Tanzania Outs Substandard Lubes


The Tanzania Bureau of Standards published a public notice naming several types of passenger and heavy duty motor oil the agency says do not comply with the East African countrys lubricant standards.

The public notice, Poor Lubricant and Oils in the Market, appeared recently in the local Guardian newspaper in Tanzania. The agency is responsible for regulating standards in Tanzania.

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The TBS is hereby notifying users of lubricants and oil products and the public in general, that the under mentioned brands of lubricants and oils used in vehicles do not comply with the Tanzanian Standard for products, i.e.,TZS 467:2001, Engine oils-Minimum performance -Specification, the notice stated. Legal action as per the standards Act No. 2 of 2009 will be taken against whoever is found selling, importing, distributing or involved in any transaction of such substandard products.

Due to widespread counterfeiting in Tanzania, the product brand names maybe not accurately reflect the actual manufacturer of the product. The brands listed in the agencys notice include:

Motor Oils

  • Super plus SAE 40
  • Gatex super Plus SAE 40
  • Caltex Super plus SAE 40
  • Mohona Lubricants SAE 40
  • Duma Tech SAE 40

Diesel Engine Oils

  • Supper (sic) SAE 40
  • Top Gatex super Plus SAE 40
  • Laurence Lubricants
  • Lubex SAE 40 (also listed as a petro engine oil)
  • Mohona Lubricants SAE 40
  • Auto Star Super HD
  • Universal Lubricant HD 40
  • Auto Star SAE 40
  • Super plus SAE 40

Nichonia Mabuka, head of the agencys chemical section in Dar Es Salam, Tanzania, said that the act establishing the bureau of standards empowers it to inform the public of risk associated with patronizing substandard lubricants on the market.

Instead of going to individual companies/shops to raid, it is more rewarding to publish in a national newspaper. We think it is one of the ways we can enforce standards on the market properly, Mabuka told Lube Report.

On the other hand, Mabuka said one of the challenges the agency has encountered in the war on substandard lubricants is that the Tanzania Bureau of Standards does not have power to regulate the Zanzibar end of the market, which accounts for most of the substandard lubes on the market.

However, to curb the situation, the governor of Zanzibar has come up with the establishment of [Zanzibar Bureau of Standards] to complement the TBS duty/role, Mabuka said, noting that the the Zanzibar agency will complement the Tanzania agencys effort to sanitize the lubricant sector.

Rhoida Andusamile, the TBS corporate and public affairs officer, emphasized that the aim of the public notice was to ensure that Tanzanians only consume lubricants that meet the required standards.

Stakeholders have described Tanzanias public notice – arguably the first by any African country – as a good development for the sector.

Sameer Manik, group head of marketing for OilCom Group, Dar Es Salam, agreed that the notice to the public by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards has created awareness in the minds of end users that buying substandard lubes from any place can endanger their machines.

It is a good development, Manlik said. In fact, the policies TBS is adopting and implementing are really appreciated.

Irfan Khan, general manager of Tanzania operations for General Petroleum, said the notice to the public will help all people who do fair business in the lubricants industry.

It will even compel local blenders to be more careful, Khan said. We are not against the traders of lubricants, but we dont want Tanzania to become a dumping site for used and recycled oil.

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Africa    Region    Regulations Specs & Testing