Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industries and Trade, Prof Riziki Shemdoe said this in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday when opening the two-day “National Stakeholders Meeting on Non-tariff Measures”.
He said that lack of the assessment centres in the country has been forcing producers to resort to foreign auditors for certification such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and Global GAP before exporting their produce, something which cost them vastly.
In his speech read on his behalf by the deputy rector of the College of Business Education (CBE), Dr Emmanuel Munisi, the PS said by establishing the centres, producers and traders will no longer have to travel abroad to seek for the accreditations.
Prof Shemdoe said, a recent survey conducted by the ministry and the International Trade Centre (ITC) has revealed that lack of accredited labs in the country is making business expensive for traders.
“Having accredited labs in the country will make it easier, faster and cheaper for exporters, so the government is working on it,” he asserted.
He said the survey aimed to identify key regulatory obstacles to trade, which Tanzanian exporters and importers face.
He said the International Trade Centre (ITC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Trade is implementing the Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP), a regional initiative aiming at improving market access to European Union (EU) and the East African region for five East Africa Community (EAC) partner countries - Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda on specific agro-industrial crop and horticultural sectors.
“With the private sector being the engine of economic growth, the government has continued to address various barriers to improve business climate, we have so far removed a total of 170 levies which were cited as cumbersome to trade development,” Prof Shemdoe said.
Ashish Shah, ITC director -division of country programmes said the survey found that among the key requirements that exporters face hurdles include obtaining the necessary export permits, licences and certifications required by national authorities.
“The main complaints refer to duplications in the documents, many administrative windows for issuing each one of the requirements, and delays related to these regulations,” he said.
He said other major procedural hurdles exporters face include numerous administrative windows involved, documentation difficulties (for example for testing and certifications) and lack of information on trade related regulations and procedures.
Shah said ITC is well committed to supporting Tanzania in business development.
Safari Fungo, MARKUP project coordinator said due to highlighted challenges in the survey, reducing the amount of export requirements and organizations involved in cross border trade is a priority.
“Dealing with several agencies even requiring similar regulations can be tougher for micro and small companies, which may also struggle finding accurate and reliable information on which requirements they need to fulfill,” he said.