30 January 2013

Tanzania: Pre-Shipment Verification Improves Import Standards

Dodoma — ENACTMENT of the Pre-Shipment Verification of Conformity to Standards Act of 2009 which came in effect in February, 2012 has significantly reduced importation of sub-standard products in the country and the Tanzania Bureau of Standard (TBS) has expanded its capacity to inspect goods.

Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade, Gregory Teu informed the National Assembly in Dodoma that despite the achievements, unscrupulous traders who compromise quality of imported goods remain the biggest challenge. "After having the law in place it has greatly reduced congestion at the Dar es Salaam port for goods awaiting inspection.

It has also enhanced control of sub-standard goods to make sure that they don't flood the local markets. Inspection by TBS before importation of goods has been possible under the arrangement." Teo explained while responding to a question by Mr Khatibu Said Haji (Konde-CUF).

The MP had demanded clarification on the achievements recorded since introduction of the new law on preinspection of goods and which other countries have similar procedures. The minister named countries like Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia and Nigeria among 188 countries with a similar arrangement that has enabled control on low-quality trade to rid the countries of becoming dump sites for knock offs and low quality goods.

It was further revealed that until November 2012 - a total of 16,946 goods were issued with conformity to standard certificates showing that the level of monitoring has improved with empirical data.

However, the minister went on record about other challenges such as a myriad of unofficial entry points popularly known as 'panya' routes through which goods are smuggled into the country. Goods such as television sets, radios and other electronic gadgets have been smuggled in the country over the years prior to the enacted of the law.

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