GEDA continuing to enforce Guam Product Seal compliance - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GEDA continuing to enforce Guam Product Seal compliance

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 by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - It's been more than a year and a half since the Guam Economic Development Authority implemented new mandates and rules for the Guam Product Seal program. While this enforcement is aimed at ensuring quality control, just how compliant have businesses been?

While the Guam Product Seal has been in existence for more than 28 years, GEDA since 2013 has been the enforcement arm of ensuring products that carry the "Made In Guam" label are in fact made here on island. "It's to protect the local manufacturers, there are goods and products out there that are not made on Guam and visitors are out there buying things they believe is made on Guam and they're not," explained GEDA compliance supervisor John San Nicolas. He says there are nearly 60 permit holders of the Guam Product Seal, some of which have run across some compliance issues. "There are some out there that we found but we work with them to get into compliance and there was a time when we issued violation letters and they came into compliance," he said.

Within the first year that GEDA took over the program, San Nicolas says there were 44 letters sent out to GPS permit holders - that number however has decreased to just five most recently. "The minimal fees starts around $2,500 and it ranges between $2,500 and $5,000 per product," he said.

And while there are close to five dozen Guam Product Seal permit holders, there are probably even more products on the shelves that bear the Guam name. "I think one of the biggest confusions out there is that the usage of Guam or Chamorro on the packaging," said San Nicolas, "because it's not illegal to use Guam or Chamorro but if you do use it on your packaging then you comply with the labeling law and that you state the country of origin if the product is not made on Guam."

He says GEDA continues to field calls from residents over concerns about certain products including alcoholic beverages bearing the Guam name. "We became aware of that a little while ago, but that was for alcohol and spirits, and the law only pertains to nonperishable commodities and our interpretation is alcohol is not a perishable commodity as it does not have a limited shelf-life," he said.

GEDA in the meantime encourages businesses who have products made on Guam yet do not bear the Guam Product Seal to join the program as it holds several benefits including linking the products to off-island buyers to expand it's market share. For more information on the Guam Product Seal program or to report any products you believe are in violation, visit investguam.com or call 647-4332. 
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