Over 150 million units of products rejected entry into the country

20 Feb, 2024 - 16:02 0 Views
Over 150 million units of products rejected entry into the country Dr Thomas Utete Wushe

The Sunday News

Judith Phiri, Business Reporter

OVER 150 million units of products have been rejected entry into the country since the inception of the Consignment-Based Conformity Assessment (CBCA) Programme which continues to play a pivotal role in safeguarding the local industry from unfair competition.

Since its inception in May 2015, the CBCA Programme was meant to make sure that only quality-compliant goods are imported into Zimbabwe by conducting inspection, testing and certification of selected products in the country of export thereby preventing sub-standard and counterfeited products from entering the Zimbabwe market.

Under the programme, exporters of certain products to Zimbabwe would be required to produce a Certificate of Conformity that would be issued by Bureau Veritas, a company that specialises in testing, inspection and certification.

Speaking at the (CBCA) Programme Awareness Workshop in Harare on Tuesday, Ministry of Industry and Commerce Permanent Secretary Dr Thomas Utete Wushe said the programme has grown from strength to strength with regard to the protection of citizens and consumers from the impact of hazardous and non-compliant products.

“We are proud of the journey that we have undertaken with Bureau Veritas since the initial inception of the programme in 2015. The programme started, courtesy of Statutory Instrument 132 of 2015 with a limited product scope before the subsequent product additions envisaged under Statutory Instrument 124 of 2020 as well as Instruments 186 & 187 of 2023.

“The Ministry will continue to review these product lists from time to time following input from the industry as well as to align the policy thrust and enhance its effectiveness, as it relates to trade facilitation,” he said.

“Following the inception of the CBCA Programme in May 2015, more than 154 207 545 units of products have been rejected. Before the implementation of the programme, the conformity of the products being imported into the country was not known or appreciated.”

He said products additionally added to the CBCA Programme in recent years include fuel imports, used vehicles and agrochemicals, just to mention a few categories.

Dr Wushe said the CBCA programme sought to reward, streamline and support players who indulge in the importation of compliant products and exercise responsible procurement practices while placing greater scrutiny on unscrupulous suppliers who intend to shortchange our industry and consumers at large, through a myriad of malpractices.

He added: “As Zimbabwe embarks on its key export focus growth particularly now as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Programme unfolds as well as industry capacity utilisation, it remains imperative that role players import quality high-standard inputs before adding value to ensure that we produce high-quality reputable products capable of accessing international markets.

The Permanent Secretary said to export properly, there was need to import properly, while the CBCA Programme remains a key trade facilitation tool within the context of the AfCFTA agreement.

He said Zimbabwe could only harness tangible benefits from the multilateral trade agreement if they produced competitive quality products and exported into the region.

Dr Wushe said as a Ministry, they strongly believed in the CBCA programme and the workshop would provide them an opportunity to get feedback from the industry and to develop new courses of action to support their businesses for the prosperity of the country and wellbeing of citizens.

 

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