Why mercury importers, dealers must be registered with GCLA

CHIEF Government Chemist, Dr Fidelice Mafumiko has asked importers and dealers of mercury to register with the Government Chemist Laboratory Authority (GCLA), since the chemical is still used in the country.

Dr Mafumiko made the plea in Mwanza on Monday, when speaking to journalists and introducing companies that have been registered to import such chemical that is used in gold processing.

“It should be understood that the law directs that anyone dealing with chemicals, including mercury, must be registered with the Chief Government Chemist, who is mandated to register domestic and industrial chemicals in the country.

So far, the GCLA recognizes 10 companies that have been registered and met criteria and legal requirements for importing mercury.

Since registered, the companies have legally imported over five tonnes of mercury from September 2021 untill currently.

“I direct all stakeholders who deal with mercury, including users, who have not yet been registered with the Government Chemist Laboratory Authority should follow regulations guiding purchasing, selling, using and supplying of chemicals,” Dr Mafumiko ordered.

He emphasized that importation of mercury by adhering to law would enable the government to supervise and control importation, distribution as well as provide awareness education over proper uses of the mercury in the country in order to protect health of environment.

On his part, Mr Fredrick Otieno, from Jema Chemicals Company, one of registered companies to import mercury into the country, thanked the GCLA for registering their company and enabling it dealing with mercury business legally.

He asked the GCLA to strengthen education among users of mercury over safe use of such chemicals and buying the chemicals from dealers who are legally recognized.

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