In February 2012, the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) implemented its pre-shipment verification of conformity (PVoC) program for general goods. SGS has been at the forefront of service provision for this program since its inception and remains the first choice for exporters via its global network of specialist and state-of-the-art facilities.
PVoC is a conformity assessment process undertaken prior to a product being shipped to Tanzania. It verifies conformity to applicable national standards, or approved equivalents, and technical regulations. The program ensures Tanzanian citizens enjoy greater consumer protection as it establishes enhanced quality assurance measures.
Other benefits include:
- Better product quality
- Competitiveness of small businesses boosted by effective product quality
- Governments fairly and effectively able to collect taxes
- Increased market confidence
Overcoming negative trading environments
Covid-19 has had a huge negative impact on the global economy, and supply chain breakdowns, such as the recent Suez blockage, have only added to the conundrum of international trade facilitation. As the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification (TIC) company, SGS is able to utilize a wide range of innovative technologies to comprehensively support its clients in mitigating against these problems. Two such state-of-the-art technologies are the risk analysis system Profiler® and QiiQ®, a sophisticated remote digital inspection tool.
Digital inspections leverage advancements in technology by linking a person physically present at the place of inspection with an SGS inspection affiliate. The inspector is able to review, in real time, the consignment’s contents, enabling them to assess their compliance with the declaration. This system allows the reduction of inspection and turnaround times for PVoC certificate issuance.
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Proper labeling and marking on goods are vital for traceability. Applicable standards will also often include requirements relating to correct labeling/marking. For example, Clause 7.2 of Tanzania National Standard 160: 2013 – tomato sauces and ketchup – has the following provisions:
7.2.1 Each container shall be labelled with the following particulars:
- Name of product shall be ‘Tomato sauce or ketchup’
- Name, physical and postal address of manufacturer
- Country of origin
- Date of manufacture and expiry date
- List of ingredients
- Net content
- Storage condition
- Batch number in code or in clear
- Trademark (if any)
Exporters need to ensure their products conform to the sometimes complex provisions relating to labeling and marking to ensure compliance with relevant standards to ensure market entry.
Banned and prohibited goods
Two important additions were made to the list of banned or prohibited goods in the most recent iteration of the Tanzania PVoC program:
Plastic carrier bags – the Government of Tanzania imposed a ban, effective June 1, 2019. However, the TBS has set guidelines for non-woven carrier bags with the following key specifications:
- Weight per unit shall not be less than 70 gram per square meter
- Shall be recyclable
- Shall be marked with manufacturer’s address and/trademark
- Shall be marked with the maximum carrying capacity
Stakeholders should be aware these regulations may be subject to change and so it is advisable to talk to the local SGS office if you intend to export such products to Tanzania.
Cosmetic product ingredients – the following have been banned and so products containing these ingredients can no longer be sold in Tanzania:
- Pyrithione zinc (anti-dandruff agent)
- Butylphenyl methylpropional (Lilial)
Trade facilitation supports governments in ensuring public health is safeguarded while allowing the undisrupted movement of goods. Exporters and importers need to select a PVoC provider who is capable of streamlining and expediting the inspection and clearance of goods in order to optimize their access onto regulated markets.