UNBS: PVoC Guidelines Operational Despite Strike

Uganda National Bureau of Standards-UNBS says the Pre-Export Verification of Conformity of Standards-PVoC is in force despite the three days strike last month by Kampala City Traders Association.

Sylvia Kirabo, the deputy spokesperson Uganda National Bureau of Standards says traders are complying.

Last month, city traders under their umbrella body KACITA closed their shops for three days to protest the implementation of PVoC citing high charges and lack of clear guidelines on standards of imports. The traders opened the leadership of KACITA convened a meeting with the traders minister.

Sylivia Kirabo, the deputy spokesperson UNBS says that in the July 1st meeting between the Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives, parties to PVoC the and their service providers, it was agreed that PVoC guidelines remain in operation to protect consumers from substandard goods.  Kirabo says that the parties also agreed to reduce the minimum inspection fee on general goods from 235 to 220 USD and a Maximum of 2375 from 2390 USD.  She also says that they waved off all other charges that contributed to the traders strike.

The product category has been raised from 5 to 7 for general goods to include: food and food products, electrical and electronics including solar equipment, automotive products and inputs, chemical products including cosmetics, mechanical material and gas appliances, toys and mosquito nets.

After deliberations to quell the strike, it was agreed that Groupage Cargo will be inspected at the entry point except for food items and cosmetics. UNBS has been tasked to determine which products which fall under the Groupage Cargo.

Used Motor vehicles will be part of PVoC programme which commenced on 1st June 2013 and will be in operation for the next 3 years. UNBS is encouraging traders to utilize PVoC services otherwise they will incur a 15% of their total good as penalty for non compliance. Hope Katwiine, an importer from china is concerned that ample time has not been given to the business community to understand and adapt to the PVoC guidelines.

But Kirabo explains that traders who shipped their goods in the month of June and had not acquired a certificate of compliance will be inspected by UNBS, but exempted from paying the 15% penalty.

The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) Act section 21, bans any person from importing, distributing, manufacturing or having in possession a commodity whose standard verification has not been declared, unless such a commodity conforms to the compulsory standards specifications.

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