“Destruction of Non-Compliant Products”

… Maamba says this action is a necessary measure towards consumer safety

By Francis Maingaila

Lusaka, Zambia24 (07-06-2024) – In a decisive move to uphold consumer safety and regulatory compliance, the Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency (ZCSA) has disposed of non-compliant products valued at over K20,000. The discarded items included packaged water, fruit-flavored drinks, fertilizers, clear beer, potable spirits, shoe polish, and mealie meal.

The disposal of these products is a direct enforcement of the Compulsory Standards Act No. 3 of 2017, which mandates stringent regulatory standards for market products.

According to Onishias Maamba, ZCSA Public Relations Officer, this legislation highlights the necessity for products in the market to meet defined safety and quality standards.

Maamba disclosed that in March 2024, ZCSA conducted market surveillance inspections across various locations in Lusaka, leading to the seizure of the non-compliant products.

“This regular market surveillance is crucial in identifying and removing products that fail to meet the compulsory standards,” he said.

“The disposal of non-compliant products is a testament to the agency’s dedication to upholding safety and quality standards,” Maamba added.

“The ZCSA is resolute in its mission to protect consumers and maintain the integrity of the Zambian market.”

He emphasized that the primary aim of these regulatory actions is to ensure consumer safety, noting that non-compliant products, particularly those in the food and beverage sector, can have severe health implications.

He said restricting the sale of unlicensed and potentially hazardous products on the market will help to protect consumers from harm.

Manufacturers are obligated to obtain authorization from the ZCSA before supplying products covered by compulsory standards.

“This requirement ensures that all products undergo rigorous evaluation before reaching consumers, fostering accountability among manufacturers,” Maamba said.

He said ZCSA has intensified its efforts not only in enforcement but also in public education.

This dual approach is essential in creating a well-informed consumer base that can make safer choices.

Public education initiatives aim to raise awareness about the importance of purchasing regulated products and recognizing the risks associated with non-compliant goods.

It was Maamba’s consideres view that in observance of World Food Safety Day on June 7, 2024, the ZCSA has reiterated the importance of purchasing food and beverages from regulated and reputable outlets.

Maamba urged consumers to be vigilant and avoid products of unknown or questionable origins.

“The ZCSA’s regulatory mandate extends to 61 products, including food products, beverages, chemical products, household electrical appliances, fuel, fertilizers, rubber products, and used textiles,” Maamba said.

“This extensive scope ensures comprehensive market oversight, further safeguarding public health and safety.”

Established under the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, the ZCSA is a statutory body tasked with ensuring compliance with compulsory standards.

Its role encompasses public safety, health, consumer, and environmental protection. Through diligent enforcement of these standards, the ZCSA is pivotal in maintaining a safe and reliable market environment.

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