Firms fault suspension of pre-import verification
Posted Wednesday, January 9 2013 at 02:00
Deterrent. Pivoc had been put as a measure to stop the import of substandard goods into Uganda.
With the Pre-inspection of imported goods suspended, the firms contracted to provide the service have said a blanket suspension would negatively impact efforts that minimise the entry of counterfeit and fake goods into Uganda.
In a joint statement issued recently, the three firms said the ban should at the moment focus on small scale importers and not the large scale ones.
“As partners in the Pre-export Verification of Conformity to standards (PVoC) programme, it is the considered position of Intertek Uganda, SGS Uganda and Bureau Veritas Uganda, that instead of terminating the whole scheme, small-scale traders who ship in consolidated goods should be exempted from the programme,” reads the statement in part.
“Their goods should instead be inspected and tested on arrival, by Uganda National Bureau of Standards, without being unduly penalised,” the statement adds.
The service providers are also of the view that other than suspending an otherwise beneficial scheme, the genuine challenges facing small-scale traders should be addressed.
Worth noting is that challenges with small scale traders are not unique to Uganda. Kenya experienced the same until it exempted small scale traders from the programme.
However, the three firms are in negotiations with UNBS and the government to develop procedures that will accommodate unique circumstances.
Mr Gideon Badagawa, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda executive director, said there are reports indicating that both small scale traders and large ones are already complaining about the programme.
“We agree with the suspension, and hope that UNBS uses this time to grow its capacity in relation to curbing the entry of substandard goods.”
He said the current Pivoc programme would not have much impact if it does not lay down proper legislation on counterfeit and substandard goods.