Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) will this week hold a meeting with stakeholders on the performance of the Preshipment Verification of Conformity to Standards (PVoC) system.
TBS Acting Director General Mr Joseph Masikitiko, told the ‘Daily News’ at the weekend that the meeting was important as the Bureau was looking into the possibility of reviewing service contracts of PVoC partners signed to inspect goods on its behalf.
“We have encountered a number of shortcomings in the system which need to be jointly addressed in order to improve it and thus make the mission to inspect the standards of goods a successful endeavour,” he said.
Mr Masikitiko would not shed more light on the said shortcomings, but said his office has been keen on how the inspection partners have been progressing since they started the job over a year ago.
Three companies were contracted to inspect goods in a strategy introduced to ensure products were verified from their countries of origin before entering the local market.
In another move, Mr Masikitiko said a task force has been formed to establish a smooth working relationship between TBS and the Zanzibar Bureau of Standards (ZBS), which was recently formed to curb substandard goods in the Isles.
The task force, according to the Acting DG, will brainstorm on how the two bureaux will work together to eliminate notorious ‘panya’ routes that are well known for passing inferior goods from Zanzibar into the Mainland and see to it that laws are enforced.
He was upbeat that the government would respond favourably to its long-standing request to increase its workforce so TBS could effectively discharge its functions.
Currently, a strategy is being hatched for the bloc to harmonize the standards of a number of goods traded regionwise under the EA Common Market Protocol and so effective standards bodies have to be in place for the protocol to bear fruit.
He said cooperation with other organs, such as the Fair Competition Commission (FCC), the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and the police force would be intensified for a joint battle against substandard and fake goods in the market to be released.
By PIUS RUGONZIBWA, Tanzania Daily News