The year 2010 has been a landmark year for Tanzania Bureau of Standards in standardization and quality assurance activities.
The Bureau has formulated 120 national standards in various fields, issued 157 standards mark licences for various products and visited 443 industries in Mainland Tanzania, most of them belonging to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
This was revealed recently by TBS Director General, Mr. Charles Ekelege, during a grant of licences ceremony held at TBS headquarters in Dar es Salaam, adding that in total, since its establishment in 1975, the Bureau has managed to issue 1156 standards mark licences and to formulate 1601 national standards in different fields.
Mr. Ekelege said in the year 2010, the Bureau has also managed to maintain the accreditation status of the four accredited laboratories, namely Metrology, Microbiology, Chemistry and Textile (Condom Testing), while at the same time carrying on with efforts to ensure that all the remaining laboratories are finally accredited.
However, the DG said the Bureau still has challenges to face, the biggest being to ensure that all products in the local market meet quality requirements, irrespective of whether they are locally produced or imported.
On local products, Mr. Ekelege said the Bureau will enhance training for entrepreneurs on standardization, and also increase public awareness on quality, to the end that the public will shun uncertified products. On imported products, he said the Bureau will soon launch the Pre-shipment Verification of Conformity to Standards (PVOC) programme, which will ensure that all products are tested and verified in their countries of origin before shipment to Tanzania.
During the ceremony, 14 manufacturers were granted with licences to use the standards mark of quality on their certified products. One manufacturer was given a licence extension and one was granted with a quality management system certificate against ISO 9001:2008, Quality management systems - Requirements.
The certified products included bread, flour, cheese, rice, seed oil, and fruit wine, alcoholic drinks, power cables, plastic carrier bags, registration number plates and steel bars.
Mr. Ekelege urged the manufacturers who received licences to abide by the standards against which their products have been certified and never misuse the `tbs’ mark of quality. He also challenged them to make mass production as now they have the key to the international market.