24 February 2014

Tanzania: China Gets Tougher On Substandard Goods

CHINA has announced it will stop issuing visas to all Tanzanian business persons who will be confirmed to be importing substandard products from the giant Asian country.

The ambassador of China to Tanzania, Dr Lu Youqing, said during an interview with one local TV station recently that the measure will soon be taken against people who abuse directives on importation specifications by going for inferior quality products from China.

According to Dr Youqing, China has responded to the long-standing outcry by Tanzanians that the Asian country is one of the major destinations mostly preferred by local importers to order and ship substandard goods into East Africa region particularly Tanzania.

"We have chosen to impose stricter measures to all dealers and manufacturers of inferior products in China and will now extend the same to foreign countries like Tanzania by denying visas to unethical businessmen involved in this trade," Dr Youqing reported.

He noted that China has already introduced heavy penalties to its companies caught producing inferior products and called on Tanzania authorities to do the same, including collecting evidences of all Chinese made substandard goods currently sold in the local market for more action.

On that score, the envoy challenged the Tanzanian media to conduct specialised research on the problem to assist the country on specific legal action set for culprits abusing government directives on the illegal trade.

Dr Youqing admitted there were a number of notorious manufacturers in China involved in the production of fake and substandard goods, adding that his government was "fighting them left, right and centre so as to keep its good image in international trade".

Tanzania has already taken several steps in combating huge importation of inferior products causing billions of losses in the country's local economy as well as other consequences to the small manufacturers and consumers.

One of the measures is the establishment of the system where goods are inspected and verified in the countries of origin now working in some Asian and European countries on behalf of the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS).

TBS Acting Director General Mr Joseph Masikitiko told the 'Daily News' that the government was now in the final stages of reviewing the performance of the companies conducting goods inspection on behalf of the bureau.

"Of late we have come to realise that some of the companies are not performing well, which gives a loophole for some inferior products to keep finding their way into the country," he explained.

However, the goods inspection system, Pre-shipment Verification of Conformity to Standards (PVoC), which started about two years ago, has been reported to do well in some other countries like Kenya.

Three companies were contracted to implement the system with instructions to reject all products failing to conform to the given local and international standards before entry into Tanzania or allow entry and issue Certificate of Conformity (CoC) to goods meeting the standards.

The implementation partners are Bureau Veritas of France, SGS of Switzerland and Intertek of United Kingdom.

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