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Our response to ULS on UNBS Directive to importers of garments

  13th August , 2018

Kampala, 13th August 2018. As the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), we are greatly perturbed and dismayed by the statement issued today by Uganda Law Society (ULS) and signed by its President, Simon Peter Kinobe, about the apparent “grace period granted to Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) to import fake products”.
The statement is full of inaccuracies, innuendos, and gross misrepresentation of facts. We would like to urge the public to treat with contempt it deserves.

It is unfortunate that the ULS did not make any effort to seek clarity from UNBS or carry out basic research to establish the facts but they instead rushed to issue a statement based on misinformation being propagated on social media.

Please note that all products covered by compulsory standards have to undergo inspection for compliance to Uganda Standards before they are imported into the country in what is known as Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC). This has been and continues to be the practice since 2013 when the programme was first introduced.
On 19th July 2018, UNBS issued an Administrative Directive containing new guidelines for importation of garments into the country which require that all consignments of imported garments should be accompanied by the PVoC Certificates of Conformity. As a result, all imported garments will have to be tagged for UNBS inspection and clearance, at Customs clearance points, before they are allowed on the market.

Subsequently, on 7th August, 2018, and as part of our standard working procedures, UNBS met with importers of garments to raise awareness and ensure compliance to the new directive. The traders were thus given up to 15th September 2018 to comply with the new PVoC directive, which is part of our standard practice, whenever there is a new regulation or a new Administrative Directive issued. After deadline, all garments must be accompanied by PVoC Certificates of Conformity.

However, some people on social media misconstrued this to mean that UNBS had given “KACITA a grace period to import fake products” which was the basis of ULS Statement.
UNBS will continue to perform its mandate of enforcing standards to protect consumer health and safety and the environment against dangerous and sub-standard products. As result of the PVoC programme, last financial year, UNBS was able to stop 33 million substandard products from being imported into the country.

Fighting substandard products requires a concerted effort involving UNBS working together with manufacturers, traders, consumers, and other government agencies. We would like to urge the public to report cases of substandard products on the market on our toll free line: 0800133133.

For more information, please contact:
Godwin Bonge Muhwezi, Head of Public Relations, Uganda National Bureau of Standards
Plot 2 - 12, By Pass Link, Bweyogerere Industrial Park, and P.O. Box 6329 Kampala, Uganda
Tel: 0417 333250, Cel: 0700 930 996
Website: www.unbs.go.ug e-mail: godwin.muhwezi@unbs.go.ug