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Supermarkets Must Produce Price Lists For DLCA Prior To Hurricane Season Beginning

CHRISTIANSTED — DLCA gave fair warning to the territory’s highly-overpaid supermarkets today — if you try to overcharge after a natural catastrophe — we’ve got you’re number.

DLCA Commissioner Richard “Ricky” Evangelista told merchants that their first monthly Hurricane Price List submission for the 2021 hurricane season is due on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. 

Every year, at the onset of hurricane season, DLCA requests businesses to furnish an official price list of their goods and merchandise in stock, and for the services they offer to the public, according to Evangelista, who is also a licensed attorney.

This information is required by law as a protective measure for all consumers in the event of an emergency and to prevent speculative practices related to those goods and services of primary need which are essential to face and recover from such emergencies. After the submission of the first price list, businesses must continue to submit an updated price list on the first of each month, until November 30, 2021. If a business has not changed its prices or acquired new products/services; they can submit a certified letter stating the previous price is still valid. 

The request for a price list primarily targets businesses whose goods and services are necessary for hurricane preparation and recovery at all levels of Virgin Islands distribution and marketing. Businesses that must submit price lists include, but are not limited to, all retailers, wholesalers, producers, manufacturers, importers and providers of food items, water, beverages, general supplies, health and medical care products, fuel, rents, construction goods and services, clothing, furnishings, and others such goods and services as are deemed appropriate under the circumstances presented. It shall include commercial establishments and service providers such as supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, water and delivery businesses, laundromats, contractors, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, engineers, mechanics and masons.

Failure to submit a price list or certification letter by the first of each month, may subject a non-compliant business to administrative fines of up to $200 for each item sold or service provided in violation of the law in accordance with 11 VIR&R § 1015-1 and 3 V.I.C. § 272(b)(5). Businesses may retrieve a sample price list form by visiting our website at www.dlca.vi.gov then click the Forms tab at the top of the page.  Kindly submit your business price list by emailing hurricanepricelist@dlca.vi.gov. Businesses should also be reminded that the Price Freeze Order dated March 13, 2020 is still in effect on all items relative to the fight against COVID-19. As such, businesses shall not increase the cost of those items without approval from DLCA.

Consumers or Merchants with questions may contact the Consumer Affairs Division on St. Croix at 713-3522, on St. Thomas at 714-3522, or on St. John at 693-8036.  

For consumer related issues, you may email us at consumerawareness@dlca.vi.gov or call our hotlines to report scams or alleged price gouging at 340.727.SCAM(7226) on St. Croix or St. Thomas/St. John at 340.771.SCAM(7226). Follow us on Facebook @dlcavi.

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VI Free Press

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