Dubai: The Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in Dubai Economy has called on retailers not to use the value-added tax (VAT) to manipulate prices and add VAT to their prices displayed effective January 1, 2018.

Dubai Economy will roll out various campaigns in the coming days to ensure that traders do not increase their prices before VAT is implemented.

The initiative is part of protecting consumer rights and enhancing transparency across retailing in line with Dubai’s reputation as a competitive business destination.

Retailers have to display the VAT applicable separately on every invoice from January 1, 2018, and Dubai Economy will impose fines on those who do not abide by the new regulation. Dubai Economy will continue to conduct field inspections and also act on complaints received from consumers against retailers who are found to have increased prices ahead of VAT.

“Dubai Economy is committed to protecting consumers against unscrup-ulous trade practices. Retailers should comply with their price lists and anyone who increases prices without any justification will incur a fine,” said Mohammad Ali Rashid Lootah, CEO of CCCP.

Lootah also told retailers not to manipulate the prices of VAT-exempt products or the 5 per cent VAT applicable. The CCCP task force is already monitoring market activity to ensure that retailers do not raise prices before the beginning of 2018.

“We call on consumers to watch out and ensure that there is no price manipulation or non-compliance with the laws. Consumers must ask for service and sale invoices and retain a copy with them. Complaints if any can be raised on the Ahlan Dubai number 600-54-5555, displayed across all retail establishments,” said Lootah.