The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) on Friday directed all companies engaged in the manufacturing of local products to ensure the said products bear a distinctive Certification mark.
“All products covered by compulsory standards must be certified by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and issued with its distinctive mark before they are allowed on the market, following the coming into force of the use of distinctive mark regulation, 2018 on 1st January 2019”, reads UNBS statement in part.
The statement says; some of the products that must be certified before they are allowed on the market covered by compulsory standards include: foods, drinks, electronics, cosmetics, steel products, cement, confectionaries (bread and biscuits), apiary and mattresses among others.
UNBS executive director, Dr. Ben Manyindo said: “The new regulation is part of our consumer protection efforts to ensure that locally manufactured products comply with quality standards. This will further enhance the competitiveness and increase access for locally manufactured products to regional and international markets”.
Manyindo said under the new regulations, UNBS has also revised the annual permit fees for each product for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) at Shs 350,000 to encourage certification of more SMEs.
“To-date UNBS has developed over 3,000 standards of which about 1,300 are compulsory standards covered by the new regulation.
Certified products undergo conformity assessments that include; product testing and auditing production systems to ensure that they meet standards for good hygienic and manufacturing practices”, he said.
UNBS also said in statement that for companies to fulfil the certification procedure, they have to: register with UNBS, apply online at: https://cims.unbs.go.ug or at UNBS regional offices in Mbarara, Mbale, Gulu, Head Office at Bweyogerere or Industrial Park.
“The company will need to pay applicable fees for product testing, auditing and submit evidence of payment to UNBS. UNBS auditors will carry out certification audits and pick samples for laboratory analysis and testing. A product will be issued with a UNBS distinctive mark once it has been found to meet the requirements of a particular standard” read the UNBS statement.
Manyindo added that; UNBS is also working with industry associations such as; Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA), Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA), Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association (UWEAL) and the Uganda Apiculture Development Organisation (TUNADO), to build the capacity of their members to meet certification requirements.
“Leaders of the private sector associations have been trained and empowered to advise their membership on certification requirements and also guide them through the certification process and requirements”, he added.