HARARE, April 8 (The Source) – Bureau Veritas a French company contracted by government to undertake pre-shipment standard compliance monitoring on goods destined for Zimbabwe is set to commence operations next month, a junior minister has said.
Zimbabwe has been battling a tide of cheap and predominantly substandard products from China and neighbouring countries. The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) reports that as of January goods worth $538, 2 million were imported while exports stood at $267 million.
In 2015 the country’s export bill is expected to top $5 billion.
Industry and commerce deputy minister Chiratidzo Mabuwa on Wednesday told a stakeholders conference that shipments coming into the country from the 16th of May would now require a Consignment Based Conformity Assessment (CBCA) certificate issued by Bureau Veritas.
“The arrangement comes into effect as from May 16 and we will have a four month transitional period during which we will not issue a non-compliance report or turn away any consignments but allow the traders to learn from the process and regularize their operations,” she said.
Mabuwa said the company was contracted for a four year period pending enactment of the Standards Bill which if passed into law, will see the establishment of a Quality Standards Regulatory Authority.
Bureau Veritas operates in 140 countries worldwide, providing pre-shipment services to countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda in Africa.