The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has lowered the charges which were previously being levied on enterprises seeking certification of their products.
Previously, people had to pay Audit Fees of Shs250,000 and Surveillance Audit Fees of Shs 250,000.
But effective July 1, 2021, Sylvia Kirabo, the Head of Public Relations at UNBS, said they started conducting the certification and surveillance audits on enterprises seeking to acquire the Quality Mark (Q-Mark) free of charge.
Micro and Small Enterprises will now only pay certification fees of Shs500,000 while Medium and Large Enterprises will pay Shs1 million to be issued with a permit to use the quality mark, valid for one year (12 months). The new fees imply a reduction in certification fees by Shs350,000 for Micro and Small Enterprises and Shs 300,000 for Medium and Large enterprises. Enterprises will continue to pay for laboratory testing fees depending on the parameters to be analysed for their individual products.
However, Ms. Kirabo says enterprises involved in the manufacturing of bottled is water, alcoholic beverages (excluding wine) and carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks will pay certification fees of Shs1m per brand because of the additional regulatory input required to monitor their safety and quality before being put on the market.
She says the above intervention is aimed at promoting implementation of quality standards by enterprises and help MSMEs and the private sector to recover from the devastating effects of COVID 19 on their businesses. This is also in line with UNBS mandate to promote Buy Uganda–Build Uganda (BUBU) and enhancing competitiveness of Ugandan exports to the regional and international markets, according to Ms Kirabo.
UNBS also provides batch certification where enterprises pay testing fees and Shs500,000 for the Batch Certificate (Certificate of Conformity). This is a reduction from the Shs600,000 previously charged for this service.
“We also provide pre-market Approval for products which have not yet completed the certification process where MSMEs pay testing fees and Shs250,000 to get the authorisation letter, while medium and large enterprises pay testing fees and Shs500,000 for the Authorisation Letter, valid for 6 months,” Ms Kirabo says,
“The new certification fees structure have been highly subsidized and only consider recoverable costs in terms of man-hour input for both onsite and offsite certification processes as well as administrative overheads,” she adds.
UNBS has also extended the payment period from 7 days to 21 days from date of payment notice. However, the fees are paid to UNBS through Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) before the audit. This will allow timely issuance of permit to use UNBS Quality Mark immediately after the certification decision is made, according to Ms Kirabo.
Clients can apply for product certification via https://cims.unbs.go.ug. The Certification fees and Testing fees billed should be paid on separate bank payment slips under the respective departments. After payment, the Payment Registration Numbers (PRNs) will be submitted through your UNBS Certification account on https://cims.unbs.go.ug/. The audit date and audit plan is communicated upon submission and UNBS verification of the Payment Registration Numbers (PRNs) for the billed fees. Inquiries on certification fees can be sent to [email protected]
UNBS)has been implementing the certification scheme since 1995 guided by the UNBS Act, 1983 (as amended 2013) and now the UNBS (Use of Distinctive Mark) Regulations 2018.