TANZANIA – Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) plans to remove unnecessary food and drug clearance procedures at the Dar es Salaam port to ease the burden of storage fees incurred by business people.

The authorities are seeking to enhance efficient business environment and address concerns from members who complained of unnecessary bureaucracy in cargo clearance at the port.

According to the Daily News, the authority held a meeting with officials from the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), Government Chief Laboratory Authority (GCLA), Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (TAFFA) in Dar es Salaam to make this effective.

Stakeholders were informed on procedures ought to be followed prior to clearance of food, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, herbal drugs and poisons.

“Many of our clients have been coming to TFDA offices with incomplete documents making it difficult to issue a green light for clearance of their consignments,” said TFDA acting Director General, Agness Kijo.

According to legislation, a person must have registered premises, registered products and possess an import permit of a specified product for him/her to be allowed to clear such consignments.

Under the new charter, the process of issuing import and export permits for registered food, medicines, cosmetics and medical devices, now takes a single day, while it took between two and five days previously.

It also outlines the responsibilities of TFDA which include complying with the required quality standards in serving clients, in line with the National Development Vision 2025.

Kijo said TFDA was providing services to its clients for 24 hours daily and that with its service client charter more improvements on service delivery were being made.

Speaking on the development, Chief Government Chemist, Dr Fidelice Mafumiko said: “Our role is to oversee all the chemicals entering the country to ensure that they meet all the required standards and as the country moves to an industrial economy, this is indeed a crucial meeting.”