Tanzania’s Prime Minister Hon. Kassim Majaliwa directed the merger of the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) and Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) because the two institutions perform more or less the same functions.
According to a statement released by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) over the weekend the activities of the two entities were more or less the same.
This followed the premier`s meeting with small traders in Dar es Salaam on Thursday 28th February where he directed the Minister for Industry and Trade and Minister for Health, Joseph Kakunda and Ummy Mwalimu respectively to meet and prepare a framework for joining the two entities. Upon holding those consultations, the two ministers are supposed to prepare a bill for a structure combining the two entities for tabling in the National Assembly.
The Prime Minister stated that merging the bodies would cut down bureaucracy that the public has always been complaining about, a situation that costs the nation billions of shillings in losses from uncollected revenues from businesses. The premier further raised concerns of how the two regulatory bodies spend a lot of time testing the quality of products, which causes immense inconvenience to business people denying the government large amounts of potential revenue.
Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) is a statutory body of the government that was established in 1976 as part of institutional infrastructure for industry and commerce in the economy. It has six departments which include; process technology standards department, engineering standards department, quality management department, testing and calibration, documentation department and administration department which serve different functions ranging from formulation of national standards in the fields of agriculture and food, chemicals, textiles, leather and environment . The bureau is also responsible for metrology quality control, testing and calibration as well as training.
On the other hand the Tanzania Food and Drug Authority (TFDA) is an executive agency under the Ministry of Health responsible for regulating safety, quality and effectiveness of food, medicines, medical devices and diagnostics in Tanzania mainland.