TBS public relation officer, Roida Andusamile said the seizure is a result of the ongoing operation to phase-out the secondhand underwear in the country.
She said that most of the underwear clothes were confiscated include brassieres, underpants and socks.
The operation is aimed at ensuring secondhand undergarments are not used by Tanzanians as they could infect users with skin diseases.
“The operation is in accordance with the Standards Act of 2009 that prevents the use of secondhand undergarments,” she said, adding that secondhand underwear business was contrary to TZS 758:2003 requirements on compulsory standards for inspection and acceptance criteria for used textile products.
According to Andusamile, the seized clothes will be burnt to ashes at the Arusha dumpsite.
She called on traders to adhere to the TBS laws and stop importing, and selling secondhand underwears in the country.Inspector at the state-owned standards watchdog, Lukas Gwilaali said the crackdown operation was held at the Klokoloni market in the city of Arusha, where they found a good number of innerwear on sale.
“We have been issuing warning against the sale of second- hand innerwear due to healthy effects to the public, but it seems it does not click well. We need joint efforts to educate the public,” he said.
Gwilaali added that the bureau is conducting now and then inspections and seize the goods but they still flock the market as the businesspeople and importers are going against the rules and regulations.
He said the war against the importation of the products is a challenge since customers are readily available thus importers use all means possible to ensure that they serve the market.
“The public should heed the call against the use of the products since the effects are not immediately felt and they pose health dangers including skin cancer, that is why we are conducting such inspections and seizing the products,” he said.
He said that they want to focus on public education as they believe that should they understand the consequences of using second-hand innerwear and stop buying them, then importers will stop bringing them in as there will be no market.
In an attempt to revamp the domestic garment industry, in 2016 the East African countries heads of state vowed to phase out used clothing imports.
In 2003, Tanzania introduced legislation on national standards for used garments (TZS 758: 2003), which included a ban on imports of second-hand underwear -items generally categorized as ‘next-to-skin’ clothes, including vests, pants, brassieres, boxers and socks.