In an effort to address critical challenges hindering cross-border competitiveness in Uganda’s manufacturing sector, the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) in close partnership with the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) on 23rd November 2023 had an engagement at the UMA Head Office, aimed at creating a level playing ground for industrialists.
During the engagement, one of the key areas discussed involved the need to formalize collaboration between UMA and UNBS, through a legalized Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This move will not only reinforce their operations, but also reflect as a commitment to transparent and structured cooperation between stakeholders.
Recognizing the challenges associated with Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC), UNBS and UMA are actively involved in developing E-Portal systems to be deployed at various regional offices. The need to streamline PVoC processes not only improves service delivery to manufacturers but also stresses the commitment to efficiency and modernization within the regulatory framework.
The initiative to use PVoC as a verification document for Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is aimed at expediting the clearance process for exported goods and reducing bottlenecks to create a more agile export process within the country.
Relatedly, the need for clarity in Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) was discussed. UNBS is set to define and communicate these procedures in detail as this is particularly crucial for manufacturers seeking to export goods such as flour to diverse markets like South Sudan. By doing so, clear and comprehensive SOPs will empower manufacturers with the necessary guidelines to navigate international trade.
The meeting came at a time when UNBS is implementing a rigorous risk profiling system to ensure a thorough evaluation of potential risks associated with goods and related affairs in a bid to mitigate risks. By having contingency plans in place, the collaboration aims to create a more resilient and adaptable manufacturing sector.
The engagement between UNBS and UMA also included discussions on initiatives such as distinguishing excisable goods from goods that bear the Digital Conformity Mark (DCM) which will be soon enrolled, mandatory inspections by UNBS for PVoC, and the development of a personnel certification scheme.
A significant shift is underway as Uganda seeks to take charge of its own produce. With the assistance of experts from UNBS, the country is poised to assert control over its manufacturing and export processes. This move aims to reduce dependency on neighboring countries, such as Kenya, and enhance Uganda’s economic self-sufficiency.
This partnership aims to enhance the competitiveness of Ugandan manufacturers on both regional and global levels. As these initiatives unfold, we look forward to a more robust and resilient manufacturing sector