GNBS seizes cigarettes, warns importers to be vigilant about labelling standards

The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) said it found several violations in brands of cigarettes being sold to the public and reminds importers to ensure that their purchases are in compliance with the national standards for labelling.

In a press release the GNBS said acting on intelligence it inspected 219 premises and ten stalls and seized 21 packets of BT, three packets of GT Smart, nine packets of Business Club, nine packets of Capital and one packet of Benson and Hedges (B&H) cigarettes.

The Bureau said the reasons for the seizures included violations of labelling instructions, imitations of legal brands and expired cigarettes. As regards the packet of B&H cigarettes, the Demerara Tobacco Company, the official importer of the brand, said the seized packet was a fake and that it had expired since June. It has also originated in Suriname.

The other seized brands were not adequately labelled. The violations included: missing information regarding country of origin, use of incorrect warning statement, size of letters and the name and address of manufacturers.

The GNBS said its inspectors would maintain their monitoring exercises at retail sales outlets and at ports of entry to ensure compliance with the national standards. It also advised importers of new brands of cigarettes to seek its approval and to submit samples of the product prior to ordering it. The GNBS said using this procedure will help importers to avoid the complications of buying inadequately labelled products and then force them to find unlawful ways of disguising the breaches.

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