INDUSTRY minister Mike Bimha has appealed to traders to follow consignment-based conformity assessment (CBCA) requirements to limit the inflow of sub-standard products into the country.

BY TALENT GUMPO

The CBCA programme, which ensures that all listed imported products meet quality, safety, health and environmental standards in line with the World Trade Organisation agreements, was officially launched in Zimbabwe in 2015.

In a speech read on the minister’s behalf by Standards Development and Quality Assurance director, Angelica Katuruza, at the Veritas Bureau-organised CBCA Zimbabwe International Trade Fair awareness campaign yesterday at Rainbow Hotel, Bimha said the programme was meant to curb the influx of sub-standard products and improve competitiveness of local industry.

“The government of Zimbabwe embarked on the CBCA programme which entails the verification of conformity to standards of exports prior to the shipment of the consignment. This is one of the measures to limit the inflow of sub-standard imported products, that are flooding the domestic market and at the same time creating an uneven playing field for our local industries,” he said.

“To the industry, quality products result in cost savings as quality standards help to optimise operations. The benefits at industry level are passed on to the economy and to the population where consumers enjoy better health and safety standards.”

Bimha said the importation of sub-standard products impeded local industry profitability.

“The influx of imported goods, which do not meet the required standards, is negatively impacting on the competitiveness of our local industries . . . Cases reported include substandard packaging, wrongly quoted measurements and, more worrying is poor quality of food, medicines, electrical equipment, fuel to mention just but a few,” he said.

He said non-conforming consignments would be denied entry at all ports of entry, as the country’s customs office would be vigilantly enforcing the programme.

“Non-conforming consignments will be denied entry into the country by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and importers, who will bring any consignments of products listed for inspection not accompanied with a conformity certificate, will be required to take corrective action, which would include reshipment of the consignment to the exporting country at the importers’ own expense.

“The message that should go out there is that Zimbabweans will not accept sub-standard products and refuses to be a dumping ground for sub-standard imports”, he added.

Product categories that require conformity certificates include food and agriculture and building products, petroleum, packaging material, electrical products, body care and health products, automotive and transportation, clothing and textile and toys.