Three companies contracted by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) for implementation of Pre-shipment Verification of Conformity to Standards (PVoC) programme have been urged to abide by business ethics so as to satisfy the government’s purpose of ensuring that no substandard products shall be imported into the local market.
Mwanza Regional Commissioner, Eng. Evarist Ndikilo made the call recently, when opening a PVoC pre-implementation stakeholders conference at Gold Crest Hotel in Mwanza, organized by TBS.
Eng. Ndikilo said Bureau Veritas of France, Intertek of the United Kingdom and SGS of Switzerland which have been contracted to carry out inspection abroad after winning the international PVoC tender should not, in any way, compromise the quality of products destined to Tanzania.
“We have given you a mandate to protect Tanzanians so we do not expect you to compromise matters of quality for products destined to the Tanzanian market,” he insisted.
The Regional Commissioner said the programme, if well performed, will curb the influx of substandard products hence protect peoples’ health and safety as well as the environment.
“Evidence shows that the countries which implement PVoC programmes have effectively protected consumer safety, health and environment. They have blocked unfair competition from substandard imported products as well as avoiding being turned into dumping grounds for substandard imported products. We thus highly expect the PVoC partner companies to do all the needful for the betterment of the country,” insisted the RC.
He said the importation of substandard goods affects the economy in different ways including loss of government revenue and high unemployment, as imported substandard products deny domestic industries the opportunity to expand production, while at the same time scaring off potential investors to establish their presence in Tanzania.
Earlier in her welcoming remarks, the TBS Director of Quality Management, Mrs. Kezia Mbwambo highlighted the challenges so far encountered during the implementation of destination inspection, including the presence of many unofficial entry points, congestion at ports and environmental pollution caused by destruction of substandard and counterfeit products already allowed entry into Tanzania. She said PVoC will eliminate all these problems.
She mentioned some of the countries which have successfully implemented PVoC programmes so far as Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Jordan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
PVoC is a conformity assessment process used to verify that, products to be imported into destination country are in conformity with the applicable national standards or approved international or foreign standards before shipment into the destination country.