In an attempt to ensure that consumers use legal, safe, and effective environmental agents, every year the EPA has formulated the Environmental Agent Assessment Plan (環境用藥查核計畫) , which is carried out by local environmental bureaus. In 2019, the EPA conducted a total of 37,247 inspections (on advertisements, labeling, and counterfeits) and sample tests (on active ingredients), and found a 99% passing rate.
he EPA stated that of the 9,409 environmental agent advertisements inspected, 152 online advertisements were found to be illegal, and total fines of NT$4.69 million were imposed. Illegal advertisements were largely posted by individuals on e-commerce sites advertising sales of mosquito repellant patches imported from Japan. For labeling, 27,379 cases were inspected, with 290 failing the inspections. As many as 137 sample tests were conducted on the active ingredients of environmental agents, and all were found to comply with the standards.
The inspections found 32 cases to be counterfeits, ten of which, after testing, were found to contain Mirex, a persistent organic pollutant banned by the EPA that is also on the control list of the Stockholm Convention. Cases that failed the inspections were given penalties, taken off shelves, and required to improve within a period of time in accordance to the Environmental Agents Control Act (環境用藥管理法).
The EPA reminded that a license is required for online advertisements of environmental agents and that only legal enterprises can advertise the sale of legal environmental agents. All legal environmental agents are to be labeled with EPA-approved serial numbers that indicate whether they are manufactured or imported or are insect repellents. Advertisers are also required to get a sales permit for environmental agents. A fine ranging from NT$60,000~300,000 will be imposed for advertising sales of imported mosquito repellent patches on e-commerce platforms with no permits. To ensure the safe use of environmental agents and prevent the public from breaking the law because of ignorance of the regulations, the EPA will continue to work with e-commerce platforms to inform about the relevant regulations and inspect their websites.
The EPA has created an inquiry system for looking up permits for environmental agents and pest control operators (https://mdc.epa.gov.tw/PUblicInfo ). Users can simply input the name of the product or permit number to ascertain whether the product has been approved and to find its source. Users can also find information on legal pest control operators or sellers of environmental agents. People interested in learning more about safe environmental agents or finding out which environmental agent products do not comply with EPA regulations can visit https://evsu.epa.gov.tw/EVagents/EVSecruity/Index.aspx.
Excerpt from Environmental Policy Monthly, 23 (7)
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)