Namibia: Strict Regulations for Sanitiser Importers

IMPORTERS of hand sanitisers are expected to show an approval document from the Namibia Standards Institution to be able to supply the product locally.

This approval, which should be obtained prior to shipment is an attestation of conformity from the NSI.

Manager of corporate communications and marketing Mutonga Matali said this in response to questions from The Namibian.

According to the spokesperson, the above would be a declaration attesting that the products have been manufactured in accordance with the provisions of the regulations in the country of origin.

Matali told The Namibian that the NSI had signed a memorandum of understanding with the finance ministry's customs and excise department for effective border control mechanisms.

"The MoU is to support the NSI's necessary controls at various ports of entry. This document must be presented at point of entry in Namibia for the smooth clearance of consignments," he said.

SANITISER INSPECTIONS

Meanwhile, the standards institution is set to conduct market inspections to verify whether the hand sanitisers used as a 'hand rub' are registered and approved by the institution.

The spokesperson added that the inspections would also seek to verify whether the products continue to perform as expected for the remainder of their shelf life.

"The schedule for market surveillance has been finalised and we will be conducting field inspections in due course," Matali said.

He added that during field inspections, manufacturers, distributors, and importers are expected to show the NSI inspectors the registration, approval documents and test reports or certificates of analysis attesting to the volume of alcohol present in the sanitisers.

Additionally, they would also need to show documentation on the alcohol concentration for every batch on the shelf for consumers.

"Samples will be collected for testing and analysis to confirm compliance. Failure to provide such documents will be regarded as an indication that the product has not been subjected to compliance evaluation by the NSI, and therefore in violation with the provisions of the regulation and the supplier will be liable to a fine," the NSI spokesperson said.

Once the tested products fail to meet specifications, such products will be confiscated by the state for destruction at own costs, Matali added.

"Applicable offences and penalties shall apply," he told The Namibian.

Matali further said manufacturers and distributors who have not applied for registration and approval should urgently do so.

"This is because products that fall within the scope of these regulations will be seized to ensure that the nation is protected against substandard products," he stressed.

He further said manufacturers, distributors and importers are urged to familiarise themselves with the provisions of the regulations by the NSI.

Touching on the standards for masks, Matali noted that manufacturers and importers of masks are not required to comply with evaluations by the institution, but they are advised and encouraged to evaluate their products against the relevant standards set out by the government in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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