By Harmony Agere
About 87 percent of imported goods are not being checked for quality thereby increasing the risk of inferior products flooding the local market, Auditor-General Mrs Mildred Chiri has revealed.
In an audit report titled “Performance/Value for Money Audit Report on the Monitoring
of Imported goods”, she revealed that goods were being smuggled into the country despite the existence of a legal framework to guarantee the importation of quality products.
This, according to audit findings, has led to a loss of revenue, low capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector, low employment levels and depletion of Government’s revenue generation capacity.
“There were no regulations governing quality assessment. As such most of the goods (87,5 percent) were not being checked for quality, increasing the risk of inferior products flooding the market,” said Mrs Chiri.
“The ministry (of Industry and Commerce) was taking too long to add more goods for quality surveillance under the Consignment Based Conformity Programme (CBCA) programme.
“Compliance to standards set by SAZ was not mandatory except for products which were under the CBCA programme.”
She said there was inadequate monitoring of goods in transit, absence of destination inspections, lack of market surveillance as well as inadequate co-ordination between the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and its stakeholders.
“There was no destination inspection of goods at ports of entry to ensure that substandard goods are denied entry into the country.
“There was no market surveillance of imported goods or monitoring, of the calibration of scales and measuring instruments used in industrial and commercial shops.” SundayMail.