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UNBS to Start Mandatory Certification of Products

This has been disclosed by the UNBS Chief Executive Ben Manyindo while giving highlights of the bureaus performance to the media in Kampala. Manyindo says that the move is to safeguard public health, safety and the environment from products that do not meet the standards.

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All local products that are covered by compulsory standards must be certified with the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) Distinctive Mark formerly known as the Q-Mark, starting this August.

This has been disclosed by the UNBS Chief Executive Ben Manyindo while giving highlights of the bureau's performance to the media in Kampala. Manyindo says that the move is to safeguard public health, safety and the environment from products that do not meet the standards.

He adds that the move is also aimed at promoting the competitiveness of local products regionally and internationally and to support the Buy Uganda Build Uganda policy.

Compulsory standards are those that have safety implications for people and the environment, like standards to do with the processing of food, cosmetics, etc.

According to Manyindo, previously certification of products was done on a voluntary basis but with the new Distinctive Mark Regulations of 2018, all affected products are expected to comply, adding that implementation will be sector-by-sector.

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On certified products and system permits in the previous year, Manyindo reported that 849 were approved against the set target of 820. But overall, there are just 1,150 permits from 353 companies on the UNBS certification scheme.

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Some of the standards are for maize grain, maize flour, wheat flour, milled rice, dry beans, green coffee beans and farm tools, among others. In terms of certification by region,  Manyindo says products from the North are the least certified, with the bulk of certified products concentrated in central Uganda.

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According to Manyindo, in order to "bring services closer to the people", UNBS is decentralizing its services of certification and market surveillance to regional offices in Gulu, Mbale and Mbarara.

Manyindo says in 2017/18 UNBS developed a total of 254 standards as national standards, and of these 76 are compulsory because they are of safety concerns for the consumers and the environment.

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