but this change has not been reflected in the hotel room rates. The hotel room rates seem to be increasing significantly over the years.”

As the consumer watchdog, the ICCC is strongly urging all hoteliers to charge their rates prudently based on the real costs and the prevailing market conditions rather than on perception or historical trend or basing their price on their competitor’s rate. If the hotels reduce their room rates, we can encourage more tourist coming to our country, it can also increase potential investors coming to our country to look for potential investment opportunities and finally we can have more people travelling to PNG during the APEC period.  can benefit our APEC delegates and the country as a whole.

However, Commissioner Ain said all consumers have the right to choice, hence, they are encouraged to exercise their power of choice in seeking alternatives, if, a particular hotel room rates are excessive. That opportunity is limited given the current supply, therefore, price gouging by hoteliers should avoided.

The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (“ICCC”) hereby announces the new retail fuel prices for this month which will take effect on Wednesday, 08th August, 2018.

According to the ICCC’s calculations, retail fuel prices for petrol and kerosene will increase while the retail price for diesel will decrease throughout PNG as of 8th August, 2018. These retail fuel price movements are attributed to the price movements at the Import Parity Price (IPP) level for this month.

The domestic retail fuel prices for petrol, diesel and kerosene are inclusive of the IPP, domestic sea and road freight rates for the third quarter of 2018, the 2018 wholesale and retail margins for petrol, diesel and kerosene; including excise duty for petrol and diesel, and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

PORT MORESBY

As a result of adding all the various cost components mentioned above, the maximum retail prices for fuel in Port Moresby are as follows:

Port Moresby Retail Prices (toea per litre)

 

Petrol (tpl)

Diesel (tpl)

Kerosene (tpl)

Retail Prices as of 8th August, 2018

      372.52

      340.32

       315.70

Retail Prices as of 8th July, 2018

371.55

341.48

312.68

Price Variance (+/-) toea per litre

+0.97

-1.15

+3.01

 

ALL CENTRES

For all centers, the maximum retail fuel price for each fuel product in the country will change on average as follows

  • Petrol prices will increase by 0.97 toea per litre;
  • Diesel prices will decrease by 1.15 toea per litre; and
  • Kerosene prices will increase by 3.01 toea per litre.

Retail prices in all other designated centres will change according to their approved in-country shipping and road freight rates (for the third quarter of 2018) that are charged by the fuel distributors.

As part of the ICCC’s enforcement and compliance of fuel prices, its Investigation Officers will conduct inspections at all service stations to ensure prices of petroleum products do not exceed the allowable maximum prices. The following ICCC officers will conduct compliance inspections in Lae, Goroka, Kokopo and Port Moresby. Inspections in other provinces will be supported by our contacts in those provinces. Please note:

  • Mr. Christopher Gabesoa, Mr. Seri Tau Vali, Mr. Dennis Jerry and Mr. Bill Boiu will conduct compliance inspections to all service stations in the National Capital District. They can be reached on telephone number 325 2144;
  • Mr. Johnny Anderson, Ms. Pamela Ipambonj and Mr. Timothy Ponau will conduct compliance inspections in Lae. They can be reached on telephone number 472 2859;
  • Mr. Bobby Tei, Roman Rosting and Mrs. Dorcas Baining Julai will conduct compliance inspections in Kokopo, Rabaul, Kerevat, Warangoi and Toma. They can be reached on telephone number 982 9711; and
  • Mr. Kevin Kondo, Mr. Banmu Olivi and Mr. Jeffery Khar will conduct compliance inspections in Goroka, Kainantu, Kundiawa and Mt. Hagen. They can be reached on telephone number 532 1077.

The prices set by the ICCC are the indicative maximum retail prices, for which retailers may choose to sell below the maximum price. The ICCC would like to remind retailers who sell fuel using pumps to set fuel prices to one decimal place while the ICCC will continue to set the maximum price to 2 decimal places.

No fuel pump operator should charge above the Indicative Retail Price for this month’s price regardless of the number of decimals. This is to ensure compliance with the Prices Regulation Act under which the maximum prices of refined petroleum products are set. Retailers who are displaying prices to 1 decimal place are urged by the ICCC to round the prices down to ensure prices are within the allowable indicative retail prices. The ICCC Inspectors will continue to conduct spot checks after 08th August, 2018, to ensure on-going compliance by fuel operators.

Consumers are advised to report any instances of overcharging by retailers through the ICCC’s Consumer Protection Division on 325 2144, on toll free number: 180 3333 or by contacting our Regional Offices closest to you on the numbers provided above.

The announcement of the acquisition of Laga Industries Limited (Laga) a subsidiary of Steamships Limited by Paradise Company Limited (Paradise) a subsidiary of Nambawan Super Limited surprised the “Competition Watchdog”, the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC).

The ICCC only became aware of the acquisition when it was reported in the daily newspapers on the 3rd of July 2018 and the ICCC is indeed disappointed that Nambawan Super Limited and Steamship Limited did not approach the ICCC.

The ICCC strongly condemns such corporate behaviour and will investigate the acquisition of Laga Industries Limited (“Laga”) by Paradise Company Limited (“Paradise”) to assess whether or not it would have any serious negative competition effects.

The ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Paulus Ain said, “Whilst the current pre-merger notification regime under the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission Act 2002 (ICCC Act”) is voluntary, the ICCC is concerned that Paradise and Laga did not make an attempt to consult nor seek either Clearance or Authorization before completing this acquisition.”

Section 69 of the ICCC Act prohibits any person from acquiring the assets of a business or shares if that acquisition would, or would be likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market. Therefore, in order to safe guard individuals and companies from breaching Section 69, it is advisable that they consult or seek appropriate approval from the ICCC before completing an acquisition.

Commissioner Ain further stated, “I am very concerned about the current trend of businesses   discounting their corporate responsibility to take appropriate steps and liaise with the ICCC in advance of a potential merger, especially where there is some degree of competition between them.”

“I know Steamships Trading Company, as the previous owner of Laga, is well aware of the relevant provisions of the ICCC Act, especially where there are actual and potential overlaps between products produced by Laga and Paradise.”

“The fact that Steamships did not voluntarily notify the ICCC of its intention to sell Laga demonstrates their blatant disregard of the ICCC Act and the laws of PNG. The same could be said for Paradise.”

Commissioner Ain further said that it is because of the lack of transparency and ethic in the business community in PNG where a number of business mergers and acquisitions have been consummated without businesses notifying the ICCC in the first instance; the ICCC has recently proposed for Mandatory Notification of mergers and acquisition in PNG. The proposed mandatory notification amendments have gone through a wider public consultation process and is now before Parliament for approval. Once this is enacted into law, this will give the ICCC a greater regulatory control of business mergers and acquisitions that would be potentially anti-competitive. 

The ICCC will be investigating the recent acquisition of Laga by Paradise; and will not hesitate to challenge it if the ICCC deems that the acquisition is likely to breach of Section 69 of the ICCC Act.

The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (“ICCC”) announces the new retail fuel prices for this month which will take effect on Sunday, 08th July, 2018.

According to the ICCC’s calculations, retail fuel prices (for petrol, diesel and kerosene) will all decrease throughout PNG as of 08th July, 2018. The decreases in retail fuel prices for this month are attributed to the decreases in their Import Parity Prices (IPP) for this month. The decreases in the IPP are mainly due to the decreases in crude oil prices in June, 2018.

The domestic retail fuel prices for petrol, diesel and kerosene are inclusive of the IPP, domestic sea and road freight rates for the third quarter of 2018, the 2018 wholesale and retail margins for petrol, diesel and kerosene; including excise duty for petrol and diesel, and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

PORT MORESBY

As a result of adding all the various cost components mentioned above, the maximum retail prices for fuel in Port Moresby are as follows:

Port Moresby Retail Prices (toea per litre)

 

Petrol (tpl)

Diesel (tpl)

Kerosene (tpl)

Retail Prices as of 8th July, 2018

371.55

      341.48

       312.68

Retail Prices as of 8th June, 2018

378.25

345.09

317.48

Price Variance (+/-) toea per litre

-6.7

-3.61

-4.79

 

ALL CENTRES

For all centers, the maximum retail fuel price for each fuel product in the country will decrease on average as follows:

  • Petrol prices will decrease by 6.55 toea per litre;
  • Diesel prices will decrease by 3.18 toea per litre; and
  • Kerosene prices will decrease by 4.22 toea per litre.

Retail prices in all other designated centres will change according to their approved in-country shipping and road freight rates (for the third quarter of 2018) that are charged by the fuel distributors.

As part of the ICCC’s enforcement and compliance of fuel prices, its Investigation Officers will conduct inspections at all service stations to ensure prices of petroleum products do not exceed the allowable maximum prices. The following ICCC officers will conduct compliance inspections in Lae, Goroka, Kokopo and Port Moresby. Inspections in other provinces will be supported by our contacts in those provinces. Please note:

  • Mr. Christopher Gabesoa, Mr. Seri Tau Vali, Mr. Dennis Jerry and Mr. Bill Boiu will conduct compliance inspections to all service stations in the National Capital District. They can be reached on telephone number 325 2144;
  • Mr. Johnny Anderson, Ms. Pamela Ipambonj and Mr. Timothy Ponau will conduct compliance inspections in Lae. They can be reached on telephone number 472 2859;
  • Mr. Bobby Tei, Roman Rosting and Mrs. Dorcas Baining Julai will conduct compliance inspections in Kokopo, Rabaul, Kerevat, Warangoi and Toma. They can be reached on telephone number 982 9711; and
  • Mr. Kevin Kondo, Mr. Banmu Olivi and Mr. Jeffery Khar will conduct compliance inspections in Goroka, Kainantu, Kundiawa and Mt. Hagen. They can be reached on telephone number 532 1077.

The prices set by the ICCC are the indicative maximum retail prices, for which retailers may choose to sell below the maximum price. The ICCC would like to remind retailers who sell fuel using pumps to set fuel prices to one decimal place while the ICCC will continue to set the maximum price to 2 decimal places.

No fuel pump operator should charge above the Indicative Retail Price for this month’s price regardless of the number of decimals. This is to ensure compliance with the Prices Regulation Act under which the maximum prices of refined petroleum products are set. Retailers who are displaying prices to 1 decimal place are urged by the ICCC to round the prices down to ensure prices are within the allowable indicative retail prices. The ICCC Inspectors will continue to conduct spot checks after 08th July, 2018, to ensure on-going compliance by fuel operators.

Consumers are advised to report any instances of overcharging by retailers through the ICCC’s Consumer Protection Division on 325 2144, on toll free number: 180 3333 or by contacting our Regional Offices closest to you on the numbers provided above.

The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (“ICCC”) announces the new retail fuel prices for this month which will take effect on Friday, 8th June, 2018.

According to the ICCC’s calculations, retail fuel prices for petrol, diesel and kerosene will all increase throughout PNG as of 8th June, 2018. The increase in retail fuel prices for this month are attributed to the increases in their Import Parity Prices (IPP) for this month. The increases in the IPP are mainly due to the increase in crude oil prices and the depreciation of the PNG kina against the US dollar in May, 2018.

The domestic retail fuel prices for petrol, diesel and kerosene are inclusive of the IPP, domestic sea and road freight rates for the second quarter of 2018, the 2018 wholesale and retail margins for petrol, diesel and kerosene; including excise duty for petrol and diesel, and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

As a result of adding all the various cost components mentioned above, the maximum retail prices for fuel in Port Moresby are as follows:

 

Port Moresby Retail Prices (toea per litre)

 

Petrol (tpl)

Diesel (tpl)

Kerosene (tpl)

Retail Prices as of 8th June, 2018

378.25

      347.45

       317.48

Retail Prices as of 8th May, 2018

361.66

330.96

305.76

Price Variance (+/-) toea per litre

+13.59

+16.48

+11.72

 

For the month of June, the maximum retail fuel price for each fuel product in the country will increase on average as follows:

  • Petrol prices will increase by 26.64 toea per litre;
  • Diesel prices will increase by 30.77 toea per litre; and
  • Kerosene prices will increase by 26.43 toea per litre.

Retail prices in all other designated centres will change according to their approved in-country shipping and road freight rates (for the second quarter of 2018) that are charged by the fuel distributors.

As part of the ICCC’s enforcement and compliance of fuel prices, its Investigation Officers will conduct inspections at all service stations on Friday, 8th June, 2018, to ensure prices of petroleum products do not exceed the allowable maximum prices. The following ICCC officers will conduct compliance inspections in Lae, Goroka, Kokopo and Port Moresby. Inspections in other provinces will be supported by our contacts in those provinces. Please note:

  • Mr. Christopher Gabesoa, Mr. Seri Tau Vali, Mr. Dennis Jerry and Mr. Bill Boiu will conduct compliance inspections to all service stations in the National Capital District. They can be reached on telephone number 325 2144;
  • Mr. Johnny Anderson, Ms. Pamela Ipambonj and Mr. Timothy Ponau will conduct compliance inspections in Lae. They can be reached on telephone number 472 2859;
  • Mr. Bobby Tei, Roman Rosting and Mrs. Dorcas Baining Julai will conduct compliance inspections in Kokopo, Rabaul, Kerevat, Warangoi and Toma. They can be reached on telephone number 982 9711; and
  • Mr. Kevin Kondo, Mr. Banmu Olivi and Mr. Jeffery Khar will conduct compliance inspections in Goroka, Kainantu, Kundiawa and Mt. Hagen. They can be reached on telephone number 532 1077.

The prices set by the ICCC are the indicative maximum retail prices, for which retailers may choose to sell below the maximum price. The ICCC would like to remind retailers who sell fuel using pumps to set fuel prices to one decimal place while the ICCC will continue to set the maximum price to 2 decimal places.

No fuel pump operator should charge above the Indicative Retail Price for this month’s price regardless of the number of decimals. This is to ensure compliance with the Prices Regulation Act under which the maximum prices of refined petroleum products are set. Retailers who are displaying prices to 1 decimal place are urged by the ICCC to round the prices down to ensure prices are within the allowable indicative retail prices. The ICCC Inspectors will continue to conduct spot checks after 8th June, 2018, to ensure on-going compliance by fuel operators.

Consumers are advised to report any instances of overcharging by retailers through the ICCC’s Consumer Protection Division on 325 2144, on toll free number: 180 3333 or by contacting our Regional Offices closest to you on the numbers provided above.