Sat, Jun 17, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Egg vendors to face fines

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Egg vendors who fail to place disposable layers inside plastic containers are to face fines of up to NT$150,000 starting this month, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said on Tuesday.

The legislature on Dec. 24, 2014, passed an amendment to the Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Disease (動物傳染病防治條例) stipulating that fresh eggs must be sold in disposable containers or packaging materials.

After a two-year adjustment period, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine started to implement the policy in December last year and is to begin issuing fines on June 26.

The bureau has been urging the vendors to use disposable cartons since the policy’s implementation, but vendors were confused about whether plastic containers could be used as well, bureau director-general Huang Tze-chung said.

As of the end of last month, the bureau has examined containers from 590 egg vendors, 528 of which were given exhortation tickets for not using disposable materials, the bureau’s Animal Quarantine Division chief Peng Ming-hsing (彭明興) said.

Egg vendors planned to stage a protest in Taipei in April, but the bureau reached a deal with them, Huang said.

Plastic containers can be reused after washing, but vendors must insert a bottom layer, he said, adding that the layer should be made of a disposable material like corrugated paper.

In response to media criticism that the council has fluctuated on the policy’s implementation, Huang said the policy has not changed over the past six months, adding that the amendment was rushed and was not clear.

“Plastic containers have been used for decades to store eggs and it is difficult to change the habit with a two-sentence amendment,” he said.

Huang said he hopes the act will be further amended.

Vendors who do not comply will face fines between NT$30,000 and NT$150,000, he said, adding that first-time violators will be given an adjustment period of three to six months.

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