‘Porous borders source  of substandard products’

11Mar 2019
Felix Andrew
The Guardian
‘Porous borders source  of substandard products’

THE country’s long border line particularly in coastal areas is among the factors contributing to the influx of substandard goods, according to an official from the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS).

TBS director general, Dr Ngenya Yusuf said that porous borders were a source for the flooding of substandard products in the country, saying they have started taking measures to control the illegal routes.

Dr Ngenya said this recently when speaking shortly after Prime Minister Kasim Majaliwa made his first visit at the Bureau.

He said that Tanzania has a long border line in coastal areas which provides opportunities for unscrupulous traders to import poor quality goods. He said measures are being taken to control the situation whereas they have launched surveillance operations and inspections of all goods entering the country.

He also said the organisation is facing other challenges which need government interventions to enable it run its activities smoothly.

Dr Ngenya said one of the most challenges include shortage of staff whereas the bureau has a total of 470 workers against the demand of 750 workers.

He said the shortage of staff contributes into TBS failing to post officers at all the borders.

Dr Ngenya also urged Tanzanians to use quality approved products for the benefits of their health and nation’s development.

He said the standard body would continue to educate SMEs on the importance putting standard marks on their goods. He said that with the TBS standard marks, Tanzanian made goods are likely to compete in internal and external markets.

“We commend the government for setting aside funds which are used to help entrepreneurs to acquire the standard marks for free”, said Dr Ngenya calling upon those interested to channel their requests through the Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO).

“We have so far provided a total of 440 standard marks worth 341m/- to Small and Medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) across the country”, he said adding the funds were issued by the central government.

The government resolved to exempt SMEs from paying standard mark fees and certification in consideration of their financial flow. These measures also intend to enable small and medium scale entrepreneurs to sell their goods at international markets.

He said that TBS had contributed a total of 46m/- to the state coffers in three years.