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Reject substandard goods this Christmas

THE year 2016 is almost coming to an end and we thank God for keeping us safe throughout the year. We take this opportunity to wish our stakeholders out there a very merry Christmas and a prosperous and healthy new year. We also want to take this opportunity to remind our stakeholders that we are concerned about them; about their health and safety, and it is for this reason that we develop national standards. We do not end at developing national standards, we also work with other sector regulators to ensure that the standards that we develop are effectively implemented. That is why, throughout this year, our message has remained consistent; do not buy substandard products, for they are not only a health and safety hazard, but they are also detrimental to economic development.
In our continuous effort to ensure that we rid this country of substandard products, we have conducted routine market surveillances and inspections throughout the year. All this we did to assess levels of compliance on regulated products. We have also sampled and analysed various products in our state-of-the-art laboratories to verify scientifically whether or not the products that are sold to our consumers are fit for their purpose. All this we did to protect the very reason why we exist, the consumer and industry. We therefore want to end this year by repeating that one consistent message to consumers; be quality conscious and shun substandard products! To industry, partner with ZABS and have your products certified!
It is for this very reason that ZABS has pledged to intensify market surveillances and inspections as well as spot checks during this festive season to ensure that consumers get safe and quality products. This is ZABS incinerated assorted goods worth K59,940.00 on the 15th of December 2016.
The goods were seized during market surveillances and inspections conducted last month from Kamwala shopping area and the town centre in Lusaka. They were confiscated because they were either expired, counterfeit or substandard. And it is worth noting dear reader, that it is important for importers to know that section 10 of the Standards Act Cap 416 of the Laws of Zambia states in part, that “a person shall not supply to another person any commodity to which a compulsory standard applies unless the commodity concerned complies with the standard”.
The products that were seized include 14 boxes of counterfeit Kiwi shoe polish worth K40,320.00,29 cases of expired clear beer known as red horse valued at K6,120.00 and 9 bales of substandard or used underwear garments valued at K13,500.00, bringing the total value of all the seized goods to K59,940.00.
I want to reiterate therefore, dear reader, that as we come to the end of the year, and as we go into Christmas celebrations, let us choose to buy safe and quality products. We know that the festive period comes with an increase in the number of sales around the country and beyond. This is a time of giving, and giving and more giving. This is a period of price reductions and discounted sells. This is a time that ZABS is making a fervent call to all Zambians to be alert when buying various products.
Finally dear reader, take a few minutes of your time to read product details, the manufacturing date, the expiry date and look out for the place of origin or manufacture of the product you are about to buy. Enjoy Christmas and get quality and safe products. Once again, a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous, healthy and safe New Year to you all.
For more information
contact the Director
Zambia Bureau of Standards
Lechwe House, Freedom Way
P O Box 50259, Lusaka
Tel: 260-211-231385, zabs@zamnet.
The Author is Head – Marketing and Public Relations, Hazel Mafwenko Zulu.