BUREAU Veritas says it has witnessed a significant decline in the number of non-conforming products into Zimbabwe and has rejected more than 202 million products that were potentially hazardous.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Speaking during the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce annual congress held in Victoria Falls last week, the company’s Zimbabwe and Botswana contracts manager, Tendai Jeremiah Malunga, said the Consignment Based Conformity Assessment (CBCA) programme had started bearing fruits.
“The programme has been fully enforced since March 1, 2016 and as the assessment agent, Bureau Veritas, we have witnessed a significant decline in the number of non-conforming products as well as improved perceptions of the country,” Malunga said.
“Zimbabwe is no longer perceived as a dumping ground by unscrupulous exporters and suppliers of sub-standard products. To date more than 202 million products have been identified as potentially hazardous and rejected by Bureau Veritas.”
Against that aspect, Malunga said more than 40 608 certificates have been issued since implementation.
“Between 2016 and 2017, the volume of non-conforming products has dropped by nine times which represents a tremendous and significant improvement in the conformity of goods that are being imported into Zimbabwe,” he said.
CBCA was implemented under Statutory Instrument No 132 of 2015 gazetted on December 18, 2015 by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development.
The programme entered into full implementation stage on March 2016.
It ensures that goods brought into the country conformed to standards, while non-conforming ones were sent back to their countries of origin.
Malunga said in the interests of continual improvement of the implementation of the programme, various initiatives had been implemented to ensure the enhanced ease of doing business in the context of assisting importing businesses to mitigate financial and operational risk by being able to better select their suppliers while protecting consumers and the environment.
Bureau Veritas is a conformity compliance issuing international organisation that is established in more than 140 countries in the world with 67 000 employees, and 1 400 labs and offices.
Industry has in the past advocated self-regulation, accusing Chinese firms of circumventing inspection as they “go to powers that be”.
It has also voiced concern over the payment of fees in forex at a time the global standards body has a local office.