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Agpac Plastics pleads guilty fair trading breach

Agpac Plastics pleads guilty to fair trading breach:
building product misrepresented

Agpac Plastics Limited pleaded guilty to breaching the Fair Trading Act and was fined $6,610 including costs in the Auckland District Court on Wednesday.

The Commerce Commission took the case against the company following an investigation into alleged misrepresentations that its ‘B & A Polythene’ product was 250 microns thick, when the actual thickness ranged from 196 to 265 microns. Polythene plastic sheeting is commonly used in the building industry for damp-proofing concrete slab foundations.

In sentencing, Judge Moore noted that this was a classic case of why the labelling had to be accurate. “The general public are not appreciative of the technical characteristics of what they are buying, and rely on labelling for suitability, rather than having the ability to check the accuracy themselves,” he said.

Director of Fair Trading Deborah Battell said the Commission was also concerned that businesses supplying products to specification would be disadvantaged by the misleading claims.

In response to Agpac’s submission that it relied on the manufacturer of the product for its representation that the polythene was 250 microns, Judge Moore said that Agpac had made no effort to put in place any quality control mechanisms and this “was simply not good enough”.

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