The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has opened a national standard laboratory for goods entering Liberia to be tested in line with international standard.
The laboratory, which costs over US$2 Million, has various compartments, including Metrology Lab to test tires, gasoline, fuel and zinc; Mass Calibration and Volume laboratories, among others.
With the functioning of the National Standard Lab, substandard goods entering the country are expected to reduce as commodities such as flour, rice, oil and water will be tested before sale.
Commerce Minister Axel Addy said the laboratory, which he described as one of the best in Africa will shortly be accredited by International Standard Organization.
With the functioning of the lab, Liberia will now set a standard for the quality of goods being imported by investors or business people. Minister Addy disclosed that the lab needs over US$700,000 to be functional and maintained.
He noted that the lab will help reduce the level of substandard goods on the market, adding "The lab is helpful to our country because [we] will now be able to test every goods entering our country, and when we are accredited by the ISOs, we will begin to set up standards that importers will follow before any goods enter Liberia."
The Commerce Minister spoke Wednesday when he and a team of lawmakers and staff of the Commerce Ministry toured facilities of the lab in the compound of the Ministry of Public Works. He however disclosed that in the absence of a lab, the ministry is currently working with BIVAC to regulate the importation of goods in Liberia.
He noted that Liberia is not a dumping ground for substandard goods. "Of course most people think this country is dumping ground; it is not; the lab will surely help to reduce this," he stressed.
Speaking on behalf of the team of lawmakers, including the Chairman of the House Committee on Commerce, Montserrado County District #2 Representative Sakou Kanneh, said the lawmakers need to put hands around the Commerce Ministry by supporting the Ministry's budget.
He noted that he is convinced that the lab will be a help to the entire country and not only the business community.