Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) has said it is facing challenges in dealing with smuggling of uncertified products that are flooding local markets.
Representatives of the Bureau have since attributed the development to low revenue collection by the parastatal.
The revelation was made following Minister of Trade, Sosten Gwengwe, and Minister of Industry, Roy Kachale’s, visit to Songwe border ahead of the construction of a one stop border post facility.
MBS Director General, Symon Mandala, said people are importing goods, using unchartered routes, which has negative implications on the health of citizens.
“We have products on the market that are not approved or registered with the Malawi Bureau of Standards. This means we are losing revenue and secondly we are also subjecting our consumers to substandard products, because nobody has checked and authenticated those products” Mandala said.
He further said in the first two weeks of September, MBS has banned two products; MS115:20002 Frozen Fish- Specification for contamination with a heavy mental and Liquid Fruit Red Grape Still 330 ml cans following reports that small shards of glass were found in single cans.
Kachale, said government will ensure that products that are made in the country are of international standards to curtail appetite for foreign products and increase the country’s export base.
“We are constructing a state of art facility including a laboratory in Blantyre where goods will be tested and certified in line with international standards and will be in operational come March 2021,” Kachale said.
Gwengwe added that the construction of the One-Stop Centre at Songwe Border will facilitate trade between Malawi and Tanzania.
“It’s all about trade facilitation, so you don’t want traders to go through rigorous forms on the Malawi side and two metres into Tanzania they also go through the very same process, and you would want the two borders to be treated as one so that traders do one thing and then you are cleared on both sides,” Gwengwe said.
Government is constructing one-stop border centres at M’chinji, Mwanza and Songwe oarders through funds from the World Bank.