CCP Calls for Mandatory Disclosure Dates on Cement Packaging to Protect Consumers

Islamabad, The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has recommended that all cement manufacturers must disclose manufacturing and expiry dates on their packaging. This initiative aims to ensure consumer safety and uphold quality standards in the construction sector.

According to Competition Commission of Pakistan, the Policy Note was issued under Section 29 of the Competition Act, 2010, directed to the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA). The CCP’s recommendation involves amending the Pakistan Standard Specification for all five types of cement, mandating that the ‘manufacturing/packaging and expiry/best before’ dates be clearly printed on cement bags.

The Commission noted that cement is hygroscopic and loses strength significantly after four to six weeks in storage under normal conditions—faster under adverse conditions. Currently, the lack of mandatory date labeling on cement bags can mislead consumers into buying expired products, risking the integrity of construction projects. This practice not only compromises construction safety but also disadvantages consumers who are unable to make informed purchasing decisions.

The CCP highlighted that while Pakistani cement is required to meet international labeling standards for exports, the same standards are not applied within the domestic market. This discrepancy creates an information disparity that discriminates against domestic consumers. The policy note proposes that aligning local packaging standards with international practices will enhance transparency, empower consumers, and foster fair competition within the cement industry.

The proposal also suggests that displaying the expiry dates would facilitate better inventory management among retailers and boost consumer confidence in the quality of cement. The CCP has labeled the omission of such critical information as deceptive marketing and emphasized that this change is essential for protecting consumer interests and promoting integrity within the industry.

The CCP has sent advisories to the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) and its members, urging them to adopt these changes promptly to prioritize consumer safety and satisfaction.

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