TBS Urged to Discipline Offending Government Bodies

The government has directed the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) to take action against government institutions which do not comply with set standards in their activities.

The government has directed the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) to take action against government institutions which do not comply with set standards in their activities.

Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade Hon. Lazaro Nyalandu issued the directive recently during familiarization tour of TBS premises in Dar es Salaam.

Nyalandu said all the Government departments are required to follow required standards at their workplace as according to the TBS Act of 2009, the bureau has been vested with powers to prosecute, confiscate or destroy any product which does not meet required standards.

“We have witnessed a lot of things, especially those belonging to Government bodies, which do not meet required standards and no action has been taken against them,” he said.
In view of that, he called on TBS to revisit all its responsibilities and draw attention to matters that needed reviews to enable the implementation of its duties accordingly.

Giving an example, Nyalandu said most road humps on major roads do not have specific standards, hence cause accidents and death.

“There are some road humps which are bigger to turn over a speeding motor vehicle while others are not as big. TBS should start taking action so as to reduce the number of accidents” he stated.
He also added that economic activities in the country are increasing fast, hence the need to make sure that the bureau controls the importation of substandard goods at border posts.

Nyalandu assured that the government would continue to provide support and look into the possibility of increasing budget for the bureau.

Speaking earlier, TBS Director General Charles Ekelege said the bureau would not hesitate to take action against any person or organization which violates the TBS Act.

He said in a move to ensure that there is no substandard goods manufactured locally or imported the bureau will open more offices at border posts.

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.