Substandard goods smuggled to S. Sudan at night

Trucks lining up at the Nimule entry zone/Courtesy photo

By Bida Elly David

The National Ministry of Trade and Industry has testified illegal night entry of sub-standard commodities into the Country by some traders and challenged the Bureau of Standards to carry comprehensive inspection.

This development arose during a comprehensive meeting between the Ministry of Trade and its duty related institutions which included the national Bureau of Standards and the Ministry of Labor.

According to reports, South Sudan is among Countries that have been depending on imports compared to its exports. Generally, the Country mostly imports its consumer goods from its neighboring Countries due to less production as calculated from its gross domestic product (GDP).

The Country in several occasions has been battling with serious balance of payment problems as imports exceed exports.

Despite the protectionism mechanism that the government has been imposing, still dumping of commodities as well as illegal influx of commodities and smuggling became the order of the day.

Speaking during the meeting recently, Mary Akech the undersecretary of the national Ministry of Trade and Industry affirmed that the sub-standard goods are being smuggled into the country at night when the Country’s border officials go off-duty after their eight hours of operation.

She further underscored that it was the role of the national bureau of standard to ensure that any imported product undergo laboratory test for the safety of the citizens and urged the government to empower them with inspection responsibilities before any commodity reaches the Country.

Mary also challenged those in charge of the border saying that the eight hours of duty wasn’t correlating with the global standard and suggested immediate improvement.

 “Globally, all borders work for 24 hours. Our national border is working for only 8 or sometimes 9 hours and the remaining period, there is dirty business taking place,” she said.

“All the smuggling is happening at night. Our road is busier at night than at day time so the time that the business is busy, our employees are sleeping,” she added.

Meanwhile, Mary Gordon, the Chief Executive Officer of the South Sudan National Bureau of Standards pointed out lack of capacity being one of the factors that have impeded the SSNBS activities and promised to style up for better improvement.

At the same note, she revealed that a tentative agreement with five Countries consisting of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda has been signed to generate capacity building programs in various areas of technology.

She added that through the capacity building initiative, the Country would produce competent and potential workforce to carry serious inspection exercise for all imported or exported goods.

 “Our entity is very much concerned with building capacity, we are much concerned with the exchange of knowledge, we are much concerned with areas of work, technology needs exchange and we need our government to back us up,” she noted.

“The Bureau of Standards plays a big role and it has to be properly functioning. We have signed MoU with a few countries for the exchange of training,” she reiterated.

Mary Gordon stated that their mandate was to ensure that the aforementioned Countries included in the agreement engage the nationals into empirical training for affirmative acquisition of knowledge.

She called on the government to extend their support to the institution since the Country has confirmed its entry to the regional bloc.

Comments are closed.