Govt Orders Businesses To Display Dual Prices At Official Exchange Rate
Businesses are now required to display prices in both local and foreign currency.
This comes after President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s latest amendment of the Exchange Control (Exclusive Use of Zimbabwe Dollar for Domestic Transactions) Regulations, 2019, published in Statutory Instrument 212 of 2019.
Statutory Instrument 185 of 2020 compels providers of goods and services to display dual prices in Zimbabwe dollar and foreign currency using the official exchange rate.
The amendment reads:
It is hereby notified that HIS Excellency the President has in terms of section 2 of the Exchange Control Act [Chapter 22:05],made the following regulations:
- These regulations may be cited as The Exchange Control (Exclusive Use of Zimbabwe Dollar for Domestic Transactions) (Ammmendment Regulations, 2020 No. 3
- The Exchange Control (Exclusive Use of Zimbabwe Dollar for Domestic Transactions) Regulations, 2019, published in Statutory Instrument 212 of 2019 are amended by the insertion of the following section after section 6—
Dual pricing and displaying, quoting and offering of prices for goods and services
7. (1) Any person who provides goods or services in Zimbabwe shall display, quote or offer the price for such goods or services in both Zimbabwe dollar and foreign currency at the ruling exchange rate.
(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be liable to—
(a) a category 1 civil penalty if the contravention is :ompleted but irremediable; or
(b) a category 4 civil penalty if the contravention is a continuing one
SI 185 of 2020 comes at a time when businesses are quoting prices in local currency at a rate that is higher than the official foreign currency auction system exchange rate.
The official exchange rate currently stands at ZWL$ 72/USD but most retailers are quoting prices in ZWL at an inflated rate of between ZWL$ 90-110 against the USD.
SI 185 of 2020 is expected to bring uniformity in the quoting of prices in different currencies on the market at a time businesses have been quoting prices to compel consumers from purchasing using the local currency.
It however remains to be seen whether businesses will reduce prices in ZWL to align with the USD or increase prices in USD to align with ZWL using the official exchange rate.
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