The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has cautioned online distributors against selling substandard products.
The warning was sounded during an online stakeholder engagement with online distributors in the country, aimed at offering technical guidance in trade to enable the sale of safe, quality products and self-regulation as well as compliance to relevant standards and legal requirements.
Given the COVID-19 lockdown, online shopping has become the new normal, however, UNBS received complaints from customers alleging that some of the goods bought from online stores are substandard, contrary to the UNBS Act.
Clause 21 of the UNBS Act prohibits the manufacture, sale or distribution or holding for the purpose of selling any product that does not meet compulsory Uganda standards. Products covered by compulsory standards are those that have a direct effect on the health of the user for example food, cosmetics, electronics and many others as listed on the UNBS website via www.unbs.go.ug
UNBS thus calls upon online distributors to desist from; presenting products that do not bear the UNBS Distinctive Mark for sale and the Illegal use of the UNBS Distinctive Mark.
The UNBS Imports Inspection Manager, Andrew Othieno, also revealed that in addition to the Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) and Destination Insection (DI), the distinctive mark is going to be compulsory for all imports effective 1st September 2020.
The online distributors were urged to equip themselves with US ISO 10008; Quality management Customer satisfaction Guidelines for business-to-consumer (B2C) electronic commerce transactions (ECT) which are available online via: https://webstore.unbs.go.ug , to better their service delivery to clients.
The UNBS Deputy Executive Director in charge of compliance, John Paul Musimami, called for cooperation from the online distributors to ensure that we work together to get rid of substandard products.
UNBS encourages the public to report any distributor or dealer of substandard products using Toll free line; 0800133133, WhatsApp number; 0713227580 and UNBS social media pages.
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is a statutory body responsible for developing, promoting and enforcing standards in protection of public health and safety, and the environment against dangerous and sub-standard products.