New Commodity Labelling Law now in force

Taiwan

Taiwan's Commodity Labelling Law has come into force. The new law applies to all products offered for sale on the market and affects not only manufacturers and importers, but also sellers. It is hoped that the new law will give greater protection to consumers.

Some of the most important provisions of the new law include the following:

  • As under the previous law, labelling must be in Chinese but may also be supplemented by foreign languages. A foreign language can be used on its own on a label only where the use of a Chinese translation is difficult. Examples of this include: (i) the ingredients of pharmaceutical products, and (ii) foreign manufacturers' names and addresses.

  • A label must include the name, address and telephone number of the manufacturer and importer (where relevant). Imported goods must bear labels in Chinese that directly correspond to the labelling used at the place of origin. The place of origin must also be clearly indicated.

  • In special circumstances, for example if the product is very small, the required labelling need not appear on the packaging of the product itself. In retail stores, the details could, for instance, be placed on a sign next to the product. However, such labelling must be easily recognizable to consumers.

  • The fine for violating the labelling requirements has been increased to NT$300,000 (approximately $9,100) for each violation and further fines may be imposed if the offending party continues to flout the law. As under the previous law, in the most serious cases, the relevant authorities may order the offending party to cease trading for up to six months.

  • The relevant authorities also have discretionary powers to publish the names of enterprises and products that are in violation of the labelling requirements.

Kwan-Tao Li, Lee and Li Attorneys at Law, Taipei

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