What you need to know:
- Products that do not meet the minimal health, safety, and performance standards outlined in the applicable Ugandan standards are not allowed to enter the country. Such products are seized for either destruction or re-exportation at the importer’s expense.
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has urged dealers in used motor vehicles to send all imported used cars between September 23 and November 1 for inspection at border destination inspection points.
The move is only temporary while UNBS completes the pre-export verification of conformity (PVoC) service provider inspections procurement process as instructed by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act.
However, this inspection will attract a fee of Sh500,000 per motor vehicle payable to the government through the Uganda Revenue Authority payment portal.
“UNBS experienced a gap of PVoC services for used motor vehicles in the countries of origin when legal processes caused a delay in appointing PVoC service providers. In order not to inconvenience the business people, our clients, we provided for destination inspection not to interrupt import business,” Ms Sylvia Kirabo, the UNBS spokesperson, said.
Products that do not meet the minimal health, safety, and performance standards outlined in the applicable Ugandan standards are not allowed to enter the country. Such products are seized for either destruction or re-exportation at the importer’s expense.
In order to ensure imports into Uganda adhere to safety and quality standards, UNBS inspects and regulates the process. This responsibility stems from the UNBS Act Cap 327, which became operational in 1989. The primary aim of import inspections is to protect the health and safety of the public and the environment by preventing the entry of dangerous or sub-standard products.
PVoC is a conformity assessment programme applied to products covered by compulsory Uganda standards at the respective exporting countries, to ensure their compliance with the applicable Uganda standards.
Complying goods are the only ones issued with a Certificate of Conformity (COC) that will be used as a basis of release upon arrival of the consignment in Uganda. This assessment facilitates timely clearance of goods, reduces substandard products on the market, protects the local industry from unfair competition, and protects the health and safety of consumers and environment. PVoC inspection for used motor vehicles is only undertaken in the countries of South Africa, Singapore, UK, UAE and Japan.
This primarily applies to goods whose free-on-board value is greater than $2,000 (Shs7.47m), covered by mandatory standards, and examined by inspection personnel in the exporting nation.
At the point of entry into Uganda, importers are required to present a COC.Used cars must also meet this requirement and have a Certificate of Road Worthiness (CRW) in order to be cleared.
“Effective November 2, 2023, all imported used motor vehicles coming from Japan, the United Kingdom, Singapore, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries must undergo PVoC with UNBS-approved PVoC service providers prior to importation into Uganda,” UNBS said in a notice.
In addition to inspection fees, importers who fail to obtain PVoC certification will be charged a 15 percent surcharge based on the cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) value. If required, inspectors can collect product samples for lab analysis.