THE government will start allocating funds for development expenditure to the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) to ensure sustainability of its operations including opening offices at all border posts countrywide.
The move has responded to a long time outcry by the standards body, which has been appealing for the full government support to make the fight against sub-standard goods in the local market a permanent agenda unlike the present when it only received little support.
Speaking during the opening of the TBS office in the City Centre, the Minister for Industries and Trade, Dr Abdallah Kigoda, said unlike the past the government will now start disbursing development funds to the Bureau to strengthen its operations.
"My Ministry will start allocating development funds to enable you open Zonal offices and I expect you will be able to open offices in Mwanza, Arusha and Mbeya with the same mission to bring service closer to customers and people at large," he said. The minister urged TBS to work harder to meet government and public expectations on its objectives, adding opening such offices will even contribute to decrease of bureaucracies that importers and other business partners are experiencing in the course of bringing goods from overseas.
However, the minister said he was still collecting more views on the implementation of overseas goods inspection system in relation to Destination Inspection system (DI) since there are mixed opinions on which system was more appropriate in dealing with sub-standard products. But despite gathering more opinions on the two systems, the minister was of the view that TBS continue with the Pre-Shipment Verification of Conformity to Standards (PVoC) system which so far proved effective in other countries using it.
Dr Kigoda challenged TBS to make sure Inspection and Quality Assurance departments are strong enough to firmly undertake their functions, insisting it is high time the chorus on inferior and sub-standard products come to an end. "I challenge you to carry out sustainable surveillances and inspections in shops and markets and take action as soon as you encounter sub-standard products by imposing heavy fines and even destroying them we must stop unfair competition and promote trade facilitation," he noted.
On his part, the TBS Acting Director General, Mr Leandri Kinabo, told the 'Daily News' that since PVoC system started in February, this year more than 7,000 Certificate of Conformity (CoC) have been issued to importers by implementing partners which he said was a good development.
Mr Kinabo added the bureau was also prepared to gather statistics of goods that have been rejected including their type and value and was optimistic introduction of outreach centres will speed up operations.