BBN removes juices not meeting standard on market

The agents of Burundi Bureau of Standards and Quality Control (BBN) in collaboration with the police seized yesterday hundreds of boxes of juices in Buyenzi City Market commonly called “Kwa Sioni” and COTEBU markets. Sellers say they are victims of injustice.

“These juices are not certified by BBN,” says Pie Claude Nikwigize, deputy director of BBN. He indicates that BBN had received

Bottles of juices seized by BBN agents at COTEBU market

Bottles of juices seized by BBN agents at COTEBU market

information that there is a pirated juice labeled “Heavy Mangoes” on the market. Some bottles of this juice bear a Ugandan certification mark while others bear the Kenyan one.

“The director contacted the standardization offices of these two countries, and found that this product is not recognized in any of them,” says Nikwigize adding that when BBN agents arrived on market, they seized this juice and other kinds of uncertified juice. He indicates that these seized products will be destroyed. The deputy director of BBN also says the agents will continue this activity to remove non-certified products in all markets and shops.

Nikwigize calls on all merchants and consumers to verify if a product bears the BBN certification mark before buying it. “Traders may come to BBN office to pick up the list of certified products before buying them,” says Nikwigize.

BBN had recently sent a letter to shopkeepers and merchants asking them not to sell or buy products that are not certified. “If we ask merchants to reveal the manufacturers of these uncertified products, they don’t tell us. They are accomplices, “says Nikwigize.

Traders complain

“It’s a big loss for us. We are not manufacturers of these products. BBN should contact the owners of factories that manufacture these juices, “says a trader whose goods have been seized at COTEBU market. He asks that BBN agents hand these products back to them. “I just lost more than 100 boxes of juice,” he says. “They told me that I’m selling products that are not certified, and then they put them in a car and transported them,” says another shopkeeper adding that she was not aware that these goods did not meet the standards.

The deputy director of BBN makes it clear that any product manufactured in Burundi must be certified by BBN before being put on the market. For imported products, the Government of Burundi has signed a contract with a Swiss company Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) to monitor the quality of products imported into Burundi. “SGS controls the products that are shipped to Burundi. For imported products bearing the certification mark of one of the EAC member countries’ Standards Bureau, BBN does not do another check, “says Nikwigize.

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