Government reiterates support for PVoC programme

The Government has reiterated its support for Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS)’s programme to verify the quality and safety of products in countries of origin before they are imported to Tanzania.

The government’s stand was given by the Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade, Hon. Lazaro Nyalandu (MP) when opening a pre-implementation conference on the Pre-shipment Verification of Conformity to Standards (PVoC) programme for products to be imported into Tanzania,  scheduled to start early next year. The conference was held at the Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel, on Monday, December 12, 2011.

“The government has its full support on the launching of PVoC, as the programme will curb the influx of substandard and counterfeit products in the local market and save the country from becoming a dumping place for imported substandard and counterfeit goods,” said Hon. Nyalandu.

The Deputy Minister said the government’s vision is to see Tanzania and especially Dar es Salaam become a hub for regional business and an export centre for landlocked neighbouring countries, adding that PVoC will help the realization of this vision, as there would never be excellence in business without products quality.

Nyalandu also expressed optimism that the three companies which will partner with TBS in the implementation of the programme will use their good experience in ensuring that goods destined to Tanzania are of the required quality.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the TBS Director General, Mr. Charles Ekelege said the objectives of PVoC are to ensure that goods comply with relevant standards before shipment to protect public health, consumer safety and the environment.  He mentioned other objectives as enhancing efficiency in the clearance of goods hence facilitating trade, and protecting local industries from unfair competition from substandard imports.

Mr. Ekelege said the programme will be launched on February 1, 2012 and that the first impacts of the programme will be felt after at least three months of implementation. He, however, insisted that TBS will carry on with destination inspection for monitoring purposes.

During the conference which drew more than 70 participants from the business community and regulatory authorities, Mr. Ekelege presented a paper on PVoC, highlighting its objectives, operationalization and benefits. The participants also heard on the experience of PVoC implementation from the three partner companies, namely Bureau Veritas, Intertek and SGS.