Parliament committee on trade vows to fight influx of fake goods

Friday September 17 2021
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Some of the Parliament Trade, Industry and Tourism committee Members during an inspection visit of the UNBS recently. PHOTO/ISMAIL MUSA LADU

By Ismail Musa Ladu

The parliament committee of trade and industry has vowed to support the efforts of the standard prefect in the fight against counterfeit and substandard goods.

The legislators during a courtesy visit to UNBS headquarters in Bweyogerere recently indicated that they will support the standard’s body objectives aimed at achieving quality control and standardisation agenda as required in the National Development Plan III.

On behalf of the committee, MP David Lukyamuzi Kalwanga (MP Busujju county), said they ‘‘are collectively committed to reducing the rate of counterfeits influx in the local market.’’

Mr Kalwanga said this can be done through strengthening collaboration between the committee and UNBS which is mandated to protect Ugandan consumers from products whose quality checks fall short of acceptable standards.     

“UNBS should not betray the consumer expectation in anyway because you are our safeguards,” Kalwanga told UNBS senior management.

Part of the committee obligations is to provide oversight to trade and industry sector agencies such as UNBS, including sanctioning its budget after scrutiny.

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Funding gap

To date UNBS grapples with inadequate staffing and shortage of facilities to efficiently operate.

“Lack of enough funds has slowed down our strategy to decentralize quality control services. We want to be support more in terms of increasing our staff numbers and infrastructure to enable us do our work across the country,” said UNBS the executive director,  David Livingstone Ebiru.

However, UNBS administrators are optimistic that the MPs most of whom are first time legislators, ‘‘will deal with their issues so that they can meet their side of the bargain as mandated.’’

Meantime, UNBS is looking to specifically focus on harmonizing standards to support global penetration and access to Ugandan products, thereby substituting unnecessary imports.

Daily Monitor has also learnt that UNBS is in the process of developing cosmetology and wellness standard for Saunas, Steam baths and Whirlpools to enable regulators and policy makers regulate and monitor the use of the facilities.

This, according to UNBS will ensure health and safety of the public after it emerged in a recent online Public Review workshop that the draft standard for Health and Safety of Sausas, Steam baths and Whirlpools Requirement is now at the Public review stage. 

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