UGANDA – Recent data from the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has revealed that more than half of manufactured goods on the Ugandan market are substandard.

According to the UNBS report, the percentage of substandard goods on the market has surged by 7 percent, escalating from 49 percent in the previous financial year to 58 percent.

Despite UNBS’s efforts to conduct inspections and seize non-compliant products, achieving only 50.4 percent of the targeted routine inspections highlights the magnitude of the challenge.

The report reveals disparities in seizure rates across regions, with the central and western regions experiencing higher seizure rates compared to the northern and eastern regions. However, inadequate funding and manpower hamper UNBS’s ability to conduct effective market surveillance, exacerbating the problem of substandard goods.

Acting Executive Director of UNBS, Daniel Richard Makayi Nangalama, stresses the critical need for government intervention to address the funding shortfall and enhance regulatory enforcement.

He emphasizes the importance of timely market surveillance in promoting socio-economic transformation and fostering the development of the local manufacturing industry.

Multi-agency enforcement approach

In response to the growing threat of counterfeit goods, Uganda’s Parliament is considering the Anti-counterfeit Goods and Services Bill.

The proposed legislation aims to impose stricter regulations on the sale, manufacture, and import of substandard and counterfeit goods, with severe penalties including imprisonment and hefty fines for offenders.

Once enacted, the Anti-counterfeit Goods and Services Bill will be enforced collaboratively by various government ministries, departments, and agencies, including UNBS, Uganda Investment Authority, and Uganda Revenue Authority.

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