Kyambade Suspends Pre – shipment Requirement

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Trade Minister Amelia Kyambade
Trade Minister Amelia Kyambade

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.

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5 thoughts on “Kyambade Suspends Pre – shipment Requirement”

  1. Madam kyambade has to know that Ugandan traders are just telling lies about knowledge to do with the standards of the goods they bring on to the ugandan market. They order for these goods knowing their sub standards. For example I have ever carried out a simple research on these sub standard goods and their relationship with customers.The reports idicated that these traders even know the impact if these very substandard goods but stubbonly sell them continuosly to endanger innocent Ugandans and earn abnormal profits.

    secondly if a person deals in selling a particular kind of good, he or she is always able to identify whether it is good or bad depending on the responses of his or her clients.

    Even when this alternative may be put on a halt, it will still take time to be effected since most of Ugandans live below per capta icome $ 1 per day. This would imply that these goods have to be stopped gradually. Wage policies have to be strengthened such that most of ugandans can have a relative burgaining power-(to afford the quality goods)

    Ugandans must understand the difference between the good and bad things (value for their money) Why buy a shoe at ug. shs 15,000/= that lasts for only three weeks.

    If the traders find the pre-shipment verification and conformity requirement as an iconvenience then this will call for URA and UNBS officials to be stationed together at every ispection points to collect taxes, isnpect, value and as well check for standards. There can be likelyhood that this will limit substandard goods from entering Uganda.

    Thanks be to the members of the Pearl of Africa Research and Accountability Initiative (PARAI). They are doing a great job to fight these substandard goods in Uganda. Government needs to boost them.

    UNBS must issue clerance certificate to traders defining standards of goods and services they want on the Ugandan market before a trader does the importation.

  2. The onus is on UNBS to authenticate goods being imported rather than place the burden on the importers whose hands are already financially tied. The truth of the matter is that UNBS is compromised by some unscrupulous importers hence some of these sub standard goods find their way to our streets.

  3. Well said Jeff,that was an intelligent analysis.Uganda is choking with all sorts of substandard goods and in the near by future will be environmentally clogged with all this waste.

  4. Whereas the measure is a positive step in controlling the inflow of substandard goods into the country, many issues seem to have been overlooked in the process of re-introducing it which has led to the traders to resist the programme again. It is a well known fact that UNBS introduced this measure in 2009 and in the process of implementing it, some areas of concern were identified the business community and presented on their behalf by Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), and government decided to halt the programme and ordered for a review process. The same issues raised then are being raised again. Has UNBS addressed these issues while re-introducing PVoC? This measure has been employed by many countries faced by the monster of substandard goods and it has greatly contributed to their reduction. In those countries where PVoC has been implemented, and probably successfully, some key success factors have been considered and the main one is the model to be used by a country, since several models exist. The appropriate model is dependent on the unique characteristics of its trading system and these are very critical in designing a model that is suitable for the country. The Ugandan trading system has a significant component of small to medium scale importers. This particular segment has several unique characteristics. Among them is the nature of goods purchased, where they are sourced, how they are shipped, and their clearance on arrival in Uganda. Anybody wanting to successfully implement PVoC must find a suitable model for this segment or else face stiff resistance as it is happening.

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