UNBS certifies 5 private laboratories for product testing
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has certified five privately owned laboratories to provide product testing services for local manufacturers. This is expected to expand UNBS’s own available capacity, by extension, which is currently stressed.
“After a series of assessments, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has recognised five laboratories to provide product testing services aimed at easing doing business in Uganda. This means that these laboratories are competent to test and issue results that may be used by UNBS in product certification and its other regulatory activities in a bid to reduce the workload in the institution’s laboratories and consequently making trade faster and smoother,” the Bureau said in a statement.
The Bureau said, the certification is in line with its Laboratory Recognition Scheme established to ensure that laboratories outside UNBS scope or privately owned are recognised at the national level to do product testing.
The recognised laboratories are; Chemiphar Uganda, Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI), SMAT Uganda limited, Roofings (U) Ltd and RECO Industries.
Dr. Ben Manyindo, the UNBS Executive Director said: “These are some of the initiatives UNBS is undertaking to increase the capacity of the institution to ensure fair trade through standards. As the economy grows, the demand for laboratory services increases hence the need for partnerships to address the issue of quality and safety through testing of our local products.”
He added, “It is also in tandem with the drive at the East African Community level where other competent laboratories can be used for testing of products and the accruing results are recognised as legitimate and authentic.”
Annick Uytterhaegen, Chemiphar CEO, said: “As Chemiphar Uganda, we are accredited internationally however; it’s an added advantage that we are recognised at the national level for better collaboration.”
At the regional level, under the East African Community (EAC) Standardization, Quality Assurance, Metrology and Testing Act, 2006, the council of Ministers have made regulations governing designating testing laboratories. These regulations were gazetted in 2013.
The designation of private laboratories is intended to enable easy access by the private sector to recognised testing services across the region and thereby assure quality and facilitate cross-border trade.
However, the laboratories need to ensure that their test results remain recognised by ensuring that they operate a quality management system based on the International Standard ISO/IEC 17025, which requirements, UNBS trained and evaluated the five laboratories on.