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The Ministry of Economic Affairs Monitors the Quality of Alcohol-Based Sanitizers and Alcohol-based Products for General Purpose to Protect Consumers

  • Date:2021/07/15
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The Ministry of Economic Affairs Monitors the Quality of Alcohol-Based Sanitizers and Alcohol-based Products for General Purpose to Protect Consu ...

Alcohol-based sanitizers are widely used by consumers to prevent themselves from being infected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI) initiated a project to check the quality and labeling of alcohol-based sanitizers and alcohol-based products for general purpose placed on the market starting from June 29.

The BSMI indicated that it randomly purchased at least 50 products on the market weekly to perform quality tests to verify the accuracy of labeling in terms of the alcohol content and ingredients. In addition, labeling checks were carried out daily of the webpages (at least 100) of online shopping platforms and physical stores (at least 10), such as shopping malls, hypermarkets, pharmacies and retailers.

Alcohol-based products are required to comply with respective regulations depending on their purposes. Those for medication purpose shall be licensed by the Ministry of Health and Welfare; those for sanitation purpose during pandemic, or called anti-epidemic alcohol sanitizers, are to be produced by registered manufacturers and be labeled "Sanitation Use in Pandemic, Not for Human Consumption;" and the others for general purpose shall be labeled with the information on the ingredients, place of manufacture, name of business operator, etc. in accordance with the requirements stated in the Consumer Protection Act and Commodity Labeling Act.

The BSMI further provided information on the results of quality tests and labeling checks up to July 8, as well as actions taken for non-compliant products.

1.For products purchased and tested:
(1)Anti-epidemic alcohol sanitizers: all of the 14 products produced by 11 registered manufacturers passed the quality tests.
(2)Alcohol-based products for general purpose: 53 out of 209 products did not pass the quality test because the alcohol content is falsely labeled. None of the products contain methanol, which is harmful to human health. Products with false labeling were forwarded to the Central Region Office, Ministry of Economic Affairs, which will order the products to be withdrawn from the market.
2.For products sold online:
(1)1,155 webpages were checked and the products of 213 webpages did not pass labeling checks.
(2)181 out of the 213 non-compliant products violated the requirements of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act by making disinfection or anti-bacteria claims, which are considered to fall in scope of medication purpose, without being licensed. These products were forwarded to the Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare, for processing. For the rest 32 non-compliant products, the webpages were removed due to the false labeling of "anti-epidemic" as the manufacturers are not registered.

The BSMI concluded that all anti-epidemic alcohol sanitizers produced by registered manufacturers comply with relevant regulations. Online shopping platforms collaborated with the BSMI to remove webpages of non-compliant products. Products with false labeling of the alcohol content violated the Commodity Labeling Act and the manufacturers will be ordered by the local governments to take corrective actions.
Distributors shall remove such products from shelves immediately. Failure to do so will lead to a fine at NTD 30,000~NTD 300,000 for manufacturers, or NTD 20,000~NTD 200,000 for distributors. All cases will be closely monitored by local governments and the Ministry of Economic Affairs will publish details of violations if a fine is imposed.

The BSMI urges manufacturers to ensure the quality of alcohol-based products and accuracy of labeled information. It takes public-private concerted efforts to protect consumers and fight against the pandemic effectively.

BSMI Spokesperson: Chen, Ling-Hui, Deputy Director General
Tel. (O): +886-2343-1709
Email: lh.chen@bsmi.gov.tw

Responsible Person: Cheng, Ching-Hong, Senior Technical Specialist, 2nd Division
Tel. (O): +886-2343-1764; Tel. (M): +886-920-149023
Email: ch.cheng@bsmi.gov.tw 
Press Contact: Wang, Yu-Ting, Section Chief
Tel. (O): +886-2343-1761; Tel. (M): +886-963-022151
Email: yuting.wang@bsmi.gov.tw