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Retail committee makes breakthrough on product labelling rules

The ECCT's Retail and Distribution committee has achieved a breakthrough on a long-standing issue regarding the labelling of commodity items. On 20 November the Department of Commerce (DoC), under the Ministry of Economic Affairs issued an interpretation Ruling Letter on Article 9 of the Commodity Labelling Act stating that general commodities that are non-perishable are to be exempted from the requirement to print the day of manufacture. Instead commodities only need labels which include the month and year of manufacture. Previously, all products, including non-perishable items and even furniture, had to be labelled with a manufacturing year, month and day, resulting in a considerable time and cost burden for manufacturers, importers and retailers to print special labels for products designated to be sold in Taiwan. On the grounds that date labels accurate to the day are only necessary for perishable items such as food, for many years the ECCT's Retail & Distribution committee has called upon authorities to amend the Commodity Labelling Act to abolish the requirement to print the manufacturing day on labels for general commodities. This ruling letter therefore marks a breakthrough that will save time and costs for manufacturers, importers and retailers.