Nova Scotia to ban expiry dates and fees for gift cards on Feb. 1

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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HALIFAX - Nova Scotia is finally banning expiry dates on gift cards effective Feb. 1, which will be more than two years after passing legislation for the measure.
The new rules will apply to gift cards with an associated dollar value, along with those for a specific good or service.
Any dollar-value gift cards now out there with an expiry date after Feb. 1 will no longer expire.
However, gift cards for a good or service that were bought before Feb. 1 will end as scheduled because retailers need time to change their systems, Service Nova Scotia Minister Ramona Jennex said after a cabinet meeting Thursday.
Her department also noted that the cost of goods and services can change over time.
Other new rules include disclosing all gift card rules, either on the card or in writing at the time of purchase, and barring retailers from charging fees, except for customizing or replacing the cards.
Jennex said other provinces have similar rules and it's good news they'll be in place soon here.
"It's consumer protection at its finest," she said. "Many retailers are already making sure that their gift cards do not have expiry dates."
The ban on gift card expiry dates is in legislation that New Democrat Percy Paris, now a cabinet minister, brought to Province House in November 2007 while the Conservatives had a minority government.
Members of the legislature passed the bill in December that year.
The Retail Council of Canada has said it supports a ban on expiry dates and would like to see all provinces have the same rules to minimize confusion for consumers and retailers.
More information on the new regulations is available at www.novascotiagiftcards.ca, or by calling 1-800-670-4357.

Organizations: Province House, Conservatives, Retail Council of Canada

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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