Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE will from next month start implementing the Consignment Based Conformity Assessment (CBCA) programme that will bar the importation of sub-standard products into the country.
Addressing captains of industries in Bulawayo on Friday during a CBCA programme awareness campaign workshop, the deputy director — Standards Development and Quality Assurance in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Mrs Bridget Dzimwasha said the programme was progressing well with Bureau Veritas starting to verify products’ conformity in the country of export prior to shipment of the consignment into Zimbabwe from 1 March.
“This is one of the measures to curb the influx of sub-standard imported products that are flooding the markets and at the same time creating an uneven playing field to our local industries.
“Indeed the influx of sub-standard imported goods, which do not meet required standards, is negatively impacting on the competitiveness of our local industries,” Mrs Dzimwasha said.
She said CBCA would ensure that all listed imported products meet quality, safety, health and environmental standards in line with the World Trade Organisation agreements. Statutory Instrument 132 of 2015, which governs the operation of this programme, was gazetted on 18 December last year.
“As from 1st of March 2016, only fully compliant certificates of conformity will be required for the clearance of goods that depart the country of export on or after 1st of March 2016,” Mrs Dzimwasha said.
She said at the moment the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority in conjunction with the ministry officials, Standard Association of Zimbabwe and Bureau Veritas representatives were refining the enforcement modalities to bar non-conforming consignments from entry into the country at all ports of entry.
“Thus importers who will bring any consignments of products listed for inspection without a conformity certificate would be required to take corrective action which could include taking consignment back to the exporting country at his or her expense. Therefore, the ministry appeals to you all importers to abide by the requirements of the CBCA programme to avoid any financial losses.
“Let me emphasise that quality products have economic benefits. To the industry quality products results in cost savings as quality standards help to optimise operations. Customer satisfaction is enhanced and thus sales will be increased. Quality products enable a company to increase its productivity and competitive advantage, allowing it to have access to new markets and at the same time increase its market share,” Mrs Dzimwasha said.
She said the CBCA programme would also benefit the Government in terms of revenues, employment creation of locals and quality goods that meet quality, safety, health and environment standards.
A French company Bureau Veritas was appointed in July last year to verify and assess conformity of goods coming into the country.
The categories of goods regulated under the programme include those in food and agriculture, building and civil engineering and petroleum and fuels.
In addition packaging material, electronic products, body care, automotive and transportation, clothing and textile and toys will also be inspected.