Spot checks on product safety stepped up

Spot checks on product safety stepped up
Certis Cisco enforcement officers Wee Peng Soon (left) and Safiuddin Roshan checking for the safety mark label on electronic products sold at a Fairprice outlet.

MORE spot checks are being conducted to ensure retail outlets and suppliers comply with safety regulations for electrical, electronic and gas products.

Spring Singapore, the regulatory body for consumer product safety, and weights and measures, has tripled its spot checks since January last year when it engaged security company Certis Cisco to help with this task.

Despite the increased checks, the total number of offences remain the same - more than 60 per year in 2013 and in 2014.

Spring attributed the smaller proportion of offences in 2014 to a higher level of awareness of the safety and accuracy requirements among retailers and suppliers, built up through increased spot checks.

While the spot checks take place throughout the year, items under scrutiny change according to the occasion, said Spring's head of consumer product

safety and weights and measures, Mr Sim Geok Seng.

For instance, at the moment, checks are focused on items that consumers are likely to use for Chinese New Year, such as steamboat pots and gas cookers.

Electrical appliances, gas appliances as well as electronic products here must be affixed with a safety mark.

Measuring instruments used by retailers must also each have a visible accuracy label.

Spring Singapore requires retailers and suppliers to renew their safety mark label every three years and the accuracy label every year.

Selling controlled goods without the safety mark is an offence. The maximum penalty for infringement is a $10,000 fine and two years' imprisonment.

Those using weighing and measuring instruments without the accuracy label for trade can be fined up to $2,000.

"A product that has no safety mark has not been tested or does not meet international standards.

It may have safety breaches," said Mr Sim.

He urged consumers to check that the weighing scales they have purchased come with the accuracy label.

Consumers said they were not too concerned about being duped by retailers.

Mr Jayson Ong, 46, a sales manager, said: "I know that there are regular inspections so I have no reason to doubt local retailers."

A stallholder at a neighbourhood fruit stall in Jurong East said he was unaware that the accuracy label on his weighing scale had to be renewed every year.

Said the 26-year-old who wanted to be known only as Mr Lee: "I usually give a little more fruit to win more loyal customers anyway."

This article was first published on Jan 30, 2015.
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