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Friday,November 27,2020 19:52 PM

Traders reject UNBS pre-export law

By Vision Reporter

Added 29th May 2010 03:00 AM

TRADERS have rejected the newly-proposed pre-export verification of conformity to standards law that was initiated by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS).

TRADERS have rejected the newly-proposed pre-export verification of conformity to standards law that was initiated by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS).

By Patrick Jaramogi

TRADERS have rejected the newly-proposed pre-export verification of conformity to standards law that was initiated by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS).

The exercise is expected to start on June 9. It’s aimed at regulating the entry of substandard goods into the local market.

Dr. Terry Kahuma, the head of the UNBS, explained that the new measures would ensure that all goods entering the country conform with the relevant Ugandan technical regulations and standards.

“The purpose of this scheme is to reduce the inflow of substandard goods into the country,” he said.
Local manufactures have always complained of the influx of cheap and substandard goods from China, saying it makes competition unfair.

But traders objected the new scheme at a dialogue called by UNBS last week, saying it will “drive them out of business.”

The Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) spokesman Issa Ssekitto described as “unfair” the granting of “foreign firms” to handle the scheme.
“It is unfortunate that the same firms that were thrown out by the Government three years ago (due to non- performance) have again been awarded the contract,” he said in Kampala.

The three companies contracted are Societe General de Surveillance Uganda, Bureau Veritas and Intertek. They signed two-year contracts with the trade ministry.

The Uganda Manufacturers Association, the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce, the Uganda Motor Industry Association, the Uganda Freighters and Forwarders Association, KACITA, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda and the Uganda Clearing Industry and Forwarders Association handed over a petition to Kahuma, protesting the new scheme.

“We are strongly opposed to the approach. Uganda is part of the EAC that has agreed to implement the Customs Union. Pre-Export Verification of conformity shall make Uganda less competitive for business within EAC region,” stated the petition.

“It is not proper to come and tell us of a new scheme that will affect our business yet we were never consulted at the beginning,” said Ssekitto.
Trade minister Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafire acknowledged that the stakeholders were not consulted but had no regrets.
“This scheme was started by my predecessors. My work is to implement it and I will,” he said.

implement it. I don’t care. So long as it is in the interest of the state,” said Otafire.
Kahuma said the pre-verification programme covers the verification of all “regulated products” to be in compliance with the Uganda and other approved standards.

‘Failure to present these certificates can result in severe delays in customs clearance, penalties or even shipment being returned to country of export,” said Kahuma.

Under the conformity to standards scheme, imports without certificates and registration will pay 0.523% of the value, while those registered but with no certificate will pay 0.45% of the goods. The goods with registration and certificates will pay 0.25%.

Traders reject UNBS pre-export law

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