TBS TO INTRODUCE IMPORT STANDARDIZATION MARK

Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) will soon introduce the Import Standardization Mark (ISM) that will enable easy identification of certified imported goods in the market.

This was revealed recently by the TBS Acting Director General, Mr. Joseph Masikitiko during a ceremony to grant licences to manufacturers whose products have met standards requirements, which took place at TBS headquarters in Dar es Salaam.

Mr. Masikitiko said TBS will soon start to mark all products entering the country in order to enable the consumers identify them more easily.

For the past two years TBS has been implementing the Pre-Shipment Verification of Conformity to Standards (PVoC) programme, under which goods are supposed to be inspected from countries of origin before being shipped to Tanzania.

Mr. Masikitiko said currently PVoC partners are instructed to issue Certificates of Conformity (CoC) which must accompany the consignments for authentication, but with the new arrangement all certified imported goods with CoC will be labelled for the consumers to easily distinguish them from the uncertified ones. He added that all imported products will have to bear the import standardization mark from TBS regardless of the fact that they already have such marks from countries of origin.

He elaborated that the mark will answer an outcry by the local business community on unfair competition when quality goods are forced to compete with substandard ones normally sold at take-away prices.

During the occasion, 60 companies received their standards mark licences, licence extension and tested product certificates. This showed that the trend for standards mark licences has increased in the last two years, from 200 in 2012 to 300 last year while CoCs have also increased from 5,000 in 2012 to 6,000 last year.

“Despite a number of challenges TBS is still facing in discharging its functions, available resources have been deployed to ensure the country is free of substandard products,” Mr. Masikitiko added.

He said the Bureau has increased market surveillance campaigns for local manufacturers and that a number of inferior products have been destroyed while some industries have been closed down until they worked on the identified shortcomings, adding, “The campaign is on-going.”

Meanwhile, manufacturers asked TBS to extend its campaign countrywide since there are still many local and foreign businesses ignoring quality restrictions and conditions.