Second hand underwear still exists in country’s markets, TBS says

12Dec 2019
Henry Mwangonde
The Guardian
Second hand underwear still exists in country’s markets, TBS says

DESPITE ban on the importation of second hand underwear, the products still exist in the country's markets, the regulator admitted yesterday.

TBS Director General Dr Athuman Ngenya

The Tanzania Bureau of Standard (TBS) yesterday explained that unscrupulous business men are taking advantage of the insufficient number of staff to enter the products in the country through porous borders.

 

Speaking at a press conference in Dar es Salaam, TBS Director General Dr Athuman Ngenya said the agency has limited human resources to be everywhere hence it was banking on the citizenry for support.

Dr Ngenya was speaking on the achievements that TBS has made in the last four years of President John Magufuli.

He said the war on controlling importation of used underwear products was tiresome saying TBS was working day and night to ensure it is discouraged.

According to him Lake Zone regions were leading in the presence of counterfeits and that in addressing the challenge TBS has opened zonal offices for easy operations.

According to Dr Ngenya TBS awarded 1137 quality certificates out of the 1410 quality certificate supposed to be issued during the period.

“We have managed to open zonal offices in all entry points," this will help us to operate easily,” he said.

He added that TBS has established a system to support Small and Medium Enterprises whereby every year it set aside 100 to 200m/_.

During the same period Dr Ngenya said TBS has recently given 34bn/- as divided to the government.

He mentioned some challenges facing TBS as limited space for laboratory and other services.

“We have 8 laboratories, among them, 6 have been accredited by the international standard organization,” said the TBS boss.

Five years ago, TBS banned importation and selling of underpants in various markets.

In 2015, the Heads of States in East African Community (EAC) announced that from 2019, second-hand clothes and shoes would be banned from their markets.

But the US has claimed this proposed ban goes too far and violates the Africa under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which aims to expand trade and investment on the continent.

In 2018, during the EAC Heads of States in Uganda's capital Kampala, the leaders agreed that second-hand imports will not be directly banned, but import taxes will still need to be paid.

The leaders wanted to invest more money in own textile industry.