The National Consumer Commission (NCC), in collaboration with the South African Revenue Service (Sars) Customs Special Operations, issued 88 compliance notices between July 2020 and March 31, this year, for imported goods that did not meet the labelling requirements under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).
The goods in question, valued at R18-million, include footwear, leather, clothing and textiles.
Sars officials, upon inspection of consignments, suspected that the goods did not meet the labelling requirements and detained the goods and informed the NCC.
The NCC’s investigation revealed that the goods did not comply with the standards set out in Section 24 and Regulation 6 of the CPA, which requires that all footwear, leather, clothing and textiles imported into South Africa must have a label permanently affixed and clearly indicating a country of origin, care instructions and fibre content.
The NCC will continue to interject imports and, where goods do not comply with the provisions of the CPA, the importer is required to either return the goods to the country of origin or destroy them at their own cost, NCC acting commissioner Joseph Selolo says.
The NCC enforces this requirement by either issuing a compliance notice or referring the contravention to the National Consumer Tribunal for prosecution, in which case the tribunal may also impose an administrative fine.
The NCC is working with other agencies to ensure that importers do not try to circumvent these legislative requirements, Selolo says.