THE Fijian market is flooded with fake or counterfeit products and according to the consumer watchdog, high prices of genuine products is a contributing factor.
The Consumer Council of Fiji says a combination of outdated consumer protection laws, lack of standards, lack of enforcement, weak border controls, high prices of genuine products and a poor complaints culture is resulting in the influx of counterfeit products ranging from cosmetics to mobile phones.
In July, a complaint regarding a Nivea product which was advertised in the local newspapers was made to the council.
After the product was found to have smelt differently and caused irritation to the complainant it was taken back to the supermarket, where he was informed by the supermarket employees that it was not an original Nivea product but imported directly by the supermarket from China.
Council CEO Premila Kumar said the problem was a compelling one in many countries and in spite of there being safeguards under development or in place, the situation was getting worse.