UNBS set to seize goods without distinctive marks

Thursday January 10 2019

Producers of goods such as food stuffs mus

Producers of goods such as food stuffs must ensure that they attain distinctive quality marks for their products. PHOTO BY EDGAR R BATTE  

By Christine Kasemiire

Kampala- Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) will seize goods found on the market without a distinctive mark.
The standards agency had set January as the deadline for the certification of all products on the market.

“All products covered by compulsory standards must be certified by [UNBS and issued with a distinctive mark before they are allowed on the market [by January 1, 2019,” reads a notice issued by UNBS.

UNBS last year in July announced new regulations, making it mandatory to certify and bare a distinctive quality mark for all goods covered by the compulsory standards before they are put on the market.

By October, over 200 businesses mainly dealing in beverages, cosmetics, food stuffs, confectionaries were undergoing training and technical assistance on how to produce products that meet standards.

To-date UNBS has developed over 3,000 standards of which about 1,300 are compulsory standards covered by the new regulation.

Some of the products covered by the regulation include foods, drinks, electronics, cosmetics, steel products and cement, confectionaries (bread and biscuits), apiary and mattresses, among others.


Dr Ben Manyindo, the UNBS executive director, said the new regulation is part of the agency’s need to protect consumers as well as ensuring that locally manufactured products comply with quality standards.

This, he said, will further enhance competitiveness of Ugandan goods across the region as well as increasing access for locally manufactured products to regional and international markets.

In a bid to encourage enterprises to certify their products, under the new regulations, UNBS also revised the annual permit fees for each product produced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from Shs800,000 to Shs350,000.

However, Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA), said they should be given more time, arguing that the certification is a process and the cost much as reduced, is still prohibitive.

Mr Jooga Kawule, the USSIA head of membership said: “Those that have started the process should be excused and given time,” adding that government should come up with a window or a mechanism that encourages small scale industries to certify their goods.