Rwanda Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has extended the deadline for premise licensing and food products registration to June 30.
The regulator had in January set March 31 as the deadline.
However, in a statement released Tuesday, March 31, Rwanda FDA noted it had extended the timeframe in line with the current lockdown designed to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rwanda so far has 75 confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to the Ministry of Health.
Rwanda FDA says 17 companies have hitherto registered 117 food products since January and were duly licensed.
Normally, for a company to start manufacturing, it must apply for premise licensing whereby the regulator visits the site of production to see if the environment of production meets minimum standards on such matters as hygiene, depending on what the company will be producing.
Later, after producing a given product, the company registers its product by taking the sample to Rwanda FDA which tests its quality before licensing it to be sold on the market.
In an interview, Gérard Sina, the founder of Urwibutso Enterprises, an agribusiness firm in Northern Province, welcomed the latest move.
“I am glad the deadline has been extended given the circumstances,” he told The New Times.
Significance of exercise
Speaking to The New Times, Dr Charles Karangwa, the Director-General of Rwanda FDA, noted that premise and product licensing is key to consumer protection.
He said: “When we test and evaluate the quality of both the premise of production and the product, the intention is to make sure that products that go on the market meet standards to avoid health complications linked to consumption of substandard products.”
In addition, Karangwa noted that the exercise helps ensure that licensed products are not forged by others.Follow lavie250