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Fake Goods On Rise Due to Quality Mark Counterfeits

Fake goods on rise due to quality mark counterfeits

Written by Justus Lyatuu

Nearly half of the imports coming into Uganda should not be in supermarkets, or any other shop for that matter; rather, at the bottom of a garbage pit, with official figures showing that many products are not fit for consumption.

Andrew Othieno, the manager, import inspection at the Uganda National Bureau of Standards, confirmed to The Observer that at least 40 per cent of the imports into Uganda do not meet the official national standards.

He named cosmetics, building materials such as cement and iron bars, electronic cables, as some of the goods that dominate the list of substandard products entering Uganda.

While most of these goods are being smuggled into the country, a new dubious mechanism is being employed by the traders, mostly those from China - falsifying the quality mark (Q-mark).

“We have had consignments of sanitary pads and batteries confiscated at our borders. This is something we have our eyes on; if they have done it, it means that they can do it again,” he said.

 

He added: “Some of these [quality] marks have been easy to make especially with this advanced technology, but as they try to forge, we are also going to use new technologies to fight the vice,” he said.

Othieno was speaking to importers and local manufacturers at a consultative meeting on enforcement of compulsory standards regulation.

The high number of substandard goods in the market and the forgery of quality marks is a serious concern that goes right at the heart of the health of consumers.

As part of the solution, UNBS has placed more attention on rolling out a new quality mark with distinct inbuilt security features and codes that a consumer can be able to detect using a phone.

“If you have a smart phone, there will be a code and those with ordinary phones will be able to send an SMS to UNBS and our database with tell you if the commodity is genuine or not,” Othieno said.

Patricia Ejalu, the acting executive director, UNBS, said there will be new policy reforms by January next year.

“Come January, all goods leaving factories must have the Q-Mark before they are placed on the market,” she said.

She explained that Ugandan products with the Q-Mark will not be subjected to an inspection and testing within the East African Community (EAC).

Ejalu added: “Products without the mark are usually subjected to inspections and testing at the border and would not be released before compliance is ascertained, something that would cause delays for the owners.”

According to Martin Imalingat, an official from UNBS, local manufacturers will pay Shs 100,000 for an application for a quality mark, and Shs 1.5 million as an audit fee. Foreign companies will pay $3,000 plus an air ticket because inspections will be done from the country of origin.

Courtesy of: http://www.observer.ug/business/38-business/47177-fake-goods-on-rise-due-to-quality-mark-counterfeits

Last modified on Thursday, 31 October 2019 09:41
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