Uganda through the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) joins the rest of the World in celebrating the World Standards Day under the theme “Our Shared Vision for a Better World”.
The day is set aside to recognize and pay tribute to the experts who volunteer their resources in developing standards for a better world. As part of its mandate, UNBS develops, promotes, enforces and provides information on national standards as well as coordination of regional and international standardization, editing and publishing of standards.
To date, UNBS has developed 4265 standards in the areas of Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Chemicals and Consumer products and Management and Services at both National, Regional and International levels. During FY 2020/21, 457 new standards were developed to support key sectors of the economy and act as a catalyst for economic growth.
The National World Standards Day theme is “Building Back Post-COVID19, The Role of Standards”. UNBS has provided undertaken a number of interventions to support the Private Sector, especially the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Post COVID-19 recovery which include;
Reduction of the Product Certification fees from Shs 800,000 to Shs 500,000 for MSMEs and from Shs 1,300,000 to Shs 1,000,000 for medium large enterprises, Introduction of the Pre-Market Approval program, where local manufacturers can be granted permission to place their products on the market as they complete the process to acquire the UNBS Quality (Q) mark and Provision of Batch Certification where local manufacturers without the UNBS Q mark, can apply for a particular batch of their products to be certified by UNBS.
“The bureau has also provided free standards for selected products to MSME Groups or Associations, Harmonized common user standards to facilitate access of locally manufactured certified products to Regional, Continental and International Markets, Maintained Internationally Accredited Laboratories to provide Testing Services for both local products, imports and export and Simplified standards into easy to use guidelines and further translating them to local languages for easier comprehension by local manufacturers,” UNBS said in a statement.
The Standards body said it has decentralized of UNBS Services to Regional Offices of Mbale, Gulu and Mbarara to increase access and reduce the cost of seeking UNBS services from Kampala, Digitized services to enable remote and online access on UNBS services without physically coming to UNBS offices for service delivery.
To date, UNBS has recorded an increase in certification permits from 2,705 permits in FY 2019/20 to 3,419 permits in FY 2020/21 from about 1,800 enterprises. All UNBS certified products are capable of accessing regional and international markets.
UNBS’ support to MSMEs will accelerate sustainable industrialization for inclusive growth, employment and wealth creation as well as increased Household Incomes and Improved Quality of Life of Ugandans that is in line with the National Development Plan (NDPIII).
UNBS encouraged the private sector to adhere to the standards, form associations to easily access UNBS support and promote self-regulation within their respective sectors.