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SMEs digest: Products standardisation, quality control now online

Tuesday May 04 2021
SMEs pic

TBS officer Hamis Seleleko (left) inspects second-hand clothes at a market in Arusha last year. photo | file

By Josephine Christopher

Dar es Salaam. Companies – large and small alike – will now not be compelled to visit Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) offices in need of standardisation and quality control of their products and services, thanks to a new system that was launched at the weekend.

Named ‘Integrated Standards, Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testing’ (iSQMT), the system enables the standardisation and quality control of products and services to be conducted online.

The standards body has also unveiled its e-Learning Portal, an online system that allows it to conduct trainings to stakeholders.

The two systems were developed by TBS and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) with the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office, Ireland and Norway bankrolling the two systems to the tune of $950,000 (about Sh2.1 billion)

The iSQMT automates standards development, product certification, system certification, import inspection, metrology and testing.

iSQMT has also been integrated to the eGovernment payment gateway platforms that guarantees fully automated processes from application, payment and acquisition of the final product (certificate/permit). This will thus reduce time and transaction costs associated with the exercise of visiting TBS offices for services related to standards and quality control, training, collection of permits and certificates.

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It is also expected that the systems will significantly reduce incidences of loss and duplication of records.

Data collected via the system will inform better decision making in the regulation and administration of TBS processes. In the conduct of its mandate of training the public and businesses in the areas of business, standards and quality control, TBS and other institutions have been conducting such projects physically.

This will now become part of history as the e-learning portal will host courses related to business management, international trade, system standards and standard requirements for selected products, among others.

The TBS director general, Dr Athuman Ngenya, said at the weekend that provision of automated services has largely reduced waiting and processing times and costs for the standards body’s stakeholders to secure various services.

“Stakeholders would travel long distances, print documents and submit paper works, the process which was dominated by delays, errors, and costs”

The TMEA Country Director, Mr John Ulanga said that use of automated systems in provision of government services has catalysed trade growth by providing efficient market linkages and enhancing business operations.

Digitalisation has reduced trade costs and time, providing a strong avenue for industrialization and economic development to be realised in Tanzania. TMEA will continue supporting government’s efforts to create jobs and reduce poverty.

The system shall be integrated to the Tanzania Electronic Single Window.

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