ZNCC lobbies for ‘capital goods’ quality testing exemption

Source: ZNCC lobbies for ‘capital goods’ quality testing exemption | The Herald December 15, 2016

Business Reporters—

The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce says it will ask Government to remove capital equipment and machinery from the list of imported items that must be subjected to consignment-based quality assessment.The country’s lobby group for the commercial sector, said the request for exemption of certain products from consignment-based testing would also entail premium products manufactured by reputable manufacturers or suppliers.

ZNCC president David Norupiri said this followed realisation that there were costly delays to importation of certain critical capital products due to the assessment by Bureau Veritas, contracted by Government to do the checks.

He said while Bureau Veritas had stipulated time spans within which it carried out the assessments and certification, the situation on the ground was different.

However, he said challenges lay among other parties involved including suppliers and customers, adding that the French quality and standards conformity company was merely implementing a Government policy position.

“As far as most of the products are concerned, we have had quite a number of challenges on the inspection or turnaround period,” Mr Norupiri said.

He said the delays also negatively affected ease of doing business.

This comes as the Office of the President and Cabinet is frantically working on reforming the country’s ease of doing business conditions to improve the country’s global rankings in order to attract foreign investment.

Mr Norupiri said the fact that the country is also experiencing challenges making foreign payments made the issue even more difficult, as it worsened delays.

Bureau Veritas has issued 9 463 certificates since June this year.

Exports from Zimbabwe were also affected because there are countries that have contracted Bureau Veritas to inspect products supplied from this country.

ZNCC will also recommend to Government through the Ministry of Industry and Commerce that Bureau Veritas establishes a base in Zimbabwe.

This position stems from the fact that number of local suppliers are not prepared to meet inspection charges by Bureau Veritas and insist that the buyers of their products pay for the inspections or the buyer foregoes the product.

Government contracted Bureau Veritas early this year after the local business community approached the Ministry of Industry with a request to prevent substandard and counterfeit products from being imported into the country.

Government engaged the world renowned standards assessment company while it worked on setting up a quality and standards authority with power to subject both imported and local products to mandatory testing.