Imported substandard and counterfeit products are slowly declining as the government continues to enforce the policy that bans importation of goods that are shipped into the country without being inspected for quality.
According to Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde, the policy called the Pre-Verification for Conformity programme (PVoC), is slowly but steadily tackling the problems of substandard and counterfeit goods that had appeared to be a permanent fixture in the local market.
She said: “Despite challenges faced at the onset of the Pre-Verification for Conformity programme (PVoC) at the beginning of this concluding financial year, the programme is performing well. Our main challenge now is attitude change amongst the traders. Once they completely embrace the programme, we shall have fewer sub-standard goods being offered for trade at the source.”
She continued: “All that notwithstanding, we have been able to reduce entry of substandard goods on the market by 5 to 10 per cent, an achievement we hope to build on by tabling the Anti-Counterfeit Bill 2010 for the third reading, meaning the proposed law is entering its final stages of being passed into law by Parliament.”
According to Ms Kyambadde, once the Bill is passed into law, it will be another instrument that the standards body will use to check sub- standard goods on the market.
Speaking at the 25th anniversary celebrations for Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) recently, Ms Kyambadde, said the National Standards Council, the management and staff have contributed a lot over the years in meeting the mandate of the standard body,
But she also warned that more needs to be done to propel the institution whose mandate among other things includes fighting substandard and counterfeit goods that is widespread In the market.
“We have to improve UNBS capacity to monitor Small and Medium enterprises, we have to do more in monitoring quality of services in different industries, and importantly UNBS is still thin on the ground let alone the need to have its budget increased,” she said
According to the Private Sector Foundation executive director, Mr Gideon Badagawa, UNBS should be applauded for developing 1,000 standards from about 50 two and half decades ago. He argues that businesses now understand the importance of standards largely because of UNBS efforts, an indication of how far they have come over the years.