By Pascal Kwesiga
Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has listed 25 categories of fake imported products that are sold on the market.
According to the acting UNBS executive director, Dr. Ben Manyindo, the products that have widely circulated in the market include food, raw materials and food additives, edible salt, iron sheets, cement, steel iron bars, electric cables and related electrical accessories, telecommunication products, devices and related accessories.
Others are Chemicals, generators, razor blades, mosquito nets, neutral spirit, cosmetics, solar energy products and related accessories, primary batteries, motor vehicle spare parts, tyres, motor vehicle lubricants, textiles, shoes, toys, sanitary pads and baby diapers, PVC pipes and all food products including sugar.
He said that a short survey by the standards body has revealed that about 25 categories of imported products on market are fake but the number could even be higher.
Manyindo explained that the counterfeit products are being manufactured by various companies in countries where they are imported from.
“We have identified these factories and we are going to take action,” he said.
He told a press conference on UNBS headquarters in Kampala that the counterfeit goods have a short life are substandard and have a short life span.
He added that the products bear wrong expiry dates, adding that the standards body has blacklisted these products before action against their manufacturers is taken.
“They prolong the life time of the products by putting wrong dates on these products. This is dangerous and we are moving into the market to stop them,” Manyindo said.
He explained that they would sign a memorandum of understating with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to help them to track these phony goods before crossing into the country.
Manyindo revealed that an independent committee that was instituted by the ministry of trade to investigate claims that some staff of the standards body were extorting money from the business community would produce its findings on April 2.
He noted that the business people have voiced a lot of complaints against the staff of the standards body relating to extorting money from them threating to shut down their businesses and impounding their products.
Manyindo revealed that they have designed a code of conduct for their inspection officials which they should follow when in the field.
He said over 80% of the people who have been allegedly harassed by their staff are Indian and Chinese business people whom they suspected to be dealing in counterfeit goods.