by Linda Straker
- Certification of labels is compulsory and mandated by law
- Labelling standards are available at the bureau
- Non-compliant products can be removed from retail shelves by bureau inspectors
The Grenada Bureau of Standards (GBS) has observed an increase in importers, innovators and product developers who are ignoring the country’s compulsory standards and law to place labels on products.
“The public is hereby reminded of the certification of labels programme at the Grenada Bureau of Standards. Certification of labels is compulsory and mandated by law. Therefore, all labels should be submitted to the bureau for certification before the product is offered for sale to the Grenadian market,” said a news release from the bureau.
The release said that labelling standards are available at the bureau for sale and they can be used as guides to develop labels. “It is important to note, there are other product specific standards, which may also contain label requirements.”
Non-compliant products can be removed from retail shelves by inspectors of the bureau, and if the matter is taken to court, the maximum fine is EC$10,000 or 2 years imprisonment.
The standards are:
- GDS 1: Pt. 1:1990 – Specification for the Labelling of Commodities – General Principles
- GDS 1: Pt. 2: 1990 – Specification for the Labelling of Commodities – Labelling of Prepackaged Goods
- GDS 1: Pt. 3: 1990 – Specification for the Labelling of all Products Manufactured from Textiles
- GDS 1: Pt. 4: 2018 – Specification for Labelling of Pre-packaged Foods
- GDS 1: Pt. 5: 1992 – Specification for the Labelling of Commodities Care – Labelling of Textile Articles
- GDS 1: Pt. 7: 1999 – Requirements for Labelling: Labelling of Pesticides and other Toxic Chemicals
- GDS 1: Pt. 8: 2001 – Specification for the Labelling of Domestic Electrical Appliances
- GDS 41: 1998 – Requirements for the Labelling of Brewery Products (Beer, Stout, Shandy and Malt)
- GDS 113: 2012 – Specification for Labelling of Retail Packages of Aerosol Insecticides
- GDS 120: 2014 – Labelling of Tobacco Products (including Cigarettes)
Kyla John-Walker, Technical Officer at the bureau explained that proper labelling is a safety measure for users of the product and not complying should not an option. “All labelling standards are compulsory once the product is sold in Grenada on the open market and the label must be approved by the bureau. It’s not just any label, but a label approved by the bureau in accordance with the standard,” she said.
Besides the removal of products for retail, the 1989 Standard Act says that a person who sells, offers for sale, or supplies to another, any goods or service or process or practice with respect to which a compulsory standard has been declared and which does not conform to that standard; labels, packages or advertises goods or services, or a process or practice, otherwise than in compliance with a compulsory standard shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of $10,000 and to imprisonment for 2 years, and to an additional fine of $1,000 for every day on which the offence continues.
The same penalty will apply to anyone who makes a statement or representation or uses a mark, with reference to any goods or service or process or practice, which conveys or is likely to convey the impression that a person who is not entitled to use the Standard Mark is so entitled, or falsely represents that any goods or process or practice complies with a foreign specification; obliterates or removes a stamp or mark denoting any deficiency, before offering or exposing for sale goods which do not conform to the relevant standard.
The legislation also says that anyone who makes a statement or representation, or uses a mark, which conveys or is likely to convey the impression that any goods or service or process or practice complies with a standard when it does not will also face the same penalty in a magistrate court.