High Court affirms ban on dodgy clothing imports

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The National Consumer Commission (NCC) has welcomed a Pretoria High Court ruling reiterating that non-compliant imported Clothing, Textile, Footwear, and Leather (CTFL) goods cannot enter South Africa.

“We welcome this judgment and we believe that it clears up the confusion that surrounded both the Compliance Notice where and when the goods can be labelled,” said Acting National Consumer Commissioner, Thezi Mabuza.

The NCC said the proliferation of non-compliant clothing, textiles, footwear and leather imported goods destroyed the South African textile industry.

During the last financial year, the Commission issued more than 50 non-compliance notices to importers of CTFL goods. Non-compliant goods to a value of just above R18 million were either returned to the country of origin or destroyed.

The High Court also confirmed that the Commission was within its mandate to exercise its power under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) to issue a compliance notice where an investigation by the NCC has revealed that a consignment does not comply with the provisions of the Act.

“I want to remind importers that it is their responsibility to ensure that their goods do comply with the CPA. Where the goods are non-compliant, we will not hesitate to issue non-compliances instructing importers to either return non-compliant goods to the country of origin or destroy them,” Mabuza said.

Following an investigation into the import of non-compliant goods by Scoop Clothing CC, the NCC issued a Compliance Notice against the company.

In response, Scoop Clothing CC applied to the National Consumer Tribunal for a review of the compliance notice.

Scoop Clothing’s review application succeeded and the National Consumer Tribunal ordered the NCC to allow the company to apply compliant labels to the imported goods.

The NCC then appealed the Scoop Clothing CC judgment in the Pretoria High Court.

“It has always been the NCC’s view that non-compliance cannot be rectified by allowing the importer to attach labels within the Republic,” the NCC said in a statement.

“The High Court agreed with the NCC that imported goods can only be allowed into the Republic if they comply with the provisions of section 24. Failure to comply means that goods must be returned to the country of origin or be destroyed.

“A compliance notice does not mean that a supplier can label non-compliant goods within the Republic,” the Commission added. – SAnews.gov.za

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