The Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS), which is the statutory organisation mandated to promote metrology, standardization, and quality assurance of commodities and of the manufacturers, has banned the packaging of liquor (spirits) in plastic bottles.
According to the MBS press statement dated 10 April, 2017, the ban is with immediate effect.
The statement disclosed that the MBS banned packaging spirits in sachets and plastic bottles in July, 2010, but some of the manufacturers obtained court injunctions against the ban.
“On 4 January, 2017, the High Court of Malawi made a ruling on Case No. 67 of 2015, in favour of the MBS that manufacturing, packaging, distribution, and sale of liquor in sachets and plastic bottles, is illegal in Malawi.” reads part of the statement.
The MBS has therefore, advised the general public and all manufacturers of spirituous liquor to immediately comply with the MBS Act Cap 51:02,as stipulated in MS 210 (1990): Spirits-Specification, which stipulates that spirits shall be packaged in clear glass bottles.
“In this regard, the MBS is expecting compliance by liquor manufacturers as a sign that they are law-abiding corporate citizens of this country.” added the statement.
In view of the foregoing, the MBS is advising the general public that it will intensify its market surveillance activities throughout the country where the liquor packaged in plastic bottles, will be confiscated and producers including vendors or shops, will be penalized for producing or selling nonconforming liquor.
The MBS also advised all manufactures that are not registered and approved by the MBS, to do so as all products that are not registered and approved by the MBS, will not be allowed on the Malawi market.
Meanwhile, the MBS said it is expecting total compliance with the ban of spirituous liquor packed in plastic bottles and, in conjunction with other law enforcing agencies, will take appropriate action, in accordance with the law including confiscation of products non-compliant with MS 210.
Manufactures and vendors are yet to issue a comment on the matter.