Sunday, December 17, 2023
The Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency (ZCSA) has seized 10 bales of used undergarments from a trading entity operating around Soweto Market in Lusaka valued at a total cost of K29, 000
In a statement this morning, ZCSA Head of Communications Brian Hatyoka revealed that the agency seized the used undergarments last Friday, December 15, 2023 following a tip-off from whistle blowers who indicated that a named entity was secretly selling used undergarments contrary to the provisions of the Compulsory Standard ZS 559: Inspection and Acceptance Criteria for Used Textile Products.
He explained that ZS 559 prohibits the importation and sale of used textile products containing undergarments such as pyjamas, night gowns, ladies and gents’ briefs, brassieres, camisoles, vests, among others.
Mr. Hatyoka further explained that this standard was declared compulsory to protect the safety of consumers because used textile products that are worn in very close contact with the skin may transmit fungal infections and Sexually Transmitted Infections, among others ailments, if the previous owner had an infection.
He since stated that in this regard, the 10 seized Bales will be disposed of soon in line with the provisions of the Compulsory Standards Act No. 3 of 2017.
And Mr. Hatyoka said ZCSA has observed that some importers and traders are ignoring the ban on the importation and sale of used undergarments in the country.
He since warned of punitive measures against anyone involved in this illegal business to protect the health and safety of consumers.
Mr. Hatyoka also urged consumers to consider buying safer new undergarments on the market to protect themselves from health risks associated with the use of used undergarments.
He however disclosed that from January 2023 to-date, the Agency has withdrawn from the market more than 40 Bales of used undergarments valued at more than K180, 000.
“17 years ago, the Zambian Government declared the Zambian standard for used textile products compulsory through Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 120 of 2006.”
“This declaration, which was issued by the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, was informed by scientific research on the potential implications of non-compliance of the product with the standard on the safety of consumers.”
“As a regulator of compulsory standards, ZCSA will continue ensuring that products covered by compulsory standards continue to comply with relevant safety requirements.” Mr. Hatyoka said
Meanwhile, Mr. Hatyoka said the Agency will also enhance education of the public to enhance safety consciousness.
He added that ZCSA which has offices in all provincial centres and major border entry points to Zambia, is a statutory body under the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.
“The Agency was established by the Compulsory Standards Act No. 3 of 2017 to administer, maintain and enforce compulsory standards for the purpose of public safety and health, consumer and environmental protection.” Mr. Hatyoka stated