SOMALIA – The Somali government has intercepted an unknown quantity of substandard flour dumped at Mogadishu port after the Somali Bureau of Standards (SOBS) determined that the consignment did not meet the required conformity tests.

According to SOBS, its section in charge of conformity and implementation seized the consignments in several containers after they were found to be wet and containing high levels of moisture, rendering them unfit for consumption.

The national quality assurance agency is mandated to ensure product quality control and the safety of consumers.

The agency, responsible for standardization, metrology, and conformity assessment activities, among others, is in the process of establishing control positions at ports, airports, and other entry points in the country.

This comes after SOBS, in August of last year, issued a directive requiring importers to obtain certificates of conformity (CoC) before importing goods into the country, in a significant move to enhance the quality and safety of imported goods.

This proactive step was a partnership between SOBS and Bureau Veritas, a UK-based company specializing in safeguarding consumers against dangerous, substandard, or counterfeit goods through conformity verification, underscoring the commitment to raising import standards in Somalia.

The move was in alignment with global trade quality requirements aimed to ensure that products entering Somalia meet the necessary standards.

According to an official memo released by SOBS, all entities involved in the import business, including companies and individuals, were mandated to provide proof of conformity for their imported goods.

The Somali Bureau of Standards informs all companies, partners, traders (importers, international organizations, UN, and all humanitarian agencies), and the Somali community that imports various goods, from all ports, borders, as well as airports (country entry and exit points) must acquire the Certificate of Conformity (CoC),” the memo stated.

Effective from September 1, 2023, it was mandated that imports failing to meet the applicable requirements and not accompanied by the mandatory CoC would face penalties.

SOBS also introduced a Consignment-Based Conformity Assessment (CBCA) program. This program, implemented in exporting countries, verifies the compliance of products with relevant standards and approved specifications.

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