UGANDA – The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has launched the Digital Conformity Marking (DCM) program, providing a track-and-trace mechanism for consumers, supermarkets, and other retail outlets to distinguish between genuinely certified and substandard commodities.

This is in a move to ensure supermarket outlets stock only certified locally manufactured commodities and inspected imported goods.

The call to action aligns with the UNBS mission to facilitate trade, enforce standards, and protect public health, safety, and the environment from hazardous and substandard products.

The program’s details were shared during a stakeholder engagement session with supermarket owners and operators in the central region, held at UNBS’s headquarters in Bweyogerere.

Ms. Patricia Bageine Ejalu, Deputy Executive Director in charge of Standards at UNBS, emphasized the importance of the new technology.

“Today’s primary focus is the Digital Conformity Marking program. We’ve introduced technology that allows the public to use their phones to verify if a product is genuinely certified by UNBS. As supermarket owners, it’s your responsibility to ensure that all products on your shelves are certified and safe for consumers.”

The DCM program involves issuing Digital Conformity Marks/Stamps to certified commodities, providing consumers with proof that the products meet applicable standards and are of high quality.

“These stamps contain information such as product details, the standard under which it is assessed, certification date, batch number, manufacturer’s name, and more,” Mr. Phillip Kahuma, Acting Manager and Certification at UNBS, explained the functionality

“Supermarket owners, consumers, and the public can use the Kakasa App to scan these stamps and verify product certification.”

During the meeting, supermarket owners were also advised to avoid stocking expired products and altering expiry dates.

“We will not negotiate on the issue of expired goods on supermarket shelves. They are harmful to public health. Remove them before UNBS does,” Mr. Daniel Arorwa, Manager Market Surveillance at UNBS, issued a stern warning.

“Changing expiry dates to extend shelf life is illegal and punishable by law. If you wouldn’t buy expired products for your family, don’t leave them for other families to buy.”

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