The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) is considering introducing QR code alongside its logo to help ensure quality and authenticity of consumer products, a top official has said.
"We're planning to introduce QR code on products' packages and the certification so consumers can check whether manufacturers' BSTI licence is original…," said BSTI director general Dr Md Nazrul Anwar.
At present, anybody can forge BSTI logo and use it on packaging without legitimate licence received from the watchdog, he explained.
Now, a consumer cannot check genuineness instantly.
"We want to implement the plant as per our short-term goal to widen BSTI services," Mr Anwar, who is an additional secretary to the government, told the FE.
A QR or quick response code is a type of matrix label that contains information on the item to which it is attached.
Devices like smartphone can show the information stored in the code and help connect to a server via internet to identify the authenticity of manufacturers' licence.
The code is used for various purposes, including prevention of fake products, faster digital financial transaction and facilitating digital services.
As per the plan, the logo will also be attached to the manufacturers' certification, said Mr Anwar who took over the responsibility in June this year.
The assessment work is currently in progress, said Mr Nazrul, adding: "We want to introduce the QR code within this ongoing Mujib Year."
Mujib Year, marking the centennial birth anniversary of Bangladesh's founding leader of the country Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, will conclude on March 26, 2021.
According to the existing law, a manufacturer must receive licence certification from the BSTI to use the logo on products' packages.
However, many goods in the market are often found using the fake BSTI logo, said an official of the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP).
"The use of BSTI logo without getting licence from the government authorities concerned is a punishable offence," he uttered.
Presently, it is not possible to justify instantly whether the logo is used legally, the official cited.
The government watchdogs, including the DNCRP and the BSTI, often detect consumer rights violations by manufacturers and traders for using the fake logo.
As per data available with the BSTI, its official on October 08 fined a food and beverage company Tk 25,000 for using fake BSTI logo.
A baker in the capital's Demra area was fined Tk 1,00,000 for the same offence last month.