Uganda’s Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde has suspended the pre-shipment verification and conformity requirement, after a meeting between traders and Uganda bureau of standards failed to reach a consensus.
The directive strongly opposed by traders dealing in imports, was being pushed by Uganda’s standards body UNBS, saying it is the only remedy for substandard goods on the Ugandan market.
The decision to suspend pre-shipment verification and conformity requirement was arrived at by trade minister Amelia kyambadde, after 5 hours of debate and consultation between the minister, traders and officials from Uganda bureau of standards at UMA hall in Lugogo last evening.
Kyambadde singled out inadequate knowledge by importers of substandard goods as well as high costs involved in the verification exercise.
Traders maintained that they effectively play their role in importation and paying tax for goods imported and see no reason why they should be penalized by paying for the cost of inspection of goods in the country of origin, calling for UNBS to have a suitable mechanism in putting an end to substandard goods in the market.
Traders attacked Uganda bureau of standards for failing to carry out its responsibility in checking standards of goods in the country and instead want traders to play its role as mandated by the government.
The pre-shipment verification requirement will now be on hold for a period of six months, time when further consultations will be in progress.
This is the second time the requirement is suspended, the first one having been in 2010 under the then trade minister Kahinde Otafire, after traders threatened major demonstration against the move to impose it.