“All imported products, which are covered in the product certification scheme, must bear the latest Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) sticker and shall acquire these marks from our office before they can be distributed and sold in the local market”, Officer-in-Charge Cirila S. Botor of the Department of Trade Industry’s Bureau of Product Standards (DTI-BPS) asserts.
The DTI-BPS alerts all importers of products under the mandatory certification to use only the issued ICC sticker on their products that have passed the inspection and test requirements based on the Philippine National Standards (PNS).
OIC Botor explains, “In 2008, the DTI-BPS started receiving reports and complaints on the use of fake and imitated ICC mark on products that should be subjected to tests by the bureau and should bear the ICC mark. The reports said that several retailers, distributors and importers resort to shortcuts to gain profits at the expense of the consumers’ welfare”.
The DTI-BPS, through the assistance of the DTI regional and provincial offices, discovered in their monitoring activities that there were several retailers, distributors and importers that printed and stamped their own ICC stickers on their products without securing the ICC certificate from the DTI.
“Thus, in September 2008, the DTI-BPS introduced an improved ICC mark to replace the easily imitated mark with a silver background against its ICC letters in a gear”, OIC Botor narrates.
“We further instituted improvements in October 2009 and we decided to print the ICC marks ourselves and issue these to an importer’s batch of shipment to ensure exclusivity and security”, OIC Botor adds.
The twice improved ICC sticker shows the new ICC logo printed in silver on a special holographic security film with the ICC serial number at the bottom.
OIC Botor stresses, “The ICC sticker boasts of the much improved security features to avoid tampering and to restrict the influx of logo imitations that can be used on substandard import shipments”.
The ICC mark still includes the ICC letters in a gear but has a unique serial number for each product. It also includes the month and year the DTI-BPS issued the ICC certificate to an importer’s product shipment.
The DTI-BPS issues ICC to importers of products covered by mandatory PNS, as stated in the DTI-DAO 5:2008 and Republic Act 4109 or the Standards Law. All import shipments under mandatory PNS are subject to BPS evaluation, sampling and testing. Importers of products are allowed to use the ICC mark only after undergoing and passing the BPS Certification Scheme and satisfactorily meeting the requirements of relevant Philippine National Standards (PNS) and acceptable international or foreign standards. Import shipments covered by mandatory PNS include building and construction materials, electrical and electronic home appliances, chemical products, and, consumer products.
Since January of this year, the DTI-BPS has issued 2,321 ICC certificates to importers. Consequently, 17,967,862 ICC stickers were released to these importers, which is worth more than P24.4 million.
The DTI-BPS Certification Scheme aims to protect the consumers from substandard and uncertified import shipments. The scheme is an assurance that these products are consistently in accordance to the PNS. Under the scheme, the DTI-Regional and Operations Development Group (RODG) assists the DTI-BPS in monitoring the markets for substandard and uncertified imported products.
“The DTI-BPS urges the consumers to be vigilant in purchasing critical products and to patronize only imported products with the genuine ICC mark”, OIC Botor emphasizes.
“At the same time, we remind all importers to secure the ICC stickers for their import shipments that are under mandatory certification, only from the DTI-BPS” OIC Botor states.
A violation on the provisions of the DAO 05 and RA 4109 will result to administrative fines of up to P300,000.00.
Any manufacturer, importer or distributor found selling imported products without the ICC mark or with the old ICC mark shall face administrative charges under the Republic Act (R.A.) 4109 or Standards Law, Department Administrative Order (DAO) 2:2007 and RA 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines that include a maximum fine of Php 300,000 per violation, without prejudice to the filing of criminal or civil actions under applicable laws. Other penalties and sanctions under DAO2:2007 include issuance of an order to make the product conform to standards; condemnation or seizure of products; forfeiture of paraphernalia and all properties; suspension or cancellation/ revocation or withholding of permit, license, authority, and registration issued by DTI; issuance of a cease and desist order; and, issuance of order directing the suspension or cancellation of PS License or revocation of ICC certificate
DTI-Consumer Welfare and Trade Regulation Group (CWTRG) Undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya reiterates, “The DTI is keen on minimizing, if not eradicating, the number of substandard and uncertified critical products in the market, thus, the Department regularly reviews and revises its regulatory programs to ensure only appropriate and feasible policies and guidelines”.
Department of Trade and Industry - Bureau of Product Standards 3/F Trade and Industry Building
361 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City Philippines 1200, Telephone: (632) 751-4700 Fax: (632) 751-4706