Administrative directives on implementation of the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (import inspection & clearance regulations) 2015
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) communicates the need for all importers into Uganda of items for which Mandatory Standards have been declared to abide by the Regulations mentioned above and the guidance summarized below.
The Regulation requires the Bureau to carry out conformity assessment of all goods covered by mandatory standards. The Bureau may appoint an inspection agency or agencies to carry out conformity assessment. An importer of a product covered by a mandatory standard shall ensure that the supplier of the imported goods subjects them to inspection for conformity to standards in the country of origin and a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) is issued, before the goods are shipped to Uganda. The regulation also covers/extends to used motor vehicles where, an importer of a used Motor Vehicle into Uganda shall ensure that it is subjected to Pre Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) to ensure conformity to the prescribed Uganda Standard.
1) Any person who applies for a Certificate of Conformity or a Certificate of Road Worthiness shall pay the inspection fees summarized in table 1 below.
2) Goods that should have undergone PVoC and are imported without a Certificate of Conformity or a Certificate of Road Worthiness shall pay a surcharge of 15% Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) and be subjected to full destination inspection.
3) Goods or Motor vehicles that have not met requirements of the relevant standard shall not be shipped to Uganda and if they do, they risk being destroyed at importers cost or being asked to return to country of export.
Table 1: Inspection Fees under PVoC
|Route A (Unregistered products) - 0.500% of FOB value, subject to a minimum of US$235 Maximum of US$3000
|Route B (registered products) - 0.45% of FOB value, subject to a minimum of US$235 and maximum of US$3000
|Route C (Licensed products) - 0.25% of FOB value, subject to a minimum of US$235 and maximum of US$3000
||Used Motor Vehicles (These are country specific)
|Japan - US$140; Singapore - US$180; UK - GBP125; South Africa -Rand685; UAE - S$125; Other countries and destination - US$140
I. Application for an Import Clearance Certificate
1) Upon arrival of the goods or motor vehicles at the port of entry or clearance station, the importer of goods or used motor vehicle shall apply to the Bureau for an Import Clearance Certificate.
2) The application for an import clearance certificate shall be made electronically on the UNBS ePortal (www.eportal.unbs.go.ug) or on prescribed forms and shall be accompanied with a Certificate of Conformity or a Certificate of Road Worthiness together with the relevant Customs documents (Customs entry, Bill of lading, etc)
II. Handling of an Application
1) Upon receipt of an application, a UNBS authorized officer shall verify the documents; to ensure that the application is duly filled and accompanied by all the necessary attachments)
2) The authorized officer shall verify that the goods/ motor vehicle match(es) with the declaration in the application and/or in the Certificate of conformity/ Certificate of Roadworthiness before issuing import clearance.
3) Goods/motor vehicles that do not match with the Certificate of Conformity or certificate of Road Worthiness shall be subjected to destination inspection & deemed to have not undergone PVoC.
III. No Release of Goods without Issuance of certificate
A UNBS authorized officer shall not release goods/ Motor vehicles from a point of entry, other than to a bonded warehouse or under UNBS seal, unless the importer of the goods has been issued with an import clearance certificate.
IV. Handling of Non-Conforming Goods/Motor Vehicles
1) Goods/ motor vehicles issued with a seizure notice shall either be destroyed or re-exported if proven to not meet the required standards.
2) Goods/ motor vehicle issued with a seizure notice and determined by authorized officer not to pose a significant risk to the environment may be destroyed without re-exportation. Those deemed to pose an environmental risk shall be re-exported to the country of origin.
3) The destruction of the goods/ motor vehicle issued with a seizure notice shall be done in accordance to the relevant regulations and guidelines and at the expense of the importer and within 60 days of seizure. Failure to adhere to this will lead to UNBS undertaking the destruction and recovering the costs from the importer.
V. Release Under Seal
An inspector may release goods under seal where the importer has cleared with customs requirements but the Bureau has queried the goods (needs to subject them to further inspection, sampling, testing and evaluation.
The release under seal is subject to: (i) Payment of all fees as applicable (PVoC surcharge and testing fees); (ii) An administration fee equivalent to US$50 per consignment; (iii) A cash bond worth 15% of CIF value of the goods.
The cash bond shall be executed when the goods do not meet the requirement of the Standard so as to cater for the costs of destruction or ensure re-export. The cash bond shall be issued to the Importer/retired once he/she is issued with an import clearance certificate.
The following goods are exempt from PVoC but are however subject to destination inspection: (i) Goods whose FOB value does not exceed USD2,000 (ii) Government project specific goods (iii)Raw materials brought in for the manufacturing process and not for resale (iv) Diplomatic Cargo (v) Personal Effects (vi) Goods that are not covered by compulsory standards (vii) Certified goods including those from the EAC Partner States (viii) Industrial machinery and spare parts not for resale (ix) Classified military, police and prisons hardware and equipment.
An importer may appeal as provided for under section 24 of UNBS Act CAP 317, where he/she is not satisfied with the decision taken by the UNBS inspector.
Implementation of these administrative directives take effect immediately.
Dr. Ben Manyindo
Uganda National Bureau of Standards