Unbranded LPG cylinder retailers given 3 years to comply with PNS

Published May 25, 2022, 1:19 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Retailers of unbranded liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or generic cylinders have been granted three years to comply with the Philippine National Standards (PNS) and safety certifications being enforced by the Department of Trade and Industry.

According to Atty. Rino Abad, director of the Oil Industry Management Bureau of the Department of Energy (OIMB-DOE), concerned agencies as instituted in the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the LPG Regulation Act (Republic Act 11592) will have to carry out the re-certification process within a period of three years, so industry players will be given enough leeway to comply with the policy.

“Under the law, the players are given 3-year compliance period. So all players with generic or unbranded cylinders, they will need to undergo re-certification. And their LPG cylinders, in particular, will have to go through re-qualification…meaning, it will need new evaluation by the DTI, and this time, a PS (Philippine Standard) quality/safety mark or ICC mark will already be carved into their cylinders,” he stressed.

Abad added “only those cylinders that will pass re-qualification that will be given a PS or ICC mark,” and that in turn, will serve as their go-signal to sell these LPG products to the consumers.

The DOE is the lead agency overseeing the LPG sector, but product quality is certified by the trade and industry department before these are marketed to the end-users.

“That will be an amnesty of three years. So, if some players have been hiding these unbranded cylinders, they can already bring these out for the re-certification of the DTI – that will be part of the LPG cylinder improvement program prescribed under the law,” the DOE official explained.

As defined, generic LPG cylinders are those that are already in market circulation prior to the effectivity of the LPG Regulation Law, and these typically bear “no trademark or trade name embossed, engraved or other permanently indicated” in the LPG tanks.

Section 32 (d) of the law specified that “a generic LPG cylinder or cylinder without a trademark owner shall first be requalified and then permanently marked with the trademark or trade name of the trademark owner who was last in possession of the LPG cylinder, and such trademark owner shall be the owner of the LPG cylinder exercising such rights and obligations.”

Abad narrated that when the LPG law was still under deliberations, the intent of the PS or ICC marking for LPG cylinders had been reckoned on the DTI certification being done on Christmas lights; “that if these items are being certified for safety, then it’s all the more that such shall be done for LPG cylinders, to ensure the safe use of these products by the consumers.”

“That will be a major improvement for the LPG sector. When an industry player already complied with the DTI re-certification, the cylinders will be assigned with serial numbers – and the DTI will give us a copy at the DOE for the generic cylinders that were already provided with PS markings,” Abad noted.

The DTI re-certification though shall not cover LPG cylinders that have been illegally imported; as well as those that have been rendered “defective, injurious, unsafe and dangerous” to be used by consumers.

The energy official further stated that when the energy department undertakes spot checks on LPG products being sold to consumers, “when we see the PS mark, we are already assured that the product already went through DTI’s safety certification.”