In a couple of weeks, school will reopen, and as always, we are in the moment when parents and guardians purchase school supplies and school uniforms. Whether imported or locally manufactured, these products must conform to basic labeling requirements.
In addition, careful attention should be placed on the quality of these products so that students can have prolonged use.
Labels are intended to guide consumers by providing key information on the products they intend to purchase. A well labeled product provides consumers with the relevant information to make informed choices and ultimately gives guidance as to the product quality, monetary worth and manner of usage.
Labels state the name of the brand which could be “high end” or “low end”. “High end” brands often attract higher prices and are of better quality, but they must be authentic and not fake.
Label information such as Name Brand, Name of Manufacturer and Name of Supplier help consumers to identify who manufactured the product, and if necessary a need to seek redress because of quality and safety concerns.
Students wear clothing and footwear of various sizes, it is important that sizes are included on labels. As long as parents are aware of their children’s sizes, there is no need for them to accompany their parent during the busy shopping season. Items can be bought based on sizes specified on labels.
The care, use, warning and precautionary information about products, which most labels carry, help to ensure the health and safety of students who will be the actual users of these products.
There are cases where some school items like geometry sets and staplers are recommended for use by students over a specified age. Further, labels guide parents during the wash and care of apparels, which prevent damage and discolourations.
Labels of goods imported, manufactured and distributed in Guyana must comply with the requirements of the Guyana Standards Specification for the labeling of commodities – Part 1: General Principles which is a mandatory standard. According to the standard, Product labels must be in English Language and state the Brand, Type of product, Name of Manufacturer or Distributor, Country of origin, and where necessary information on the care, maintenance and precautions for use, and the manufacture and expiry dates.
Other standards are available at the Guyana National Bureau of Standards that addresses the labeling requirements for specific goods, for example: the labeling of textiles, labeling of footwear, labeling of garments, etc. The GNBS monitors these products according to the requirements of these standards.
Consumers who are engaged in shopping for Back to School items should take a “timeout” to read and understand the labels of the products they intend to purchase, especially if these items are costly.
Remember not to compromise quality for cheaper prices. Take time to physically examine each piece of item at the time of purchase to ensure there are no lose threads or other damages and defects.
Our children are not always as careful as we are and may need good quality and sturdy back to school products to take them through the new school year.
For further information on this subject, please contact the Guyana National Bureau of Standards on Telephone Numbers: 219-0065, 219-0066 and 219-0069 or visit the GNBS Website: www.gnbsgy.org or www.facebook.com/gnbsgy
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