HARARE, July 16 (The Source) – Bureau Veritas, the French firm contracted by Zimbabwe to enforce import standards to curb the flow of substandard products into the country, will start operating at the end of this month, industry and trade minister Mike Bhima has said.
Zimbabwe has been battling a tide of cheap and predominantly substandard products from China and neighbouring countries.
The country’s import bill is seen at 3,5 billion by year end from $3 billion last year.
On Thursday Bimha told journalists that the inspections would start on July 27 after Cabinet approved the programme on Tuesday this week.
“The enforcement phase will commence on 27 July and 31 October will mark the end of the transitional period and full implementation will commence on 1 November 2015,” he said.
Bureau Veritas was awarded a four year contract as an interim measure pending enactment of the Standards Bill which, if passed into law, will see the establishment of a Quality Standards Regulatory Authority.
The French company operates in 140 countries worldwide, providing pre-shipment services to countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda among others.