Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

19 August 2014

Tanzania: Local Importers to Blame for Fake Chinese Products

Beijing, China — TANZANIA'S possibility of reversing from imports of cheap and counterfeit goods from China lays on changing the behaviour of the way local traders are doing business.

The traders, mostly owning briefcase companies, are to blame for the cheap imports and counterfeit goods from China.

The 'Daily News' has established here that factories in China are producing according to the various standards of final destinations. However, there are backyard manufacturers famous for counterfeit products.

There are different level of standards for products that suit US, European, Russia and Africa markets. But, some traders, mostly from Africa, go for cheap stuff.

They look for some unscrupulous manufacturers and make order for cheap products at the expense of quality. Tianjin Able Import and Export Trading Company Mr Stephen Ketu said briefcase company traders have no ability to buy in bulk thus ending collecting their merchandises at backyard factories.

"China factories produce quality goods, and even according to buyer's specification but most these companies do not have the ability to order a container full of goods," Mr Ketu said.

Mr Ketu, a Ghanaian, has been in import and export business for 16 years, operating from Beijing and Tianjian serving a number of clients from Africa.

"China produce for the first world why fake are clogging Africa? Is it because traders are buying goods sometime suitable for local markets and not Africa?" he queered.

According to him, the best practice is for traders to join hands and put together their orders and be able to procure in bulk so that they have the ability to control quality and price as well.

China's Ministry of Commerce, Department of West Asian and African Affairs, Deputy Director, Mr Chen Hao said Beijing observes a zero tolerance on illegal and counterfeit exports to Tanzania in safeguarding consumers' right. "There are some problems, we have to admit and face it," Mr Chen said earlier.

"A small number of people are manufacturing substandard and illegal products for export and some are sold at China market as well."

In order to guarantee quality of goods, he said, in 2012 and 2013 his ministry organised special campaigns to crack-down and root-out illegal and substandard exports of goods from China to Africa. This involved multiple measures, such as prior-to-shipping quality examination for industrial products that were destined to Africa.

The campaigns involved the participation of the ministry of commerce, bureau of quality inspection, customs administration and local governments.

The campaign, he said, should not be for China alone but also for African states to improve their point of entry inspections on quality and standards. He said a group of unethical traders should not left to take consumers for a ride by supplying them cheap and substandard goods shipped from China.

"This should be the responsibility for both China and Africa as most African countries have representatives in Guangzhou and Yiwu. Let's regulate the market by the rule of the marker," he said.

Early this year China ambassador to Tanzania said owners of companies operating in the country that are found to be imported substandard goods would not be given visa to China as measures to fight the vice.

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