TANZANIA – The Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has announced that it is finalizing regulations that will assist food product importers in understanding what is necessary before introducing goods into the local market.
“Sometimes you find that products contain a label that specifies that they are not for Tanzania’s market. You are therefore compelled to ask the importer to communicate with the manufacturer to provide answers to that,” the TBS’s Principal Food Inspector, Colleta Sarimbo, told journalists who visited the headquarters in Dar es Salaam at the weekend.
She noted that TBS has a process for putting product orders on its website, but added that the new regulations will give food importers and merchants greater opportunities.
Andalalisye Mwakyonde, the Export Products Inspector for TBS, stated that in order to ensure that the quality of goods manufactured and imported into the nation are those that can help protect the country’s economy and prevent losses for merchants.
According to him, TBS inspects products at the border and in ports to make sure they all adhere to safety and quality standards.
The regional office for the Bureau’s Northern zone recently stepped up efforts to remove counterfeit goods from the market and urged customers to carefully read the product information before purchasing.
Deogratius Ngatunga, the Acting Manager of TBS Northern, made the request in Tanga after seizing and destroying expired goods, including juice and cooking oil worth 1.5 million dollars (USD 643)
“Consumers are advised to read carefully the products information that contains manufacturing and expiry dates before buying or consuming to avoid foodborne diseases,” he said.
In addition, he advised people to report instances of fake and expired goods in the market by contacting the TBS customer service center.
He claimed that the action to seize and destroy expired products aims to remove fakes and poor-quality products from the market to protect consumers from foodborne illnesses.
The Bureau stated that it will not give up on gradually removing low-quality products from the market and that anyone found guilty will be brought to justice.
Mr. Ngatunga urged businesspeople to uphold honesty by making sure that products imported and sold in local marketplaces adhere to the necessary quality standards, including the dates of manufacture and expiration.
He highlighted that TBS would keep educating the public on how to spot products that are outlawed on the market.
“Business people should observe legal requirements on the conservation of products, ensuring that warehouses meet the required quality standards by obtaining TBS registration and certifications,” he added.
According to Mr. Ngatunga, the standard watchdog will keep an eye on the items sold in Tanzania to make sure they adhere to the necessary technical standards for environmental, health, and safety requirements as well as to ensure that fair trade principles are supported.