FEBRUARY 21, 2022
Mandatory labeling requirements for products
Product labels play a vital role as it helps to reduce the informational gap between the seller and consumer. Labeling requirements are set out by a regulatory body and there are several regulatory bodies for the different type of products.
On 15 March 2019, the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw passed Law No.9/2019 being the new Consumer Protection Law 2019 (“CPL”). While the CPL came into force immediately after its enactment, the provision regarding the labeling of goods only came into force a year later. The CPL contains mandatory labelling requirements. Products sold to consumers must come with information showing the name, size, quantity, net weight, storage instruction, usage method, manufacture date, expiry date of the goods, the names of ingredients and its quantity and ratio contained in goods, the name and address of the importer for imported goods, precautions and side effects or warnings about allergies.
The Consumer Protection Commission, formed under the CPL, issued the Product Labelling Directive 1/2019 (“the Directive 2019”) which includes detailed instructions for certain products required to be complied by the entrepreneur to contain the following labelling requirements on the label of certain products either in Myanmar language, bilingual or trilingual (Myanmar and other one or more language):
- Product Name: Information on side effects
- Size, Quantity and net amount: Allergy information
- Storage instructions: Safety precautions
- Directions for use
Each of the above labelling requirements will be mandatory or optional for each product based on the following eight categories of product groups:
- Product Group (A): Food and beverages
- Product Group (B): Household appliances
- Product Group (C): Children products
- Product Group (D): Communication devices
- Product Group (E): Pharmaceuticals and supplements
- Product Group (F): CosmeticsProduct
- Group (G): Personal care products
- Product Group (H): Work-related equipment
For labels in the Myanmar Language, the labeling prescription on the type and size of the products should be on the packaging with the font being easily readable. If the labelling requirements cannot be displayed on the product, a product related flyer or label containing labelling requirements must be provided to the consumer together with the product. For imported products, modification of the labeling prescription (packaging or using new packaging material) is required to be in line with the requirement under the Directive 2019 before the distribution of such products. Moreover, products that are supervised by other relevant departments are required to follow the instructions of the relevant departments together with the labeling requirements under Directive 2019 for example, cosmetic labels shall comply with the Directive 2019 and any other requirements instructed by the Food and Drug Administration.
Further to the Directive 2019, the Ministry of Commerce issued Directive No. 1/2021 (“Edible Oil Labelling Directive”) on 20 December 2021 regarding the labelling of vegetable oil (cooking oil). The Edible Oil Labelling Directive requires related entrepreneurs to specify in Myanmar language both for the name of the product based on the original ingredient (example: Vegetable Oil (palm oil) or Vegetable Oil (advanced palm oil) and the net weight and size of the goods with Myanmar standard measurement units such as Viss and Kyattha. This was because some of the edible oils in the market are labelled as vegetables oil or cooking oil which is a generic name that is not based on original ingredient. Therefore, businesses in this market are required to follow the Edible Oil Labelling Directive to avoid misleading to consumer and satisfy on the basic requirements. The Edible Oil Labelling Directive will come into force six months after its issuance, i.e. June 2022.
Failure to comply with the Directives, imprisonment for a term of up to two years or a fine up to MMK20 million or both in accordance with the CPL will be imposed.
We will continue to monitor further developments regarding products labelling requirements from the regulatory bodies and provide updates accordingly.
If you have any questions or require any additional information, please contact Thuzar Tin or the ZICO Law Myanmar partner you usually deal with.
This alert is for general information only and is not a substitute for legal advice