The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) confiscated about 685 sets of alleged substandard Christmas lights from sellers during its simultaneous enforcement activities in the cities of San Juan and Muntinlupa, as part of the agency’s intensified efforts against selling and proliferation of substandard Christmas lights in the market.
The standards enforcement team, which was led by Consumer Welfare and Business Regulation Group (CWBRG) Officer-in-Charge lawyer Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba, issued Notices of Violation (NOV) to six stores found selling Christmas lights not bearing the Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) stickers, and sets carrying the old ICC stickers.
“We conducted this standard enforcement activity to ensure that the Christmas lights sold in the market are certified by our Bureau of Product Standards and are safe to use,” Dimagiba said.
The team confiscated about 600 boxes of Christmas lights from five stalls in Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan City, while 85 sets were seized from a store in Festival Mall, Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
“We issued notices of violation to the apprehended storeowners and told them to explain within 48 hours or else we will impose them administrative fines,” Dimagiba said.
The brands of the confiscated products include Northstar LED light, Seven Star, Mabuhay Star, AIO Decorative Light, Lucky Bright LED, Star 120 Icicle Lights, and Merry Christmas.
Dimagiba added that the DTI- CWBRG will also issue NOVs to the suppliers and importers of the seized products who have not complied with the terms and conditions of the ICC to sell only certified Christmas lights.
Meanwhile, Dimagiba urged the management of the said shopping centers to ensure that their stores sell only certified Christmas lights.
Manufacturers, importers and retailers found not complying with the BPS (Bureau of Product Standards) Product Certification Scheme will be filed administrative charges for violation of DTI Department Administrative Order (DAO) 2:2007; Republic Act (RA) No. 7394, otherwise known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines and RA 4109 or the Standards Law. If found guilty, the owners/operators of erring establishments will be imposed with monetary fine up to P150,000 and cancellation of any DTI-issued permit or license.
A set of Christmas lights is required to undergo the BPS Product Certification Scheme, where manufacturers and importers are required to apply for the Philippine Standard (PS) license and ICC certificate, before their products are distributed and sold in the market.
Only manufacturers and importers whose products have passed the Philippine National Standard (PNS) requirements relevant to their product will be issued the PS license and ICC certificate. BPS requires the manufacturers and importers to place the PS and ICC marks on the products prior to distribution to their retailers for sale.
DTI reiterates its warning to the public to buy only certified Christmas lights with ICC stickers to ensure that their products have passed safety tests. Consumers must also make sure that the Christmas lights they are buying are not more than three years old from the year of manufacture. This can be determined by checking the four digits in the lower right portion of ICC sticker which indicates the year of certification of the said product.
Consumers may visit the DTI website (www.dti.gov.ph) to find out the list of authorized importers, sellers, and brands of Christmas lights and to learn more about buying certified Christmas lights. To report establishments that sell substandard Christmas lights, please call DTI Direct 751-3330 or 0917-8343330.