In response to the increasing trend of alleged breaching of the products safety standards that apply to all goods imported, manufactured and traded in the country, the Ministry wish to notify the public of the existence of the Consumer Protection Act (2000) and the Consumer Protection Regulation (2006) to safeguard consumers from these breaches.
More importantly, the Ministry wish to encourage the public to recognize the Consumer Protection Act (2000) and Regulations (2006) is in place to safeguard consumers and request public cooperation and assistance to help the Ministry effectively apply the stipulations of the Act and Regulations in order to restrict the trading of products which do not comply with the required safety standards. Therefore wish to draw attention of the public and consumers to the due process in place under the Regulations to consider consumer’s complaints through completed Consumer Complaint Forms, duly assessments, formed decisions and subsequent notifications under stipulated provisions to address these complaints.
In more detail, the product safety standards requires all products supplied, distributed or traded for consumer consumption in Tonga to be safe for the intended use, offer satisfactory level of utility, designed or manufactured in accordance with international standards. In this connection, the following goods should not be supplied, distributed or traded for consumer consumption including defective goods, goods that have exceeded their: “use by dates”, “best before dates”, or “ expiry dates. ” They also include all ‘counterfeit goods’ i.e. goods with labelling which do not describe, present or labelled in a false manner, misleading, or deceptive regarding its character. The product labelling must also declare the name and address of the manufacturer, country of origin, product use, content, maintenance, storage and disposal where appropriate, information relating to possible misuse of the product, and advise of any potential harms resulting from use of the product. Also important for the product labelling of goods should be written in the English or Tongan language, and shall be clear, legible and displayed in a visible position on the product.
The public and all consumers in Tonga are therefore urged to assist the Ministry in combating the increasing trend of products being traded in breach of the Consumer Regulations (2006) by registering a complaint to the nearest office of the Ministry of Labour, Commerce and Industries or for further information. The Ministry is determined and committed to enforce these standards in order to safeguard the health and safety of the public.
Ministry of Labour, Commerce and Industries
25 January 2011