Uganda risks losing its wider clientele in neighbouring countries following results of a massive crackdown on standards of products in circulation.
According to the country’s National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), 54% of products on the market are either fake or counterfeits, which places them at a high probability of being substandard.
This countrywide survey was conducted in February.
Most Ugandan products are exported to Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Kenya. With this NBS revelation, Uganda may lose a bigger percentage of its exports to the region.
The 54 per cent, according to the survey mainly comprises locally manufactured products such as electrical appliances, furniture and food stuffs.
Others, including cancer-causing toilet papers, make up the growing list that also include cosmetics and lightening creams.
“Our a baseline survey conducted in February found that 54 per cent of goods on the market are substandard. Many of these, unfortunately, are locally made. We have stopped many [substandard] imports through PVoC [Pre-import Verification of Conformity] programme,” said Paul Musimami, the UNBS deputy executive director compliance.
Substandard products are costing Uganda more than Shs1 trillion in annual revenue.