Tanzania Announces Tough Measures Against Import of Sub-Standard Lubricants
Tanzania is adopting tough measures to check the the inflow of substandard lubricants into the country,
This was announced in the backdrop of the announcement by the Government Chemist Laboratory Agency (GCLA) that over 50 per cent of imported lubricants in the country are of inferior quality. Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Charles Mwijage said the new measures will involve strict restriction and regulation of lubricant dealers.
“The government had realised that liberalisation of the business has turned into a serious problem,” said Charles Mwijage. “The ministry was aware of the proliferation of trashy lubricants in the market, with many cases at police involving dealers of shoddy products,” he said.
“We want to introduce a strict system that will allow only special dealers to trade in lubricants … these are special products that should not be indiscriminately sold,” he said, adding, “Under the new system, consumers will be barred from buying the lubricants from uncertified dealers … they will only get the products from special outlets.” The minister noted with concerns the massive damages that the sub-standard lubricating oils cause to the vehicles.
The new measures will ensure that the dealers are obliged to submit to Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) a ‘Notice of Intention to Import’ prior to the lubricant importation.
Under the arrangement, importation will only be effected subject to TBS approval after scrutinising the specifications of the lubricants. TBS will implement all the measures in collaboration with GCLA and the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA), said the minister.
Tanzania consumes 30 million litres of lubricants annually, with 20 million litres produced in the country and the remaining 10 million litres imported. EWURA has licensed only four local firms, Oryx Energies, Petrolube, General Petroleum and Tanzania Mineral Oil, to produce lubricants.
“TBS should agree with EWURA on the modalities to go about it … they should work together,” the minister stressed.
TBS announced recently that it had nabbed some dishonest people whom it accused of illegal production of the lubricants in Temeke and Ilala districts. TBS Acting Director General, Egid Mubofu, said an unregistered factory in Temeke District was identified and closed during the operation, pending prosecution of its owners.
He said 12,296 litres of sub-standard engine oil, 811 litres of brake fluid and 1,241 litres of ATF lubricant were impounded. The value of the entire consignment is estimated at 46m/-.
Dr Mubofu called on producers and importers of lubricants to ensure that they sell standard and quality products, saying TBS will continue collaborating with other agencies like the Police and Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) on its crackdown against illegal dealers.