UGANDA/SOUTH SUDAN – Uganda and South Sudan have resolved to synchronize their sampling, test methods, and certification processes through the collaboration of their respective National Standards Bodies in a move to fortify bilateral trade.

The decision, reached during a high-stakes meeting held on January 11, 2024, in Nimule, is poised to eliminate trade barriers and foster a more seamless exchange of goods between the two nations.

The negotiations, led by Nangalama Daniel Richard Makayi, Acting Executive Director of the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), and Dr. Kuorwel Kuai Kuorwel, Chairperson and CEO of the South Sudan National Bureau of Standards (SSNBS), were prompted by a recent standoff over maize exports.

The conflict led to a diplomatic intervention by a Ugandan delegation, spearheaded by the Senior Presidential Advisor and Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID), in 2023.

The breakthrough came after UNBS took proactive measures, conducting batch sampling and laboratory analysis of maize grain and flour exports to South Sudan.

Utilizing designated sampling yards in various regions of Uganda and the UNBS testing laboratories, 94.2% of the total maize flour samples complied with standard requirements, representing 23 certified companies out of 367 samples.

Key agreements arising from the meeting include the stipulation that all products falling under Compulsory Standards, including cereals and cereal products, must be certified by UNBS before export to South Sudan.

Additionally, a Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) certificate from competent authorities in Uganda is now mandatory for products such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, chicken and chicken products, fish, and fish products destined for South Sudan.

Crucially, a technical team comprised of experts from both standards bodies will be established to harmonize sampling, test methods, and certification processes, ensuring a standardized approach to quality assurance.

UNBS has issued a stern advisory to manufacturers and traders looking to export goods to South Sudan, urging compliance with the newly established certification process.

Prospective exporters are required to obtain the necessary standards from the UNBS website, ensuring that their products meet the stipulated criteria.

The prerequisites include a Tax Identification Number (TIN), E-Mail Address, Certificate of Incorporation from Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), a product process flow chart, and appropriate product labels and markings.

The move towards standardization not only signals a resolution to recent trade tensions but also paves the way for a more transparent and efficient trading relationship between Uganda and South Sudan.

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