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Q&A – 5 November 2018

Selling and advertising condoms

I want to go into the noble business of selling condoms and wish to know if there are any approvals that are required? What about advertising condoms?

PO, Mtwara

Under the Tanzania Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 2003, the definition of drug, medicine, or pharmaceutical product means any substance or mixture of substances manufactured, sold or presented for use in the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, disorder, abnormal physical or mental state, or the symptoms thereof, in man or animal. Condoms fall under this definition.

Section 17 of this Act prohibits individuals from manufacturing, selling, importing, distributing or exposing drugs without a licence or permit. The application of a licence or permit is to be made in a prescribed form to the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (Authority) and is to be accompanied by prescribed fees.

Before granting such licence or permit, the Authority shall ensure that the applicant is equipped with the required facilities which are used for storing and distribution of the product in your case condoms as per section 20(1)(b) of the Act.

Further, section 22(1) of the Act prohibits individuals from selling unregistered products. We therefore recommend that prior to selling you should confirm the registration and approval of the condoms by reading the third schedule of the Tanzania Food, Drugs and Cosmetics (List of Registered Human Medicinal Products, Veterinary Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices) notice No. 283 of 2016. The referred Notice has listed all types of condoms that have already been registered by the Authority.

Regarding the last part of your question, section 173 of the Public Health Act of 2009 prohibits any form of advertisement on matters related to public health unless a permit has been granted by a competent authority.

Finally, be informed that the law restricts all advertisements targeted to the general public from containing pictures of internal or sexual organs as well as not to induce or attract children in using such products, contravention of which is an offence.

Intoxication as a defence

My friend had a few extra beers in a night club that his friends had mixed with some other stronger liquor. He ended up punching someone on the dance floor breaking his nose. What defence is available to him? Can I not claim that he was insane?

JI, Dar

Our criminal laws are embedded in the Penal Code which makes it quite clear that an individual is presumed to be sane unless proven otherwise. Hence this defence is not automatic.

Section 13 and 14 of the Penal Code are relevant to this question. Section 13 states a person is not criminally responsible for an act or omission if at the time of doing the act or making the omission he is through any disease affecting his mind incapable of understanding what he is doing, or of knowing that he ought not to do the act or make the omission. But a person may be criminally responsible for an act or omission although his mind is affected by disease, if such disease does not in fact produce upon his mind one or other of the effects above mentioned in reference to that act or omission.

Section 14 states that (1) Save as provided in this section intoxication shall not constitute a defence to any criminal charge. (2) Intoxication shall be a defence to any criminal charge if by reason thereof the person charged at the time of the act or omission complained of did not know what he was doing and — (a) the state of intoxication was caused without his consent by the malicious or negligent act of another person; or (b) the person charged was by reason of intoxication insane, temporarily or otherwise, at the time of such act or omission. (3) Where the defence under the preceding subsection is established, then in a case falling under paragraph (a) thereof the accused shall be discharged and in a case falling under paragraph (b) the provisions of this Code and of the Criminal Procedure Code relating to insanity shall apply. (4) Intoxication shall be taken into account for the purpose of determining whether the person charged formed any intention, specific or otherwise, in the absence of which he would not be guilty of the offence. (5) For the purpose of this section “intoxication” shall be deemed to include a state produced by narcotics or drugs.

Under section 14(2) above, the fact that the beer was laced with some stronger liquor might be a good defence. Otherwise intoxication is not a defence and your friend is criminally liable for assault and will, if found guilty, be imprisoned.

Registration of hair dressing salons and barbershops

For a simple hair dressing salon or barbershop, are there any statutory health requirements that I need to follow?

NN, Dar

The Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (Authority) is in charge of registering salons, barbershops and the like under the Tanzania Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 2003. Section 152 makes it mandatory for such a facility to have sufficient water supply, proper storage area, maintains cleanliness, has a safe environment with adequate lighting, is properly ventilated, has toilets and supply of approved antiseptics, uses only permitted chemicals for treatment of skin and hair, has first aid facilities, causes every staff to undergo medical examination every six months, amongst others. If the Salon is in breach of these the Authority shall close down the salon.

If you cannot or are unable to comply with the above, you should look for another business with fewer compliance requirements but the above are mandatory.

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