Bureau Veritas rejects $182m unsafe imports

Source: Bureau Veritas rejects $182m unsafe imports | The Herald August 7, 2017

Golden Sibanda Senior Business Reporter
BUREAU Veritas, a global standards firm contracted by Government to carry out consignment-based assessment of imports, has rejected $182 million worth of sub-standard goods destined for Zimbabwe since starting in 2015.

Contracts manager Tendai Malunga told the Confederation of Zimbabwe Annual Congress and International Investment Conference on Friday last week that the renowned French quality standards company refused to certify the intended imports, as they did not meet minimum quality standards. Bureau Veritas was assigned by Government, through the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to ensure that the quality of products imported into Zimbabwe were regulated or met minimum safety, health and quality standards.

Mr Malunga said there had been strong evidence that consumers and local industry would benefit from the consignment based assessment programme (CBA), as lowly priced inferior and unsafe imports threatened the safety of consumers and pushed local products to the brink.

“To date, more than $182 million products; substandard products or dangerous products destined for Zimbabwe have been rejected by Bureau Veritas (under the conformity based assessment programme for imports),” he said.

Zimbabwe imported goods valued at $5,2 billion in 2016 compared to $2,8 billion in exports. Total imports dropped from $6 billion in 2015, mainly due to the general weak aggregate demand, the declining value of fuel imports, Government’s imports restriction policies, weak South African rand and challenges faced by importers in making foreign payments.

“Prior to the implementation of the programme we were facing a situation where conformity was widely dogged. A lot of products were coming in without due attention as far as safety and health implications of those particular products are concerned,” Mr Malunga said.

He said the CBA programme helped create a fair environment in which local companies could operate, as only those products that meet internationally accepted safety, health and quality standards were being imported.