Product labeling protects consumer rights
Comprehensive measures are being taken in Uzbekistan to protect the consumer rights, including for the purchase of goods of adequate quality and obtaining reliable information about their manufacturers. However, the share of poor quality and counterfeit goods in the domestic market is still high.
Recently, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan signed a resolution “On measures of introducing modern methods of labeling certain types of goods” aimed at preventing the illegal entry into the country, production and sale of certain types of goods, ensuring their effective accounting, as well as increasing the collection of taxes and other mandatory payments.
According to international studies, 7 percent, or a trillion dollars, of world trade comes from counterfeit products. At the same time 30 percent of all alcohol consumed in the world is produced illegally. Drug statistics are also a matter of thought: 10 percent of pharmaceutical products are considered counterfeit, and their trade has increased by 90 percent over five years. Fake medications lead to fatal consequences – almost 700 thousand people annually.
In 2017 in Uzbekistan, 764 facts of smuggling imports of goods for 125.46 billion UZS were revealed, and for seven months of 2018 – 407 facts for 80.42 billion UZS. The resolution of the President of Uzbekistan “On measures of introducing modern methods of labeling certain types of goods” will help eliminate these shortcomings. This document provides for the introduction of a phased, starting from August 1 of next year, mandatory labeling of imported and manufactured products using a protected label and nano-molecular technology, depending on the category of goods.
The resolution approves the list of 47 labeling items subject to mandatory labeling, including bottled water, juices, alcohol and tobacco products, fuel, fertilizers and medicines. Subsequently, this list may be supplemented in accordance with the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of the country, agreed with the National Agency for Project Management under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. After new products are included in the list, their sale without labeling will be possible only within 180 days.
According to the Information Analytical Multimedia Center of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan, within two months, a draft law will be submitted to the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan providing for the establishment of responsibility for the sale of unmarked products. Until January 1 of next year, the State Tax Committee shall develop a procedure for mandatory labeling of goods using a protected label and nano-molecular technology.