Sub-standard imports to be confiscated

Government is working on modalities to prevent the flood of sub-standard goods into the country. The industry ministry is set to establish a regulatory body to monitor the safety and environmental standards of all imports, says Sebastian Zuze, Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) quality assurance director.

Sebastian Zuze: this country is the dumping ground for a lot of sub-standard goods.
Sebastian Zuze: this country is the dumping ground for a lot of sub-standard goods.

The establishment of the National Quality Standards Regulatory Authority would see all sub-standard goods confiscated, he said.

The flood of imported products from countries such as China, South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana has seen Zimbabwe becoming a net importer of goods, recording a trade deficit of $3.6 billion in 2012 after importing goods worth $7.48 billion against exports of $3.8 billion, according to the finance ministry.

Zuze said SAZ would continue to play its role in certifying companies for standards while the regulatory authority would ensure that importers and manufacturers import and manufacture standard goods and services.

He said Zimbabwe was the dumping ground for a lot of sub-standard goods – including electrical gadgets, tyres, sanitary pads, clothes and foodstuffs.

In a move aimed at reducing the influx of counterfeit products on the market, SAZ this year embarked on a campaign aimed at speeding up the crafting of legislation to compel the compulsory testing of products for quality based on minimum standards.

Zuze said importers would be required to have a certificate that their imports conformed to the standards.

“Your goods will be tested to establish whether they are safe and do not impact negatively on the health of consumers or the environment,” said Zuze, adding that the regulatory body would have prosecuting authority.

Four years have passed before the adoption of the Consumer Protection Draft Bill into law, which is expected to deal with substandard goods flooding Zimbabwe and unfair prices.

Paddington Mupfururirwa, the Sales and Marketing manager for Farai Family Products, one of the few local companies manufacturing sanitary ware, said dumping of sanitary pads from other countries was rife.

“Current policy encourages the importation of sanitary wear because the duty rates for machines and raw materials is very expensive,” said Mupfururirwa, adding that this is the reason why at least four companies involved in the manufacturing of sanitary wear had shut down over the past few years.

He called on the government to enact policies that protected local manufacturers.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *