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Cotecna Empowers Zimbabwe’s Fight Against Counterfeit Products

In Zimbabwe’s efforts to combat the rising threat of counterfeit products, Cotecna, a renowned Swiss-based company specializing in testing, inspection, and certification services, has emerged as a key player in verifying the conformity of imported goods and issuing certificates of conformity in the country.

With a global presence spanning over 50 countries and a workforce exceeding 5,000 employees, Cotecna has established itself as a trusted entity in ensuring quality standards across various industries.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce appointed Cotecna to issue Certificates of Conformity on its behalf, entrusting the company with the critical task of upholding product quality in Zimbabwe.

Under the contract, Cotecna oversees four Consignment Based Conformity Assessment (CBCA) programs, encompassing general goods, used motor vehicles and spare parts, consolidated shipments, and destination inspections.

As the sole service provider for all four programs, Cotecna plays a pivotal role in executing the CBCA program, which aims to safeguard consumers and businesses by ensuring that imported goods meet specified quality standards.

Addressing stakeholders at a recent breakfast engagement meeting, a Chief Economist in the Quality Assurance Department for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ms Madzorere highlighted the significance of the CBCA program in rewarding responsible importers.

“The CBCA Program continues to play a pivotal role in safeguarding our local industry from unfair competition posed by non-compliant imported products. By ensuring that prescribed standards are met, we can enhance the quality of our reputable products, enabling them to access international markets,” said Madzorere.

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Introduced in 2015, the CBCA certification program mandates that all products entering Zimbabwe must be certified either in the country of supply or prior to arrival at the country’s ports of entry.

Failure to present the mandatory Certificate of Conformity (COC) results in a Destination Inspection and a 15% CIF penalty paid to ZIMRA, Zimbabwe’s revenue authority.

As the authorized CBCA service provider, Cotecna facilitates the acquisition of the mandatory COC for companies, whether in the country of origin or at the destination. This exclusive authorization positions Cotecna as the go-to entity for issuing certificates across all four Zimbabwe CBCA programs.

Under the Consignment Based Conformity Assessment program, Cotecna employs a rigorous pre-shipment process, including conformity documentary review, control testing if necessary, and physical inspection.

Importers without the Certificate of Conformity face the prospect of corrective action, which may entail returning the consignment to the country of origin at the trader’s expense.

Cotecna’s extensive global network enables the company to conduct vehicle inspections in exporting countries and landing ports before their arrival in Zimbabwe.

This proactive approach ensures that only products meeting quality, safety, health, and environmental standards, in line with World Trade Organization agreements, are permitted entry into the country.

Founded in 1974 as a family business in Switzerland, Cotecna has evolved into a world-class international player, renowned for its commitment to upholding product quality and conformity.

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