Govt bans sale of imported foods and cosmetics not registered

14Oct 2019
Felix Andrew
The Guardian
Govt bans sale of imported foods and cosmetics not registered

THE government has banned selling of imported food and cosmetics that have not been registered or certified by the local relevant organisations.

Dr Athuman Ngenya.

This was said over the weekend in Dar es Salaam, by the Director General of Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) , Dr Athuman Ngenya, during a ceremony to grant licence, tested products and licence extension of 94 manufacturers including 25 Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs).

Dr Ngenya said that from now all importers would have to register their food and cosmetics with TBS  before selling into local markets.

He said the government would not hesitate to take stern measures against any importer who would fail to adhere to procedures.

He also urged  SMEs who did not obtain TBS mark of quality license to apply because it is provided free of charge.

"The government has already removed all costs, do not fear to apply doing so would enable your products to access markets in local and East Africa", he added.

The government  through Small Industries Development  Organisation (SIDO) has been supporting them to certify their products free of charge.

Dr Ngenya counseled manufacturers who have obtained the licence to stick to production requirements.

Apart from license , he said manufacturers have also to adhere to integrity during production process that would make their products be marketable.

"Integrity is very important do not compromise with the mark of quality or license we have given you today, this will enable your business to reach beyond our borders more easily," he said.

He asked them to be good ambassadors in the use of certified products .

Dr Ngenya said the organization has minimized time spent in obtaining the license.

Speaking on behalf of other a manufacturer identified as Alex Nyarusai, said  asked the government to incorporate them in the war to alleviate substandard goods which have flooded in the country and affect their business.

He said they understand all people who are engaged in selling substandard goods .

"We want the Standard body to incorporate us in the war against substandard goods, because it hurts our business and economy of the country ,"he said.

He said most of substandard goods are sold at low  price because  consumers prefer them most due to the cheapness.

Nyarusai also asked the Bureau to provide enough information to manufacturers on the newly established electronic mark .

He said the mark plays a crucial role in marketing of various goods produced in Tanzania at any market in the world.

Regarding challenges , he mentioned lack of working premises, packaging  and special training on standard related matters.

Narrating  he said most  entrepreneurs  in the  country  not have enough knowledge on procedures used to certify quality of products as a results fail to secure local market and beyond East African region .

In July this year TBS assumed new roles  of food safety control and cosmetics which earlier was conducted by TFDA.

Tanzania's parliament approved Finance Bill of 2019 which saw harmonization of regulatory bodies' roles which were overlapping or more less the same.

Following the amendment of Section 130 of the Standards Act No. 2 of 2009, food and cosmetic products, currently under  TFDA, now is  regulated by TBS , effective 1 July 2019.

To that effect, TFDA has been renamed as Tanzania Drug and Medicinal Authority (TMDA) and will be responsible for controlling medicines, medical supplies and reagents in the country.