HARARE,– Government on Wednesday signed a four year contract with Bureau Veritas which will see the French company enforce import standards, a move aimed at protecting local industry and curbing the flow of substandard products into the country.

\n

Bimha

\n

Zimbabwe has been battling a tide of cheap and predominantly substandard products from China and neighbouring countries.

\n

The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) reports that as of January goods worth $538, 2 million were imported while exports stood at $267 million.

\n

Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha said the arrangement will be in place as an interim measure pending the enactment of the Standards Bill.

\n

If passed into law, the bill will see the establishment of a Quality Standards Regulatory Authority.

\n

“After the four years Bureau Veritas is expected to hand over the verification of conformity to services to the Quality Standards Regulatory Authority,” he said.

\n

Bimha however did not say when Bureau Veritas would start work.

\n

Bureau Veritas operates in 140 countries worldwide, providing pre-shipment services to countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda among others. – The Source