TANZANIA – At least 20 tonnes of substandard goods worth TZs 400,000,000 (US$171 thousand) have been seized and burned by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) in the Eastern Zone.

Speaking during the exercise, TBS Acting Manager- Eastern Zone, Mr. Francis Mapunda, claimed that the substandard products, including expired food items, had been seized by TBS inspectors during their operations in the Dar es Salaam, Coast, and Morogoro regions and were being kept in market stores ready to be sold, which is against the law.

As required by the statute of 2009, he observed that the damaged goods did not meet the requisite country’s TBS quality standards.

“These products and the imported ones that have not followed the country’s procedure, are both seized and destroyed since they have not met the required standards,” Mr. Mapunda said.

He further urged local traders to avoid offering goods that did not adhere to the necessary standards, claiming that inspectors were always on the job.

“We urge traders to stop selling products that do not meet with the TBS quality standards, banned and expired products. Our inspectors are ensuring that products in the market have met the standards,” he added

Mr. Mapunda also advised the traders not to engage in selling such products because they will plunge them into losses when they are destroyed. He also added that TBS aims at boosting local businesses but we insist that the entrepreneurs do legal businesses to avoid losses when they are caught and destroyed.

“Others might have taken loans from the banks… we shall not consider it, once we get these products, we shall immediately destroy them,” he added

Mr. Aron Nzara, a TBS Senior Inspector in the Eastern Zone, stated that utilizing items that are prohibited can result in cancer and other health issues, as well as economic damage.

Additionally, he advised the general population to ensure that they buy products from markets and to check the expiration date.

TBS instructed to follow regulations during products verification

In the meantime, TBS has been told to follow the law in carrying out their duties of goods verification in order to prevent the nation from turning into a dump for substandard goods.

The TBS Chairman, Prof. Athuman Chande, made the comments when the board members visited the workplaces in the Northern Zone regions, including Tanga, Kilimanjaro, and Arusha, to sensitize employees to abide by national rules on quality and standards.

“We have to make sure that we inspect both local and imported products accordingly as the laws instruct us, especially to these places where the products are frequently passing,” Prof. Chande said.

In order to verify the quality of goods at the border, he said, they extended their tour up to Tarakea in the Rombo District, vowing to handle challenges such as improving the office premises to support effective performance.

“Other organizations have places where their workers can access services that may hinder them to perform well… so we must make the workplaces good and reliable to enhance workers’ efficiency,” he added.

In addition, Mr. Chande stated that TBS intends to hire additional personnel in order to ensure good performance, which will aid TBS in better fulfilling its commitments to ensure the manufacture of high-quality goods in the nation.

“TBS has a shortage of workers but we are sure that the bureau will hire others. The board will pay a visit at the working places to collect ideas and to hear the challenges facing our workers,” he said.

On his part, TBS’s Director of Quality Management, Mr. Lazaro Msasalaga, speaking on behalf of the General Director, Dr. Athuman Ngenya, said that the imported goods are still being inspected using two different systems, such as Pre-export Verification of Conformity (PVoC), in which TBS enlists the help of an outside agency to check various goods before they enter the nation.

“PVoC programme helps in measuring and identifying the number of products that have been restricted to be exported. Every agent placed by the TBS is required to give the information about the number of cargo been certified for meeting the required standards, and the cargo that failed to abide by the standard,” Mr. Msasalaga said.

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