Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Issues Compulsory Product Labeling Standard

Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Issues Compulsory Product Labeling Standard

Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Issues Compulsory Product Labeling Standard

On 22 September 2021, the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) of its issuance of a new Standard (“Labelling of Goods – General – Compulsory Requirements”) that will address the general labeling requirements for all goods sold, distributed, or used in Trinidad and Tobago, with the following exceptions:

1.     Goods or classes of goods for which labelling requirements have been prescribed in national regulations issued by other Government Ministries and agencies; inter alia (i) goods or classes of goods for food, drugs, cosmetics, and devices; and (ii) goods or classes of goods for pesticides and toxic chemicals;

2.     Goods or classes of goods for which specific labelling requirements have been prescribed in compulsory National Standards; and

3.     Goods or classes of goods for agricultural produce.

This Standard is intended for use by a wide range of stakeholders including: ¾ Manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers – to describe the goods being sold, distributed or used in a truthful, informative and non-deceptive manner; ¾ Purchasers and users – to assist in making informed decisions based on an understanding of the nature, quality or use of the goods; and ¾ Regulatory agencies – to provide a basis for assessing the labelling requirements of imported or manufactured goods.

These labelling requirements will be applied where necessary, in conjunction with other labelling and product standards developed by the TTBS.

Per Section 3 (“Requirements”), any label “affixed to, or marked on any goods, or its package or referring to any goods, shall”:

3.1(a) “Provide a description of the goods and adequate information to enable a potential purchaser or user to select the goods best suited to their needs. This information shall include the common name, weight, net weight, volume, net volume, or size as applicable and shall give an accurate description of components of the goods as is necessary”;

3.1(b) “Provide a purchaser, or user with appropriate instructions for use (not limited to the method of storage, handling, use, installation, care, maintenance and repair as necessary) where: 1) there is a risk to the health and safety of a user; 2) there is any significant deterioration of the quality, performance or life durability which may result if the goods are not properly stored; and 3) the good is handled, transported, used, installed, cared for, maintained or repaired. The appropriate hazard symbol shall be provided on the label, on the package or on the good.”

3.1(c) “State: 1) the name; 2) address, or the principal place of business or registered office of either the manufacturer, the agent, the distributor, the seller, the re-filler, the packer, the importer or the organization responsible for the product; It shall be preceded by the words “manufactured by ….”, “packed by……”, “distributed by….”, “imported by…..”, as applicable, and the name of the country of origin which shall be stated with the following words as appropriate: i) “made in (name of territory)”; ii) “product of (name of territory)”; iii) “packaged in (name of territory)”; iv) “manufactured in (name of territory)”; and v) “assembled in (name of territory)”. 3) an electronic or telephone contact of the manufacturer or the organization responsible for the sale and distribution of the product in the country.”

Responsibility for labeling and ensuring compliance with these labeling regulations lies with the manufacturer, seller, or distributer; as such, all entities have a compliance responsibility. Section 3.2 directs that a claim shall not be made on the product label unless it can be substantiated. Further, the claims cannot be false, misleading, or deceptive. Per Section 3.3, the language of all labels used in the Republic shall be English.

Section 5 details the mechanisms to demonstrate compliance, which permits (in part) information from other sources, such as third-party testing, product certification and/or quality management system certification from an accredited body. If an accredited body is not available, the information can be provided by a body approved by TTBS. Per Section 6, non-compliance may incur a stop sale/positive recall, seizure of the goods, or in certain circumstances an allowance for the entity to make modifications necessary to return to compliance.

The Standard, which replaces Trinidad and Tobago Standard (TTS) 76: Part 1 (2006), is currently undergoing a 60-day comment period. The proposed entry into force date is 30 April 2022.


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