Nova Scotia Announces New Gift Card Regulations

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations (to March 31, 2014)

December 3, 2009 11:55 AM

Effective Feb. 1, 2010, the province will ban expiry dates and fees on gift cards.

"Consumers in Nova Scotia deserve to get the full value of the gift cards they buy, regardless of when they purchase them," said Ramona Jennex, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. "These regulations protect consumers by banning expiry dates and fees."

Nova Scotia's marketplace offers two types of gift cards, those for a specific good or service such as a massage or a hotel stay, and those with an associated dollar value.

Gift cards with an associated dollar value purchased before Feb. 1, 2010, but are to expire after that date, are included in the new regulations and will no longer have an expiry date.

"We are doing this to add further protection for consumers who purchase these types of cards over the holiday season," said Ms. Jennex.

Gift cards for goods and services purchased before Feb. 1, 2010, however, will expire as scheduled because the value of the goods and services increase over time.

Other major features of the regulations include:
-- no fees, such as inactivity fees, can be charged except for customizing or replacement fees
-- refund policy information, where applicable, and contact information must be included with cards

"The regulations are being put into place in February to provide the retail sector with time to make the necessary changes to their systems," said Ms. Jennex.

The new gift card regulations are similar to regulations in many other provinces in Canada.

For more information about the new regulations, visit www.novascotiagiftcards.ca or call 1-800-670-4357.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Effective February 1st, 2010, the province will ban expiry

dates and fees on gift cards.

     Fees, except for customization or replacement fees will be

banned and cards must include information on refund policy and

contact information.

     Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister Ramona

Jennex says Nova Scotia consumers deserve to get the full value

of what they paid for, regardless of when it was purchased, and

these regulations will make sure this happens.

     The regulations begin in February to give the retail sector

time to changes systems.

     For more information about the regulations, visit W-W-W dot

nova scotia gift cards dot C-A or call 1-800-670-4357.

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Media Contact: Angel Limgenco
              Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
              902-722-1461
              E-mail: limgenaa@gov.ns.ca