THE Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry has urged Zambians to avoid buying substandard products which are illegally sneaked into Zambia.

Director of Industry at the Ministry Tobias Mulimbika said there was need for citizens to reject inferior products which eludeed regulators at border posts.

Speaking in an interview in Livingstone yesterday when the Ministry in partnership with Zambia Bureau of Standard (ZABS) conducted a stakeholder consultative workshop on Pre – Export Verification of Conformity (PVOC) programme, Mr Mulimbika noted that some people did not care on the quality of goods they bought and hence low quality products had continued to flood the market.

He said that PVOC was a programme where products were verified for conformity to standards before they entered into the country, adding that verification process was usually done by international companies specialized in conformity assessment services.

“There are some products which are not supposed to enter the country but they find themselves in our shops or selling places and the problem we have is that consumers accept anything on the market.

“Consumers should help Government by rejecting such products especially those which are substandard,” Mr Mulimbika said.

He said the Ministry was currently conducting a nationwide consultative meeting with various stakeholder s to protect consumers on the safety and quality of imported and exported products.

Mr Malimbika said there was need to ensure that the PVOC, which was currently applicable to motor vehicles, was extended to other products such as foodstuffs, equipment and footwear among others.

He noted that the Government banned the importation of underwear in 2006 but some people were still illegally importing such products.

The Ministry started the consultative meetings in Western Province on February 9 and was currently consulting stakeholders in Southern Province.

The remaining eight provinces will be consulted before the end of this year.

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