TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Zambia: Set up lab, certification centre, US urged

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Source: Times of Zambia

The United States (US) should set up a laboratory and a product certification centre in Zambia to ease export under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), local economic analyst, David Punabantu has said.

Mr Punabantu said yesterday that the local producers on the other hand should improve on both the quality and quantity of their products to be able to meet the requirements.

In an interview in Lusaka, he said the Americans were strict about the quality of any product, hence the need for a laboratory in the country to ascertain the value of the US-bound goods.

Zambia will host the AGOA forum in June this year.

Mr Punabantu said the US should meet Zambia and other eligible countries half way by funding the establishment of such a laboratory.

On product certification, Mr Punabantu said a centre would help in ensuring that the products were certified locally before they could even be dispatched to the US.

He said the US government should run the certification centre which should be manned by experts from America to ensure that whatever passes the certification was acceptable in that country.

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Mr Punabantu said there was equally need for the US to fully give out the information on the guidelines on the export indicating as to what types of products were required.

Producers and exporters should have detailed information on the requirements as a way of easing the export.

Experts from US should be directly involved in educating the local exporters on the quantity and quality of products required in America if the AGOA is to work well.

Figures indicate that from 2006, Zambia exported US$361,000 while in 2008 the levels of export increased to US$10.9 million, but dropped to US$121,000 the following. Last year, export level improved to US$1.4 million.