Speaking during the exercise conducted yesterday at Tandika market in Dar es Salaam, TBS inspector, Simon Emmanuel said secondhand underpants had been banned many years ago.
He said they had removed them at Tandika market more than six bales secondhand underpants which were being sold by petty traders.
He said already the government had banned the importation of such underpants, but still there are some untrustworthy businesspersons who had continued to do the illegal business at local markets.
He explained that the underpants were not fit for human use because of various skin diseases.
He said the secondhand underwears business was contrary to TZS 758:2003 requirements on compulsory standards for inspection and acceptance criteria for used textile products.
“We would like to remind all people involved in such businesses of used garments that they are not allowed to be imported and sold in the country due to health and safety reasons,” he noted.
The standard body issued a three-month notice to all dealers, importers and sellers of second-hand innerwears such as socks, brassieres, vests, night dresses and camisoles to withdraw them from the local markets.
The TBS’s inspector disclosed that most of the secondhand clothes are illegally imported in the country because the authority had for a long time now managed to control its importation through the ports and airports.
According to Emmanuel, the ongoing countrywide operation is sustainable. He appealed to all violators that once caught they would be charged under Section 27 of the Standards Act No 2 of 2009 and that their goods would be disposed of at owners’ costs.
He said: "Worse is that majority of us fail to interpret the meaning of undergarments---these include underwears, stockings (socks), and night dresses,” he said.
A secondhand trader at Tandika local market identified as Selemani Magila, said it was good operation urging officials from the standard watchdog to continue creating public awareness on the matter.
Apart from education and awareness, he said TBS should also improve security at all entry points to bar the importation of used underpants and other garments.