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Ministry of Economic Affairs,R.O.C.

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2022-05-25 11:24
Department of Commerce

The President Announced the Commodity Labeling Act

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The President Announced the Commodity Labeling Act
On May 18, 2022, the President announced the Commodity Labeling Act. The Commodity Labeling Act regulates the labeling of general commodities (excluding food and cosmetics etc.) on the market. Yet rapid changes in business, the evolution of information technologies, and the rise of online shopping over the past few years has caused electronic labeling (e-labeling) to become a ubiquitous part of consumers' day-to-day life. For these reasons, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) conducted a complete revision of the Commodity Labeling Act, in order to perfect current labeling practices and simultaneously align with international standards, consumer protection, and business efficiency. This amendment aims for increased flexibility in labeling for reflecting technological development, enhancing the regulation of e-commerce platforms, and adopting proportional punitive measures for businesses violations. The amendments are as follows:

I. Amendments Regarding Technological Progress and International Alignment:

(1) Added provisions to allow e-labeling of certain commodities: The competent central authority may determine and announce which types of commodities are allowed to use e-labeling to best align with relevant technological, industrial, and economic developments.

(2) Revised the required format for date of manufacture on labels to adhere to international standards. The date of manufacture should be presented as "Year, Month" or "Year, Week". In addition to the date of manufacture, commodities which has expiry date must be labeled with the date of expiry and presented as "Year, Month, Date".

(3) Revised certain labeling requirements allows labels to use international standard formats or be presented in English or other foreign languages. In light of current international and domestic regulation practices, certain contents may be labeled using the internationally accepted "cm" instead of "centimeter" or "±" to indicate allowed range. The central competent authority may also announce items which may be labeled in English or other foreign languages on the condition that commodities are labeled correctly and the rights of consumers are protected.

II. Increased labeling flexibility to take into account the commodity attributes:

(1) Exempting labeling of specific commodities: The competent central authority may determine and announce specific commodities exempting from the labeling regulations of the Commodity Labeling Act if it is found difficult for the commodity to adhere to labeling standards due to its attributes, or if the commodity already has a practical, suitable labeling method.

(2) The management of updated firm information for products available on the market: After commodities are shelved for sale, changes to a firm's name or address may be difficult to update on labels due to the wide variety of distribution channels for general merchandise. Therefore, in order to build balance between consumer protection and business efficiency, a provision allows business to provide a way for consumers to find information on firm's name or address anytime, instead of changing labels.

III. Add inspection sites other than sales premises, and make e-commerce platforms subject to the regulation: Online purchases by consumers have gradually increased in recent years. In addition to inspecting the sites of manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers, importers, distributors, and/or any other sites related to the manufacturing, storage, or packaging of a commodity, this amendment allows local competent authorities to require e-commerce platforms to provide name of the interested parties, including advertiser, supplier and seller. Those who fail to do so may face punitive measures.

IV. Added provisions to allow immediate punishment for serious offenders: Those who are found to be non-compliant with the most recent version of the Commodity Labeling Act must first be notified before get punished. However, in order to protect public interest and consumers' health and safety, a provision has been added allowing immediate punishment if there is a significant violation of the law and/or if the product poses an immediate danger to consumer health or safety, as to meet expectations of society.

MOEA indicates that the amendments will help to meet the needs of the current business environment and protect the rights of consumers. The new Commodity Labeling Act will go into effect one year after it is announced by the President. (May 18, 2023) The MOEA will also amend related labeling criteria for the specific commodities and regulations as soon as possible to allow for compliance by the industry.

News spokesperson: Department of Commerce (MOEA) Deputy Director General Liu Ya-Juan
Office phone:2321-2200 Ext.:8325 Mobile phone:0933-989-616
E-mail: ycliu@moea.gov.tw

News contact: Department of Commerce (MOEA) Section Chief Li Yi-Ching
Office phone: 2321-2200 Ext.:8004 Mobile phone:0919-166-994
E-mail: ycli@moea.gov.tw