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  20th June , 2024 ,       Hits: 460

The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has urged all supermarket owners to ensure their outlets stock only certified locally manufactured commodities and inspected imported commodities. This initiative aims to combat substandard goods and bolster consumer protection.

This call to action aligns with the UNBS mission to facilitate trade, enforce standards, and protect public health, safety, and the environment from hazardous and substandard products.

To support this mission, UNBS has launched the Digital Conformity Marking (DCM) program. This program provides a track-and-trace mechanism for consumers, supermarkets, and other retail outlets to distinguish between genuinely certified and substandard commodities. The program's details were shared during a stakeholder engagement session with supermarket owners and operators in the central region, held at UNBS's headquarters in Bweyogerere.

“Today's primary focus is the Digital Conformity Marking program. We've introduced technology that allows the public to use their phones to verify if a product is genuinely certified by UNBS. As supermarket owners, it's your responsibility to ensure that all products on your shelves are certified and safe for consumers,” said Ms. Patricia Bageine Ejalu, Deputy Executive Director in charge of Standards at UNBS.

The DCM program involves issuing Digital Conformity Marks/Stamps to certified commodities, providing consumers with proof that the products meet applicable standards and are of high quality. “These stamps contain information such as product details, the standard under which it is assessed, certification date, batch number, manufacturer’s name, and more. Supermarket owners, consumers, and the public can use the Kakasa App to scan these stamps and verify product certification,” added Mr. Phillip Kahuma, Acting Manager, and Certification at UNBS.

Currently, the DCM program covers three commodity categories: construction materials, electrical commodities, and cosmetics. Each digital conformity mark costs UGX 21 and is expected to lower business costs, particularly for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), as manufacturers can order a number of marks matching their production volume.

During the meeting, supermarket owners were also advised to avoid stocking expired products and altering expiry dates.

“We will not negotiate on the issue of expired goods on supermarket shelves. They are harmful to public health. Remove them before UNBS does. Changing expiry dates to extend shelf life is illegal and punishable by law. If you wouldn’t buy expired products for your family, don’t leave them for other families to buy,”  warned Mr. Daniel Arorwa, Manager Market Surveillance at UNBS.

Supermarket owners were encouraged to report any dealers of substandard commodities to UNBS using the toll-free lines 0800133133 / 0800233233.

UNBS remains committed to its mandate of consumer protection and fair trade facilitation.

About UNBS:

Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is a government agency responsible for developing, promoting, and enforcing national standards to protect public health, safety, and the environment from harmful and substandard products. UNBS also promotes fair trade practices and competition.

For More Information, Please Contact:

Ms. Sylvia Kirabo  

Principal Public Relations Officer  

Uganda National Bureau of Standards  

Tel: +256 (0) 703196903