DTI unveils more secured ICC mark
MANILA, Dec. 7 (PNA) — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its Bureau of Product Standards (BPS), unveils Tuesday an improved Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) mark, the quality and safety seal on imported critical consumer products.
Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo said: “With the influx of imported products in the country, which is brought about by the fall of trade barriers among nations worldwide, it is essential for the government to impose stricter guidelines in the printing and issuing of the ICC mark to importers in order to further control the use and ensure security of this quality and safety seals for imported products”.
“There are concerns on the quality and safety marks that the DTI issues to the importing industry for seals of registration, test and inspection, thus, the Department has gone through continuous improvements to ensure protection against fraud and faking of stickers,” he said.
DTI-Consumer Welfare and Business Regulation Group (CWBRG) Undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya said: “The legitimacy of the ICC mark has been questioned several times and we have been looking into more secure means on printing and distributing it, hence, we are confident that this much improved hologram ICC sticker, effectively works particularly for the benefit of the consumers.”
The new ICC hologram sticker was manufactured via electron beam origination, producing ultra-high feature definition at 500,000 dots per inch. Thus, it gives superior definition and image clarity; amplified movement in colors and texts; and increased security features making it very difficult, if not impossible, to counterfeit.
The hologram is registered with the International Hologram Manufacturers’ Association (IHMA), an exclusive association of ISO-certified members having the E-beam technology capacity. All designs registered to IHMA are guaranteed unique.
“The DTI also made certain that only its monitoring teams can identify the authenticity of the improved ICC mark through a special gadget,” Maglaya said.
“The Department plans to make these gadgets available with the retailers so a consumer could check the authenticity of the improved ICC sticker himself/ herself” Secretary Domingo says.
The DTI-BPS operates the Product Certification Scheme to regulate the sale of critical products such as home appliances, electrical and wiring devices, construction materials, and chemical and consumer products to level the playing field of the industry sectors and more importantly to protect the interests of the buying public.
Under the ICC Certification Scheme, all importers of products declared under mandatory certification are required to have their products tested and inspected at the BPS Testing Center or any DTI-accredited testing laboratories, prior their products’ distribution and sale in the Philippine market.
DTI-BPS issues the ICC certificate to those importers whose products successfully passed the safety and quality tests, which are based on the safety and quality requirements of a relevant Philippine National Standard (PNS). ICC holders are then authorized to affix the ICC sticker on their products, which serves as consumers’ guide in choosing quality and reliable products worth the value of their money.
From January to September 2011, the DTI-BPS issued 3,302 ICC certificates to 363 importers of electrical, building and construction materials, chemical, and, consumer products. These importers have brought in 30,404,508 units of various products with the ICC mark in the Philippine market.
The DTI-BPS will enforce the new ICC hologram sticker by April 2012 in all critical products. By then, the ICC marks in white and silver-gray backgrounds will be considered invalid.
Maglaya said: “The DTI issues the improved ICC sticker to the importers to control and avoid unlawful use of the mark. Moreover, we shall periodically change the security features of the ICC mark to preserve its integrity.”
“I enjoin the industry to be active in the Department’s drive to avert the proliferation of uncertified products that use fake ICC marks and police their ranks to assist them in their businesses. And, I enjoin the buying public to be extra vigilant in their purchases of products and services,” Domingo said.(PNA)