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UNBS blocks 16 million substandard products

By Chris Kiwawulo

Added 24th January 2018 05:45 PM

UNBS also verified 6,500 electricity metres. About 6,000 failed verification and corrective measures were recommended.

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UNBS also verified 6,500 electricity metres. About 6,000 failed verification and corrective measures were recommended.

PIC: UNBS executive director Ben Manyindo said the exercise is meant to protect consumers and the environment. (Credit: Godiver Asege)

IMPORTS | PRODUCTS

KAMPALA - The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has stopped the importation of 16 million substandard products as a measure to protect the health and safety of consumers.

Between July and December last year, under the pre-export verification of conformity (PVoC), UNBS inspected 4.6 billion products of which 4.2 billion passed the test. According to a statement from the standards body, 16 million products failed the test.

In addition, UNBS seized about 232 metric tonnes of substandard goods worth sh1.7 b from the local market. The goods seized included steel bars, iron sheets, assorted food stuffs, energy savers, extension cables, cosmetics, agro-inputs, sweets, cooking oil, second-hand tyres, beers, paint and maize flour.

While announcing the UNBS half-year performance, the executive director, Dr Ben Manyindo, said: “The seized goods would have otherwise been detrimental to the health and safety of consumers.”

UNBS also verified 6,500 electricity metres. About 6,000 failed verification and corrective measures were recommended.

“Without our intervention, 6,000 electricity metres would have been in the market, giving wrong measurements to the detriment of the consumers,” Manyindo said.

He revealed that UNBS received 100% funding of the sh20b budget, which enabled them to meet and surpass most of their targets in enforcing standards. It also helped them protect consumer health and safety as well as protect the environment against dangerous and substandard products.

UNBS also automated its imports clearance processes to facilitate faster clearance of goods, which improved the turnaround time from 11 days to five days.

“We hope to further reduce the turnaround time by facilitating pre-arrival clearance of inspected goods with data from PVoC service providers,” Dr. Manyindo said.

UNBS developed 254 standards mainly to support the implementation of the Buy Uganda, Build Uganda (BUBU) policy. The policy is meant enable micro small and medium-scale enterprises to develop competitive products.

“UNBS continued to focus on developing standards that contribute to the competitiveness of local industries and supporting the economic development of our country through support for the growth of exports,” Manyindo said.

In addition to standards developed, 467 certification permits were issued to enhance the quality and competitiveness of locally manufactured products.

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