The Solomon Islands Government has announced plans to implement a policy that will improve packaging and labelling regulation in the country.

The Product Packaging and Labelling Policy will be drafted by the Consumer Affairs and Price Control Division of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration, with support from the Commonwealth secretariat (London) through the Pacific Islands Forum secretariat.

According to Amelia Kelly, who reports on the trade competitiveness of the Commonwealth secretariat, the new regulation on product packaging and labelling will elevate manufacturers’ abilities on par with international market standards.

In addition, the policy will increase the quality and safety of products, thereby improving competitiveness.

Kelly said: “The Commonwealth secretariat looks forward to supporting sustainable and inclusive economic development for the Solomon Islands.”

Drafting of the Product Packaging and Labelling Policy is expected to start in July this year.

In relation to the drafting, Kelly and the Ministry of Commerce conducted initial consultations with the Solomon Islands’ prime ministerial office and cabinet.

Consumer affairs and price control director Geoffery Dan Houa said: “As you might be aware, we have problems with many imported products labelled in foreign languages and we have gaps in our current laws such as the Consumer Protection Act, Pure Food Act and others in dealing with good information about these products.

“When purchasing a product all information on the product will be relied upon before a consumer purchases it – hence this is important on our part to strengthen our regulations to protect our consumers.”