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Industry wants Bureau Veritas contract terminated

by Staff reporter
12 Mar 2019 at 05:58hrs | Views
INDUSTRY executives have advised Government not to renew Bureau Veritas' contract saying businesses were suffering from added costs due to the implementation of the Consignment Based Conformity Assessment (CBCA) programme.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting organised by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in Bulawayo and attended by Minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu on Friday, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) Matabeleland chapter president Mr Joseph Gunda said: "The physical examination by Bureau Veritas is also an added cost to industry. It causes inefficiencies where there is routine physical checks on certain products that are known.

"We are of the view that we have got our own SAZ (Standards Association of Zimbabwe), can't it be roped in to do such kind of exercises."

In 2015, Government signed a four-year CBCA contract with a French-based company, Bureau Veritas.

The deal, whose contract expired at the end of February, was for the provision of pre-shipment services of the listed products in the country of export and issuance of certificates of conformity-based on the national and international quality, safety, health and environment standards.

Mr Gunda said it was advisable that the Government engages SAZ because the body fully understands local products and has testing methods that can assist local companies.

He said the high cost of production continued to negatively impact on industries following the recent fuel price adjustments.  

"With the fuel price increases, we have become very uncompetitive in the region coupled by our transport costs that have also gone up as well as the cost of utilities, which are also very high if compared to other countries in the region," said Mr Gunda.

Responding to the issues raised by CZI and the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, Minister Ndlovu said industry needs to move at a faster pace in terms of increasing its competitiveness. He pledged Government's increased support to businesses to promote industrial growth as well as enhancing export development.

"We take the input from industry and on the issues relating to Bureau Veritas, we are going to ensure that we licence more players to do the inspections and hopefully this will be done before the end of the year," said Minister Ndlovu.

"Government is prepared to work with industry, to walk with them in this journey and already we are making our moves to make sure that we unlock funding that will go towards retooling. The recent Monetary Policy statement, which enables the US dollar to float against other currencies, is also another positive move," he added.

Source - chronicle