Porous borders worry Malawi Bureau of Standards
The Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) has decried the security status at the country’s border posts saying it enables easy penetration of uncertified products to the local markets.
The Bureau’s Director of Quality Assurance Services Steve Kamuloni raised the concern in Mzuzu on Friday when he presided over a quality certification ceremony of six companies from the Northern Region.
Kamuloni said the fact that people are able to beat security and use unchartered routes into the country should be a wake-up call to security agents including his bureau to be vigilant in intercepting all culprits as a way of preventing the influx of uncertified commodities.
“The borders are porous, people will always find means of bypassing the legitimate entry points but the good thing is that even if they penetrate, they will find us on the market through our routine surveillance exercises and we will remove them from there,” said Kamuloni.
As one way of intensifying its presence in the country’s border points, the bureau intends to open an office at Chitipa border in order to monitor and check goods that are imported into the country from Tanzania and Zambia through the district.
“Our inspectors may not be everywhere, therefore, I urge consumers out there to report to us once they stumble into any suspicious products, in terms of quality, standard or even expiry dates because they usually are hazardous to human health,” he explained.
Kamuloni also advised local enterprises to be focused and versatile by conforming to applicable standards as one way of remaining relevant on the highly competitive market.
“Consumers of this age and time are well informed of the adverse effects of using or consuming products and services that are quality deficient, this implies that sub-standard products will continue to struggle to find space to penetrate both the national and international markets,” he explained.
According to Kamuloni, since February 2015, 109 certificates have been given out to companies with 501 products and services getting certified.
Speaking on behalf of the awardees Bernand Kaunda of Mzuzu Coffee Planters said the achievement is an inspiration for them to maintain strict measures of quality assurance.
Mzuzu Coffee was awarded for its products Roasted Coffee and Specialty Honey, Kentam Products for Methylated Spirit while Kapata and Sangiro lodges from Karonga got the recognition for their catering and hospitality Services.
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