LACK of harmonised standards in East Africa has denied the local ceremic company huge opportunity to penetrate the Kenyan market that could have boosted its revenue.
Last year, the locally made tiles by Goodwill Tanzania Ceramic Company were rejected entry into Kenyan market for not meeting quality standards set by Kenya Bureau of Standards.
Deputy Managing Director of Goodwill Tanzania Ceramic Company Limited, Robin Huang said in Dar es Salaam recently that his company has been exporting tiles to Kenya and other East African Community countries for more than two years.
“Our tiles are of high quality and meet Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) quality but were rejected by Kenya because they use different standards compared to Tanzania, especially on marking,” Huang said while clarifying on remarks made by Controller and Auditor General’s latest report which blamed TBS for failure to ensure locally made products meet standards.
He also cited tit-fortat trade blockades being imposed by Dodoma and Nairobi in recent years as having contributed to the decision which was politically motivated other than basing on scientific benchmarks.
“It was an unfortunate incident which we have since sorted out with support from authorities,” the Goodwill Tanzania Managing Director added.
He urged EAC governments to move quickly and harmonise standards for manufactured goods in the region to avoid creating barriers against intra-regional trade.
“I just hope that East African governments will address this issue of standards because it’s a nontariff barrier causing inconveniences to businesses,” he lamented while expressing hope that efforts are being made through East African Business Council to address many NTBs hindering trade growth in the bloc.
In his latest report, Controller and Auditor General, Professor Mussa Assad said TBS procedures in enforcing standards of manufactured goods locally are still wanting after tiles manufactured by Goodwill Tanzania were rejected entry into Kenya last year.