Zim moves to cut cheap imports

HARARE - Zimbabwe is moving to establish a National Quality Standards Regulatory Authority (NSRA) with the intention to halt the importation of cheap imports.

Industry minister Mike Bimha on Wednesday said the country lacked an authority specifically tasked with inspecting products that make their way into the country, a situation facilitating dumping of poor quality goods.

“Many countries have institutions which regulate imports, in Zimbabwe we have the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (Saz), but Saz sets standards but does not have the authority to enforce these standards. So, Saz cannot make a case against noncompliant companies,” he said.

“Now, we have put through the principles of this Act in Cabinet and cabinet has approved the principles for setting up the National Quality Standards Regulatory Authority and its now in the process of now going to Parliament and once it goes through our Parliament it will become an authority established under an Act and we will then be able to carry out that work,” Bimha added.

Last year, government contracted standards firm, Bureau Veritas, to monitor imports in a consignment-based conformity assessment arrangement involving quality testing of various categories of imported products with the objective of reducing imports of hazardous and substandard products into Zimbabwe.

Through the arrangement, government receives five percent fees from Bureau Veritas.

However, there have been concerns that not only is the firm fleecing local importers but it is also causing delays in the import process.

Bimha defended the conformity compliance issuing international organisation saying local fears over the firm’s way of conducting business were unfounded.

“Firstly, the firm is acting in the interim and just like any other beginning programme, there have been teething problems but this does not mean that the firm is not serving its purpose…

“But we have said the process of establishing our own quality testing authority takes time to go through Parliament to get this enacted, in the interim we got a reputable company to do this for us, and hence we took Bureau Veritas…,” Bimha said.

The minister also said local companies were “unfairly” accusing the firm of poor business conduct due to its strict manner of operating.

“Some players used to doing things in a certain way hence they blame the company for a lot of things, but there is need to understand that the firm is a well-reputable group that has laboratories around the world dedicated to consignment assessment,” said Bimha.

Bureau Veritas operates in 140 countries worldwide and offers pre-shipment services to Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, Uganda, South Africa and Cote d’ivoire.

Comments (1)

never trust these upcoming organisations.in 3-6 months all those working for that organisation will be corrupt and the organisation will still fail to serve its mission

moanna - 24 December 2016

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