The report indicated that most of the ‘fake’ goods are locally manufactured and that the list of fakes is dominated by foods and beverages, cosmetics and electronics.
UNBS executive director Ben Manyindo. Fi;e Photo
KAMPALA - After a surveillance report for 2018 revealed that 54% of consumer goods on the market had failed to meet the required standards, Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has directed all manufacturers of products covered by compulsory standards to have them certified.
The report indicated that most of the ‘fake' goods are locally manufactured and that the list of fakes is dominated by foods and beverages, cosmetics and electronics.
According to UNBS, some of the products that must be certified before they are allowed on the market covered by compulsory standards include foods, drinks, electronics, cosmetics, steel products and cement, confectionaries (bread and biscuits), apiary and mattresses, among others.
"The new regulation is part of our consumer protection efforts to ensure that locally manufactured products comply with quality standards. This will further enhance the competitiveness and increase access for locally manufactured products to regional and international markets," said Ben Manyindo, the UNBS executive director.
Manyindo also noted that under the new regulations, UNBS has revised the annual permit fees for each product for small and medium Enterprises (SMEs) from sh800,000 to sh350,000 to encourage certification of more SMEs.
To-date, UNBS has developed over 3,000 standards of which about 1,300 are compulsory standards covered by the new regulation.
Speaking to New Vision, Godwin Muhwezi, the UNBS public relations officer said that certified products undergo conformity assessments that include product testing and auditing production systems to ensure that they meet standards for good hygienic and manufacturing practices.
"All complying products are issued with UNBS Distinctive Mark. To be certified, the company should register with UNBS. The company will need to pay applicable fees for product testing, auditing and submit evidence of payment to UNBS. UNBS auditors will carry out certification audits and pick samples for laboratory analysis and testing," Muhwezi noted.
Muhwezi said that they are going to continue engaging local producers to register with the standards body as well as take their commodities for verification, thus improving the quality of goods from industries.
"As long as you pack goods and sell them to the public, you need to be registered with the standards body. We are not frustrating local manufacturers but we want to grow the local manufacturing sector," Muhwezi noted.
According to UNBS, leaders of the private sector associations have been trained and empowered to advise their membership on certification requirements and also guide them through the certification process and requirements.