Tanzania Dairy Board confiscates smuggled milk products

TANZANIA – The Tanzania Dairy Board (TDB), the country’s dairy industry watch dog has withdrawn from the market different counterfeit and unlicensed milk products that have been smuggled into the country from varied countries by some unscrupulous traders.

They also seized expired milk products at various retail outlets and supermarkets within the country’s capital, Dodoma.

The Registrar of Tanzania Dairy Board (TDB), Dr George Msalya, named some of the illegally imported milk in question as Nura, KCC, Brookside, Aptamil, NIDO Forti Croissance, Cow & Gate, and sma PRO, among others.

"The government has allowed importation of milk products from outside the country for different reasonable purposes, but the milk to be imported must be of the needed quality and standards, and the traders must abide by the set regulations and procedures."

Dr. George Msalya, Registrar, Tanzania Dairy Board Tweet

According to the Daily News, He declared that the board would not condone unpatriotic traders who have turned the country into a dumpsite for substandard milk products from abroad.

Importation and selling of substandard and unlicensed milk products have multiple health risks for the consumers, and apart from that, the move also weakens the country’s economy since the importers are running away from paying deserved taxes to the government.

Dr Msalya said consistent with regulations, traders who are found in possession of unwanted milk products will be slapped with a fine of between 2.5m (US$ 1078.83) and 5m (US$ 2157.66) as well as other legal actions.

He noted that besides imposing defaulters with the said fines, the board is also educating them on the correct procedures for milk importation, which among others include seeking approval from the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS).

As listed by the board, the countries from which the substandard milk products in question are often smuggled from are South Africa, Germany, Netherland, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, USA, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates.

The registrar called on the traders and other investors to consult the TDB and other relevant authorities in case of importation of milk to not only avoid regulatory battles but also to safeguard consumer safety.

Impounded sugar

Meanwhile, Police in Moroto have arrested the officer-in-charge of criminal investigations in the district for allegedly releasing confiscated sugar.

Police and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) officials impounded 496 bags of sugar that were being repackaged as Kenyan sugar, in the previous month.

The culprits fled but police seized the sugar as they engaged Interpol, Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and URA officials.

Mr. Micheal Longole, the Karamoja Sub-region police spokesperson, said no one is above the law. He strongly condemned the officer’s act citing the successful raid was through concerted efforts from all stakeholders hence release of the impounded sugar should have involved all of them.

He highlighted that there was no report on the investigations that authorized the release of the consignment.

Mr Longole informed that the officer would appear in court to answer charges of disobedience to lawful orders, corruption and negligent on duty.

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