8th December , 2016
After a series of assessment, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has recognised 5 laboratories to provide product testing services aimed at easing doing business in Uganda.
This implies that the laboratories are competent to test and issue results that may be used by UNBS in product certification and its other regulatory activities in a bid to reduce the workload in the institution’s laboratories and consequently making trade faster and smoother.
The move is in line with the UNBS Laboratory Recognition Scheme established to ensure that laboratories outside UNBS scope or privately owned are recognised at the national level to do product testing.
It is also in tandem with the drive at the East African Community level where other competent laboratories can be used for testing of products and the accruing results are recognised as legitimate and authentic.
The recognised laboratories include; Chemiphar Uganda, Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI), SMAT Uganda limited, Roofings (U) Ltd and RECO Industries.
Speaking at the recognition ceremony, the UNBS Executive Director Dr, Ben Manyindo said: “These are some of the initiatives UNBS is undertaking to increase the capacity of the institution to ensure fair trade through standards”.
He added that as the economy grows the demand for laboratory services increases hence the need for partnerships to address the issue of quality and safety through testing of our local products.
Meanwhile, the recognised laboratories lauded UNBS for the initiative pledging to closely collaborate to ensure better service delivery.
“As Chemiphar Uganda, we are accredited internationally however, it’s an added advantage if we are recognised at the national level for better collaboration,” says the CEO, Ms Annick Uytterhaegen,
Similarly, the Laboratory Manager of SMAT Uganda limited Simon Kisitu says this being a unique field, we have also been asked to present a recognition certificate which UNBS has now established”
About Laboratory Recognition Scheme
In accordance with the East African Community (EAC) Standardization, Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testing Act, 2006, the Council of Ministers made the Regulations on designating testing laboratories, and these were gazetted on the 6th day of December 2013. This designation of Laboratories is to enable easy access by the private sector to testing services recognised across the region and thereby facilitate cross-border trade. These Regulations may be cited as the East African Community Standardisation, Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testing (Designation of Testing Laboratories) Regulations, 2013.
In line with the above, UNBS under its management systems certification is implementing a Laboratory Recognition Scheme that is aimed at expanding the country’s testing capacity to increase access to competent testing facilities and facilitate the product certification process.
When samples are tested in other laboratories, there is need to ensure that the laboratory test results are recognised by ensuring that the laboratories operate a quality management system based on the International Standard ISO/IEC 17025.
The UNBS under this scheme identified, trained and evaluated laboratories on the requirements and implementation of ISO/IEC 17025.