TANZANIA – Marking of all imported goods which was scheduled to commence in 2014 now will be carried out this year, the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has said.

Speaking to in an interview with The Guardian, the TBS Principal Public Relations Officer, Roida Andusambile, said the work would be done after recruiting new staff.

“We have applied for a permit from the government to recruit 500 workers during this financial year ending June 2015,” she said.

She said once approved, some of the new staff would be assigned to carry out the job countrywide later on this year.

According to her, TBS intention is to see all imported goods are stamp marked with a government certification logo that will verify their standards and safety.

For his part, the Bureau’s Acting Director General Joseph Masikitiko, was quoted by this paper as saying the import standardisation mark (ISM) is ready and they have already trained some staff to handle the implementation.

He explained that the ultimate goal of the ISM is to protect the consumer since substandard goods pose great health and safety risks to the consumers.

Masikitiko went on to explain that the substandard and counterfeit products also hurt local industries because they pose unfair competition against genuine products.

“Cheap counterfeit imports hurt local industries because they are sold at lower prices compared to the genuine products,” he said.

“We are in the final stage of implementation, all imported products will be required to bear the import standardisation mark from TBS regardless of the fact that they may already have similar standard marks from their country of origin,” he said.

In another development, Acting Director General Masikitiko announced TBS plans to open zonal offices in Mwanza and Arusha regions later this year.

“We want to serve more people and bring our services closer to their areas of work,” he said.

“The new offices will ease customers’ access to our services … most of them are now compelled to travel to Dar es Salaam and that adds to their operation expenses which deters many from complying,” he said.

“We will also open more border offices later this year at Tunduma in Mbeya Region, Kasumulu and Mtukula in Kagera Region,” he went on to announce.

The bureau has also been working on a special campaign to mobilise small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) to get standard certification for their products so as to ensure they meet required qualities which in turn will improve their access to both local and international markets.

Since 2008, over 230 SMEs have certified their products free of charge but much remains to be done since it is estimated that there Tanzania has an estimated 800,000 SMEs operating in various economic sectors.

April 16, 2015; http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=79299

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