The Executive Director of Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) Ben Manyindo has said most of the goods on the Ugandan market are substandard which is limiting Uganda’s efforts to compete favorably on the regional and international market.
Manyindo while speaking today during the Annual Performance Review that took place at the Uganda Media Center said the organization was going to crack whip on companies that were producing and importing fake goods.
According to him, the Voluntary Products and Systems Certification has been made mandatory for all affected products.
“Under the new regulations use, ‘distinctive mark regulations 2018’, all products will be required to give the ‘Q mark’ before being allowed on the market. This is intended to promote competitiveness of the local products on the regional and international market,” he said.
Manyindo announced that UNBS had decentralized its services to different regions with centers in Mbale, Gulu and Mbarara.
UNBS also introduced 254 standards, 76 of which are compulsory, 43 for foods and agriculture, 48 for management and services, 41 for chemicals and consumer products and 52 for the engineering sector.
“We have also introduced new standards for cement and lime, fertilizers, agricultural products like beans, coffee, and many others.”
These are directed towards improving agricultural production and improving standards for the real estate sector,” Manyindo said.
According to Manyindo, UNBS inspected over 133,517 consignments. 52% of these were found to be substandard. The body also confiscated 413 metric tonnes of goods valued at Shs 3.5bn due to poor standards.
According to UNBS Annual Report for 2017/2018, the organization has issued over 1,150 permits, 888 of these were awarded on central Uganda, 122 eastern region, 17 northern while 19 were offshore permits.
The body also registered over 100% for all its targets in the last financial year.
Under the laboratory testing function, UNBS tested 14,472 samples against the target of 11,000 products.
The body was also able to collected Shs1.7bn in non-tax revenue despite the shortfall from the government grant of Shs 1.448bn. The body received Shs 38.5bn for the 2017/2018 financial year.
“These targets were achieved although we are short of stuff. Currently we have 290 employees. This is only 45% of the required staff the body needs to fully perform its duties,” Manyindo said.