The Uganda National Bureau of Standards has destroyed 48 metric tonnes of substandard goods worth Shs 950 million.
The bureau’s executive director, Mr Ben Manyindo said the destruction happened in the last six months.
Addressing journalists during the release of the half year performance report at the Media Centre in Kampala, Dr Manyindo said the goods destroyed were part of 232 metric tonnes of substandard goods confiscated by the body’s market surveillance team as part of consumer protection which would have otherwise been detrimental to the health and safety of consumers.
“The market surveillance team, although still small, was able to seize 232 metric tonnes of goods worth Shs1.7 billion, 48 Metric tonnes of those worth about 950 million have been destroyed, with the rest still under investigation. We shall be able to treat them accordingly,” Dr Manyindo said.
The destroyed products included cosmetics containing hydroquinone, assorted foodstuffs, cement, iron sheets, electrical products (extension cables, electrical cables and bulbs ), mattresses, weighing scales, paints, diapers, sanitary towels, baby powdered milk and toilet paper, among others.
“We don’t like destroying goods because when we do, it’s money we are destroying and this is a big loss to the economy,” Dr Manyindo said, urging the business community to ensure they always deal in genuine goods to avoid making losses.
“I would like to appeal to the business community not to lose their hard earned money but engage in fair trade practices by selling only goods that meet our national standards,” Dr Manyindo appealed.
He further revealed that the bureau, between July and December 2017, was able to stop 16 million substandard products from being imported into the country under the Pre-export Verification of Conformity (PVOC) arrangement.
“UNBS inspected 4.6 billion products of which 4.2 billion products passed while the rest failed,” Dr Manyindo revealed.
The body was also able to stop entry of 246 second hand motor vehicles into the country after they failed the test. He argued that such vehicles would have had adverse effects on the environment and further compromised the user’s safety.