New Amendments to the Commodity Labeling Act

On May 3, 2022, a bill to amend Taiwan's Commodity Labeling Act (the "amended Act") was enacted by the Legislative Yuan after the bill passed the third reading. The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) introduced the legislation to amend the Act to address rapid changes in the business environment and the booming development of information technology in recent years. Specifically, consumers have embraced online shopping to the extent that it is now one of the most important ways to shop in Taiwan. In turn, the rise of online shopping has led to extensive use of electronic labeling, marking a fundamental change in consumer market behavior. In light of this, the MOEA's amendments seek to balance policy goals including international convergence, consumer protection and business efficiency reconciliation. With this background, the key points of the amended Act can be summarized as follows:
1. Elasticity of labeling
(1) In the amended Act, the central competent authority may, depending on technology, industry or economic development, designate specific kinds of goods that may use electronic labeling.
(2) The date of manufacture is required to be marked as "year, month" or "year, week" in accordance with international practice; for time-sensitive goods, in addition to the date of manufacture, the expiration date should be added and marked to the "day".
(3) Without prejudice to the correct labeling of goods and the protection of consumer rights, the central competent authority may announce that some items on labels may use English or other foreign languages.
(4) The central competent authority may announce the exemption of specific commodities from the labeling requirements of the amended Act.
(5) For products already in circulation in the market, a change of manufacturer's information (i.e. change of vendor name or address) may be disclosed in a manner that is readily available to consumers.
2. Inclusion of online merchandising platforms in the regulation
In recent years, the proportion of consumers shopping on the Internet has gradually increased. To strengthen regulatory oversight of this new type of consumer market, the amended Act grants local authorities the power to inspect the sites of manufacturers, commissioners, importers, sub-assemblers or other places where goods are manufactured, stored or sub-assembled. Furthermore, the amended Act require Internet platform operators to provide information on the publisher, supplier or seller of the goods. Internet platform operators that fail to comply may be fined.
3. Direct imposition of penalties for major violations of the law
The existing Act requires a notice of correction before penalties can be imposed following violations. However, the amended Act allows for direct imposition of penalties for major violations of the law or when the goods cause an immediate health hazard.
The new amendments to Taiwan's Commodity Labeling Act are expected to take effect one year after the President's announcement.
Previous Back to list Next