Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 52. Unit Pricing Requirements.


§ 28–5201. Short title.

This chapter may be cited as the “Unit Pricing Requirement Act of 2012”.


(Apr. 23, 2013, D.C. Law 19-282, § 2(c), 60 DCR 2132.)


§ 28–5202. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) “Combination packages” shall mean a package intended for retail sale, containing 2 or more individual packages or units of dissimilar commodities.

(2) “Commodity” shall mean any food, drug, cosmetic, or other article, product, or commodity of any kind or class that is:

(A) Customarily produced for sale at retail for consumption by individuals for purposes of personal care or in the performance of services ordinarily performed in or around the household; and

(B) Usually consumed or expended in the course of that use or performance other than by wear or deterioration from use.

(3) “Person” shall mean both plural and the singular and includes individuals, partnerships, corporations, companies, societies, and associations.

(4) “Unit price” or “unit pricing” shall mean the retail price of an item expressed in dollars and cents per unit.

(5) “Variety packages” shall mean a package intended for retail sale, containing 2 or more individual packages or units of similar, but not identical, commodities. Commodities that are generically the same, but that differ in weight, measure, volume, appearance, or quality, are considered similar but not identical.


(Apr. 23, 2013, D.C. Law 19-282, § 2(c), 60 DCR 2132.)


§ 28–5203. Application.

Except for random and uniform weight packages that clearly state the unit, each person who sells, offers, or displays for sale a consumer commodity at retail shall provide the unit price information in the manner prescribed in this chapter.


(Apr. 23, 2013, D.C. Law 19-282, § 2(c), 60 DCR 2132.)


§ 28–5204. Terms for unit pricing.

The declaration of the unit price of a particular commodity in all package sizes offered for sale in a retail establishment shall be uniformly and consistently expressed in terms of:

(1) Price per kilogram or 100 grams, or price per pound or ounce, if the net quantity of contents of the commodity is in terms of weight;

(2) Price per liter or 100 milliliters, or price per dry quart or dry pint, if the net quantity of contents of the commodity is in terms of dry measure or volume;

(3) Price per liter or 100 milliliters, or price per gallon, quart, pint, or fluid ounce, if the net quantity of contents of the commodity is in terms of liquid volume;

(4) Price per individual unit or multiple units if the net quantity of contents of the commodity is in terms of count; or

(5) Price per square meter, square decimeter, or square centimeter, or price per square yard, square foot, or square inch, if the net quantity of contents of the commodity is in terms of area.


(Apr. 23, 2013, D.C. Law 19-282, § 2(c), 60 DCR 2132.)


§ 28–5205. Exemptions.

This chapter does not apply to:

(1) Prepackaged food that contains separately identifiable items that are separated by physical division within the package;

(2) Any item sold only by prescription;

(3) Any item subject to the packaging or labeling requirements of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms or to any pricing requirements under federal law;

(4) Any item actually being sold through a vending machine;

(5) Any item delivered directly to a retail sales agency without passing through warehousing or other inventory facility used by the agency;

(6) Commodities packaged in quantities of less than 28 grams (one ounce) or 29 milliliters (one fluid ounce) or when the total retail price is 50 cents or less;

(7) When only one brand of a particular commodity in only one size is offered for sale in a particular retail establishment;

(8) Variety packages;

(9) Combination packages; or

(10) A person with less than $30 million in gross volume of sales of consumer commodities and to whom at least one of the following applies:

(A) During the preceding calendar year, sold a gross volume of consumer commodities of less than $750,000;

(B) Is not part of a company which consists of 10 or more sales agencies in or out of the District of Columbia;

(C) Derives less than 15% of its total revenues from consumer commodities subject to this chapter; or

(D) Is owned and operated by not more than one individual and the members of the person’s immediate family.


(Apr. 23, 2013, D.C. Law 19-282, § 2(c), 60 DCR 2132.)


§ 28–5206. Pricing.

(a) The unit price shall be to the nearest cent when a dollar or more. If the unit price is under a dollar, it shall be listed:

(1) To the tenth of a cent; or

(2) To the whole cent.

(b) The retail establishment shall have the option of listing the unit price as outlined in subsection (a)(1) or (2) of this section, but shall not use both methods of listing the unit price.

(c) The retail establishment shall accurately and consistently use the same method of rounding up or down to compute the price to the whole cent.


(Apr. 23, 2013, D.C. Law 19-282, § 2(c), 60 DCR 2132.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 28-5207.


§ 28–5207. Presentation of price.

(a) In any retail establishment in which the unit price information is provided in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, that information may be displayed by means of a sign that offers the unit price for one or more brands or sizes of a given commodity by means of a sticker, stamp, sign, label, or tag affixed to the shelf upon which the commodity is displayed, or by means of a sticker, stamp, sign, label, or tag affixed to the consumer commodity.

(b) Where a sign providing unit price information for one or more sizes or brands of a given commodity is used, that sign shall be displayed clearly and in a non-deceptive manner in a central location as close as practical to all items to which the sign refers.

(c) If a single sign or tag includes the unit price information for more than one brand or size of a given commodity, the following information shall be provided:

(1) The identity and the brand name of the commodity.

(2) The quantity of the packaged commodity; provided, that more than one package size per brand is displayed.

(3) The total retail sales price.

(4) The price per appropriate unit, in accordance with § 28-5206.


(Apr. 23, 2013, D.C. Law 19-282, § 2(c), 60 DCR 2132.)


§ 28–5208. Uniformity.

(a) If different brands or package sizes of the same consumer commodity are expressed in more than one unit of measure, the retail establishment shall unit price the items consistently.

(b) When metric units appear on the consumer commodity in addition to other units of measure, the retail establishment may include both units of measure on any stamps, tags, labels, signs, or lists.


(Apr. 23, 2013, D.C. Law 19-282, § 2(c), 60 DCR 2132.)


§ 28–5209. Civil penalties.

Any person who violates any provision of this chapter, or any regulation promulgated pursuant to this chapter, may be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed $500 for each violation.


(Apr. 23, 2013, D.C. Law 19-282, § 2(c), 60 DCR 2132.)


§ 28–5210. Rules.

The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.], may issue rules to implement the provisions of this chapter.


(Apr. 23, 2013, D.C. Law 19-282, § 2(c), 60 DCR 2132.)