About Imports Inspection
Inspection of imports coming into Uganda is one of the UNBS mandates that emerged from the UNBS Act Cap 327 which became operational in 1989. Import Inspection duties entail enforcing the requirements of the Uganda standards in order to protect the health and safety of the public and the environment against dangerous and sub-standard products. In the subsequent years, a number of amendments and regulations with regard to Import inspection and clearance have been passed and issued by the government to ensure that imports meet requirements of the approved standards in Uganda.
Why Imports Inspection
Imports Inspection Department inspects products to ensure compliance with standards and regulations so that only quality products are sold to consumers. Products falling under compulsory standards are deemed to have a bearing on the health and safety of the consumer as well as the environment and as such they shouldn’t fall short of what is stipulated in the standard.
How inspection is done
In line with the UNBS core values of professionalism, customer focus, integrity, teamwork & innovation, consignments for importation to Uganda are inspected for quality upon arrival at the entry points and this entails both document checks and physical inspection of goods. Depending on the value and nature of products, the law requires that they are subject to PVoC, undergo destination inspection or both.
Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) is an inspection and verification programme carried out on goods by appointed inspection agents in the country of export. From a broad picture, products that are above USD 2,000 FoB value and are covered by compulsory standards are subject to PVoC and the importer is required to present a Certificate of Conformity (COC) at the entry point. This programme also applies to used motor vehicles coming into the country and as a requirement the importer has to present a Certificate of Road Worthiness (CRW) to obtain clearance. For more information on PVoC click here PVoC Manual 2019.pdf
Destination inspection is carried out on goods that are below USD 2,000 on arrival at the entry points to ensure conformance to the legal requirement. This inspection also applies to those goods that are subject to PVoC but are imported without this certification, in this case the importer will incur a surcharge of 15% CIF value in addition to the inspection fees paid for the goods to be inspected and cleared at the entry point. Where necessary, the inspector draws samples of the product for laboratory testing.
Mobile inspections of goods at the preferred premise of the importer by the UNBS inspectors may also be done upon fulfilling the requirements that may warrant such an inspection.
If the product does not meet the critical minimum requirements for health, safety and performance as set out in the relevant Uganda Standards, such product is prohibited entry on those grounds and seized for destruction or re-exportation at the importer’s expense.
Inspection and Clearance Process
In the previous years, manual processes with regard to application, inspection reports, and sample retain forms etc. have been used to obtain clearance of goods. However, in a bid to minimise delays and reduce on time spent to clear consignments, UNBS introduced the E-Portal which is a web-based system for inspection and clearance of goods. In using the system, all that is required is for the user i.e. importer or clearing agent is to be registered on the system in order for them to log in, request for inspection and submit the application online. Any relevant attachments can also be done in the system.
Procedures for online application for clearance
· Log onto http://eportal.unbs.go.ug/ to access the system
· For first time users click the free registration link and fill the registration form
· For registered users type in your username and password
· Once in the system request for inspection or assign a clearing agent
· Submit the application form to the desired point of clearance and log out.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Andrew Othieno
Manager, Imports Inspection Department
Tel: +256 414 505 995
Mobile: +256 707800261
Fax: +256 414 286 123
For e-portal related issues, please contact:
Mr. Rogers SSenabulya
Tel: + 256 707800221