The Sunday Mail
Senior Business Reporter
Bureau Veritas’s contract is unlikely to be renewed as Zimbabwe’s private sector continues to raise consternation over increasing business costs due to the implementation of the Consignment Based Conformity Assessment (CBCA) programme.
The CBCA programme was promulgated to curb the proliferation of counterfeit products into the country.
But, experts have been long advocating business to self-regulate, or at least for the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) to take over from the France-headquartered Bureau Veritas.
The SAZ is the national standards body for Zimbabwe.
Established in 1957 and incorporated in 1960, the association is a non-governmental and a non-profit organisation.
According to the chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce Joshua Sacco, Government might move to tender once the standing Bureau Veritas deal has run out.
“On the issue of Bureau Veritas, as far as I know, their contract is expiring at the end of February.
“And recommendations have been put to the authorities by our committee to tender the process,” said Mr Sacco at the just ended CEO Africa Roundtable 2019 in Victoria Falls.
Sacco’s remarks came as a number of private sector players had raised issues over the increased costs of the CBCA programme and the foreign currency payments being made to Bureau Veritas, especially as Zimbabwe is facing foreign currency shortages.
The CBCA programme was implemented under Statutory Instrument No 132 of 2015 gazetted on December 18, 2015 by the Ministry of Industry of Industry and Enterprise Development.
And it entered into full implementation stage on March 2016.
French-based Bureau Veritas Inspection Valuation Assessment Control Private Limited was given a mandate to do shipment inspection, verification of documentation, sample testing and risk assessment of goods in the country of origin.
However, some observers have said that the Standards Association of Zimbabwe has adequate capacity to implement the CBCA programme without depleting the country’s limited foreign currency.
Concern has been raised over the quality of products being imported into the country as some of them do not meet stipulated standards.