Home » Business » Plans Afoot to Clamp Down On Sub-Standard Imports

The importation of substandard goods could soon come to an end after Government recently hired a French company, Bureau Veritas, to monitor all products coming into the country.

Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha said in an interview that the quality of imported goods had become a cause for concern for both consumers and the Government.

Minister Bimha said work was in progress to have the company commence operations in the country.

“We have hired a French company, Bureau Veritas, to monitor imports,” he said. “The company has laboratories all over the world where they will carry out conformity assessments with regards to international standards before the goods come in.

“The company is going to operate in the interim as we are in the process of coming up with an Act that regulates the operations of a Standards Regulatory Authority, an institution which will operate under the World Trade Organisation to stop the importation of fake, hazardous, substandard and cheap goods with a short lifespan,” he said.

Minister Bimha said after the Act was enacted, the job would be handed over to the Standards Regulatory Authority which would take over some of the functions of the Standards Association of Zimbabwe in ensuring that only quality standard goods pass through the borders.

Consumer Council of Zimbabwe chairperson Mr Philip Bvumbe said they welcomed the development as it would guarantee consumer protection.

“We embrace the idea that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has come up with,” he said. “It will go a long way in ensuring that consumers are protected from hazardous goods.

“Of late, due to the introduction of the United States dollar, Zimbabwe has been seen as a fertile ground to dump substandard goods, which is detrimental to consumers’ health.

“The company will have a mandate to define the goods coming into the country and hence will be liable if there are any damages to consumers unlike when we used to have the Standards Association of Zimbabwe doing the work voluntarily.”

Mr Bvumbe said the move was also going to benefit local industry.

“In the long run, the issue of competitiveness will be reduced since the company will prevent dumping of goods in the country, hence the local industry will not suffer and face closure,” he said.

Source : The Herald