The Independent (Kampala)

2 December 2012

Uganda: UNBS Launches Measure to Fight Counterfeit Imports

The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) will on Dec. 3 reinstate the requirement for all imports to have a certificate of conformity to standards in their country of origin before they enter the Ugandan market.

The standards agency launched the Pre-Export Verification Conformity (PVoC) program to implement the move. The agency's Executive Director, Ben Manyindo told a press conference on Nov. 30 in Kampala that all importers must stick to guidelines on the required standards for the various goods.

"The move is intended to protect Ugandans from sub-standard and counterfeit goods," he said, adding for the first time in a very long time, Ugandans have a chance to be free from consuming or paying for substandard goods.

All substandard goods will be impounded at the entry points and destroyed at the cost of the owners," he said. PVoC was initially introduced in 2010 but later put on hold by government for review after complaints from the business community.

Three companies - SGS, Intertek and Bureau Veritas have been selected to undertake pre-shipment inspections of all imports including motor vehicles and spare parts to ensure that they meet certain safety and quality standards.

It is estimated that between 40-60% of the goods imported into the country are either substandard or counterfeits. UNBS officials said they have destroyed counterfeit goods worth over Sh8trillion since 2009 and are sure the PVoC program will prevent further importation of such goods.

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