Certification: The Dos and Don’ts

Certification can be a useful tool to add credibility, by demonstrating that your product or service meets the expectations of your customers. Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) provides Certification for products and systems as a written assurance (a certificate) that the product, service or system in question meets specific requirements called Standards.

Standards are documents that provide requirements, specifications, guidelines, or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes, and services are fit for their purpose. They provide organizations with the shared vision, understanding, procedures, and vocabulary needed to meet the expectations of their stakeholders. Because standards present precise descriptions and terminology, they offer an objective and authoritative basis for organizations and consumers around the world to communicate and conduct business. It could be about making a product, managing a process, delivering a service or supplying materials – standards cover a huge range of activities.

UNBS operates a Product Certification Scheme in accordance to the provisions of the Certification Regulations of 1995. Under this scheme, manufacturers apply for and are granted permits to use the Uganda Standards Certification Mark (The Quality Mark) on their products after demonstrating compliance of their products to the requirements of relevant National standards.

What are the benefits of getting the Quality Mark?

  1. Winning Consumer confidence in the certified products resulting into increased market share
  2. Consumers are able to identify the products that conform to quality standards thus making quick decisions in favour of quality products.
  3. Certified products are able to penetrate local, regional and international markets
  4. Certification protects products against unfair competition from inferior products on the market
  5. With the new BUBU policy, government, international bodies and NGOs rely on certified products for their purchases.
  6. The Certification Scheme provides technical audit of product quality and process control procedures. This means that the Manufacturer gets technical advisory services and information at little to no cost that would otherwise be obtained at very high cost.
  1. For businesses: Standardization leads to lower costs by reducing redundancy, minimizing errors or recalls, and reducing time to market.

A certification mark is not used by its owner. Instead, clients authorized by UNBS can use the mark. UNBS as the owner of the Quality Mark monitors and controls the use of the mark through market surveillance inspections. Failure to enforce the standards of the certification mark can result in cancellation of the use of the Quality mark/ permit.

UNBS has the right to take legal action against culprits who use the Quality Mark without due permission from the Standards body. In the Standards and Utilities Court, UNBS can penalize manufacturers whose goods and products do not conform to the specified Uganda Standards as well as those using the Quality Mark illegally.

How can a client get Certification?

If you are applying for the first time, a meeting with our certification team will help introduce you to the certification process.

Step 1: Apply online by opening a user account on cims.unbs.go.ug and fill the application form

Step 2: Make payment for the services and an Audit fees payment notice will be generated and sent through the e-system.

Step 3: Prepare for an audit process of your premises by assigned Certification Officers

Step 4: Send a sample of your product for testing

Step 5:  Close out any non-conformances that may have been identified during the audit

Step 6: If the company has fulfilled the requirements of the relevant standards, the company file is reviewed by the Certification Review Committee (CRC) for consideration of grant of permit.

Step 7: Your product is certified!

Certification is a straightforward and credible way of demonstrating a commitment to social and environmental responsibility. Once all documents and the product sample have been sent to the verifier, the certification process generally takes three to five weeks. And remember, if you have questions, we are always here to help. You can reach us through our toll free line on 0800133133 or social media pages.