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UNBS Implements Temporary Border Inspection for Imported Used Cars

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The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is asking dealers who import used motor vehicles to have them inspected at border inspection points between September 23 and November 1. This temporary measure is being put in place as UNBS completes the process of selecting pre-export verification of conformity (PVoC) service providers, as required by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act.

Importers will be required to pay a fee of UGX 500,000 per motor vehicle to the government through the Uganda Revenue Authority payment portal for this inspection.

Ms. Sylvia Kirabo, the UNBS spokesperson, explained that this measure was taken due to a gap in PVoC services in the countries of origin. Delays in appointing PVoC service providers necessitated destination inspections to avoid disruptions in the import business.

Any products that fail to meet the minimum health, safety, and performance standards outlined in the applicable Ugandan standards will not be allowed into the country. These products will either be destroyed or re-exported at the importer’s expense.

The primary purpose of import inspections conducted by UNBS, as mandated by the UNBS Act Cap 327, is to safeguard public health and safety, as well as protect the environment by preventing the entry of dangerous or sub-standard products.

PVoC is a conformity assessment program applied to products covered by compulsory Uganda standards in their exporting countries to ensure compliance with Uganda’s standards. Compliant goods receive a Certificate of Conformity (COC), which is required for the release of the consignment in Uganda.

Starting from November 2, 2023, all imported used motor vehicles from certain countries must undergo PVoC with UNBS-approved service providers before being imported into Uganda. Importers who fail to obtain PVoC certification will face a 15 percent surcharge based on the cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) value. If necessary, inspectors may collect product samples for laboratory analysis.