HCM City to tighten energy labeling rules

Inspectors from the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade and market control officials have plans to levy administrative fines on manufacturers and importers of home appliances and industrial devices that fail to meet energy labeling requirements, according to the Saigon Times Daily.

Speaking at a workshop on energy labeling in HCM City last week, Luong Xuan Nhung, Deputy Director of the department’s energy management division, said the inspection team would check local enterprises from now to the end of this year.

Since July 1, 2013, producers and importers of some home appliances and industrial devices have been forced to put energy labels on their products in accordance with the Law on Energy Efficiency and Conservation.

Energy labeling can lead consumers to select energy-efficient products and limit the use of energy-inefficient products. However, no firm in the city has been fined for violating the regulation so far, Nhung said.

In February, the department conducted a survey of 20 retail stores, traditional markets and supermarkets, taking 500 samples of six products - tubular fluorescent lamps, compact fluorescent lamps, air-conditioners, electric cookers, washing machines and electric fans.

The survey showed that 68 percent of air-conditioners and washing machines followed the energy labeling regulations, followed by electric cookers with 50 percent, electric fans with 38 percent and lamps 28 percent.

Most enterprises were found not to label their products, use wrong labels, import prohibited products or provide wrong details, Nhung said.

Nguyen Hoang Linh from the General Department of Energy under the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that there had been nearly 700 enterprises registering to label electric devices.

In fact, no firms in the country have been fined since July 1, 2013 and law enforcement forces have just warned a number of violators, Linh said.

According to Government Decree 134/2013/ND-CP, enterprises are subject to the highest fine of 60 million VND for violating energy labeling rules.

Huynh Kim Tuoc, Director of the HCMC Energy Conservation Center, said enterprises are still facing difficulties due to a complicated label registration process, slow goods clearance and poor capability in label certification. In addition, label certification fees for some products are still high.

According to the Government’s Decision 51/2011/QD-TTg that provides a list of equipment and devices subject to energy labeling, some electric devices must bear energy labels from January 1, 2013. Then, the deadline was delayed till the end of June 2013.

The list of devices and equipment required to be energy-labeled are household appliances and industrial equipment.

Household appliances consist of tubular fluorescent lamps, compact fluorescent lamps, electromagnetic and electronic ballasts for fluorescent lamps, air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, electric cookers and electric fans.

Meanwhile, industrial equipment includes electricity transformers and electric motors.

VNA/VOV.VN