5th July , 2016
The Uganda National Bureau of Standard (UNBS) has listed substandard electrical and electronic products common on the market.
The standards agency revealed at a stakeholder engagement with traders of electrical and electronic products held at UMA Conference Hall on 29th June 2016.
Speaking to traders, the UNBS Executive Director Dr. Ben Manyindo said the products listed pose a danger to people’s lives because they lack quality and safety requirements.
“Many of the products listed are used in our daily lives hence need urgent consideration in our enforcement which is planned for this financial year,” he says.
According to UNBS Head of Surveillance Eng. Vincent Ochwo, some of the substandard electrical and electronic products include; extension cables, electrical cables, sockets, bulbs, switches, electric kettles, bulbs, Radios, Television sets (TVs), refrigerators among others.
He says that such products lack the quality requirements like; indelible / permanent labels on the product, lack of technical information e.g. volts, watts, frequency, false country of origin, and missing manufacturers’ names or brand name.
He continued: “Extension cables with openly exposed conductor without shutters, electrical cables, extension cables with very thin or small size of the conductor, while some extension cables are marked fused yet they are not.
Meanwhile, some dealers use brass & copper coated materials for conducting electrical instead of copper for electrical cables and extension cables, insulation material made for PVC fitting and not made of thermal resistant materials, false certification claims (ISO 9001, UNBS Q-Mark, KEBS, TBS), changing of brand names from inferior brands to superior brands like LG, Samsung, Sony, changing of component within a unit, deceptive declaration, sticking of labels on products without permission and approval from UNBS are some of the common non-conformance issues found with the substandard electrical and electronic products.
Some of the cautionary aspect to consider when buying electrical or electronic units include; the product should have the name of the manufacturer or brand name, country of origin, permanent labels, on the product, presences of technical information like volts, watts, frequency, instruction for use, warning information, or safety of a unit, type of plugs used (three pins or two pins).
Also, users should avoid over stacking units, good ventilation of storage is required, firm storage racks or shelves should be used.
He also urged traders to play their part when doing business. For instance, a seller should director a buyer on how to operate the units, the seller should issue a warrant to the buyer, units should be checked in the presence of the buyer before dispatch, all units should be issued with receipts at all times as proof of a transaction and customer complaints should be addressed urgently.
The stakeholder engagement was organized with a view of creating dialogue with regulators, importers, manufactures, and dealers of those products so as to curb the importation and sale of substandard electrical and electrical products in the country.
During the financial year 2014-15, 488 rolls of non-conforming electrical cables were seized from all parts of the country.
By Richard Luyombya