Ban on food not labelled in English to be re-imposed

PORT MORESBY, 07 SEPTEMBER 2018 (THE NATIONAL)- Papua New Guinea Independent Consumer and Competition Commission is likely to re-impose for another 18 months the ban on the import and sale of food labelled in languages other than English.

Commissioner and chief executive Paulus Ain told The National that the last 18-month interim ban expired in January this year. It published an “intention to ban notice” in the media calling stakeholders to express their concerns, or inform the commission at a conference of problems they faced.

“And usually, the call for conference is done within 10 days of the notice. But due to the extent of the non-compliance by most traders (retailers/wholesalers), we allowed for a longer period of consultation in order for all stakeholders to be fully aware of the regulations and requirements of the interim ban before we could implement and prosecute offenders for non-compliance.”

Ain said that since enough time had been given to ensure compliance, they would now proceed with a recommendation to reintroduce the ban.

“Those identified to be in breach of this interim ban and noticewill be prosecuted accordingly,” he said.

Ain said the commission would continue to monitor and inspect retail and wholesale stores during its monitoring and inspection surveys which were undertaken every two months. “We plan to expedite and remain in force the current interim ban for another 18 months and once it comes into force, we will be taking legal actions for those non-compliance traders.,” he said.

He said the Health Department was responsible for administrating the Food and Sanitation Act 1991.

A section in that legislation states that all food products labelling must be in “English”.

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