In a recent crackdown, the Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency (ZCSA) has seized a substantial quantity of expired, banned, unregistered, and poorly labeled local and imported products in Eastern Province, with an estimated total value of K50,000. This action comes as a result of these products being in violation of the Compulsory Standards Act No. 3 of 2017.
Among the seized items are 66 x 50-kilogram bags of expired Poultry Feed – Broiler Starter, valued at K38,280. These products were discovered on various premises and have been promptly removed from the market.
Additionally, a wide range of expired, banned, poorly labeled, and unregistered local and imported goods, including round pin plugs, incandescent bulbs, peanut butter, Fruit Flavored Drinks, Bottled Drinking Water, Biscuits, Margarine, Synthetic Detergents, Shoe Polish, Primary Dry Batteries, and others, collectively valued at K11,465.55, have been confiscated and are awaiting disposal.
The seizures occurred during ZCSA’s recent Open Market Surveillance inspections conducted in Vubwi, Mwami, Chipata, Chadiza, and Katete Districts of Eastern Province, spanning from July 31, 2023, to August 31, 2023.
ZCSA’s nationwide market surveillance program aimed to ensure continued compliance with compulsory standards and protect consumers in line with the Agency’s mandate. The agency warns traders and firms against supplying expired, banned, and unregistered products that may endanger the health and safety of consumers.
In a related development, batches of 62 x 50-kilogram bags of Compound – D fertilizer, valued at K40,300.00, have been quarantined in Eastern Province at a facility operating without proper authorization, engaging in the illegal mixing and re-packaging of fertilizers. Additionally, batches of 11 x 50-kilogram bags of Urea fertilizer, valued at K7,700.00, have faced similar quarantine for similar unauthorized operations. Investigations are ongoing, pending laboratory results before further action can be taken.
ZCSA, established under the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, and Industry (MCTI), is a statutory body charged with administering, maintaining, and enforcing compulsory standards for public safety, health, consumer protection, and environmental well-being. Presently, ZCSA regulates 61 products covered by compulsory standards, encompassing various categories such as food, beverages, chemicals, fertilizer, fuel, cement, household electrical appliances, and used textile products, among others.
The Agency encourages businesses in Eastern Province and across Zambia to engage with ZCSA offices early in their product development process to ensure compliance with compulsory standards and receive essential guidance and support.
Moreover, ZCSA calls upon the public to report any suspicious products to the nearest ZCSA office. Vigilance from consumers is vital in maintaining product safety and quality standards.
Meanwhile, a team of ZCSA Board of Directors has successfully concluded its familiarization tour of the Agency’s offices in Eastern Province. This initiative follows the appointment of the Agency’s Board in April 2023 and aims to gather firsthand information from ZCSA offices across the nation to inform effective policy direction for the Agency.
In September 2023, the Board will continue its familiarization program, this time visiting Western Province to engage with stakeholders and ensure that ZCSA continues to uphold its commitment to public safety and product quality standards.