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DTI imposes mandatory product certification on motorcycle helmets
Friday, February 20, 2009
The Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Product Standards (DTI-BPS) imposes mandatory product certification on protective helmets and their visors for motorcycles and mopeds in its effort to curb the proliferation of substandard helmets in the market at the same time ensure safety of the fast-increasing number of motorcycle riders and their passengers.
DTI-BPS Director-In-Charge Atty. Victorio Mario Dimagiba explains, “Starting 01 April 2009, all manufacturers and importers of protective helmets and their visors are required to secure a Philippine Standard (PS) License or Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) certificate, from the Bureau prior to the sale and distribution of their products.”
“Moreover, the Department will begin its nationwide monitoring and enforcement activities on July 2009. Thus, only those protective helmets bearing the PS or ICC mark are allowed to be sold in the market by July 2009 and those found with uncertified products shall face administrative charges from the Department,” added Director Dimagiba.
DTI Undersecretary for Consumer Welfare Zenaida Cuison Maglaya explained that to provide the industry with an internationally-accepted reference standard in manufacturing reliable protective helmet, DTI-BPS adopted the United Nations Economic Commission on Europe (UN ECE) standard specifications and test methods for protective helmets and their visors for motorcycles and mopeds drivers and passengers as a Philippine National Standard (PNS/UN ECE 22:2007).
“Motorcycle accidents are already considered by the World Health Organization as a “public health epidemic” not just in the Philippines, but in many Asian countries, thus, we need protective helmets that comply with international standards and will protect wearers from serious head injuries in the event of collision, crash or fall. It is imperative that the quality of the product is checked to ensure that it performs as intended,” emphasized Usec. Maglaya.
DTI regulates critical consumer products that greatly affect life, property and health. Therefore, in consultation with the helmet industry sector and other stakeholders, the DTI-BPS has included the protective helmets in its mandatory product certification scheme to level the playing fields of businesses, and more importantly, to avert the pervasive distribution of substandard helmets in the market for consumer protection.
DTI-BPS operates a Product Certification Scheme to assure consumers that critical products such as protective helmets, sold in the market are safe and reliable. The Bureau requires the manufacturers and importers of products under mandatory certification to apply for the PS License or ICC certificate, and have their products inspected and tested based on PNS/UN ECE 22:2007, prior its sale and distribution in the market.
“The Department has given all manufacturers, importers and distributors of protective helmets until the end of June 2009 to dispose of their uncertified products and comply with the product certification scheme. Only helmets bearing the PS or ICC mark can be sold in the local market by July 2009,” stressed Director Dimagiba.
The DTI enjoins the buying public to patronize only PS and ICC-marked products in the market. Consumers can report or file a complaint against substandard products through DTI Direct 751-3330. For more information on helmet standards, call DTI-BPS at 751-4740, send e-mail messages through firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the BPS Standards and Conformance portal at www.bps.dti.gov.ph.