The Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde says government intends to reintroduce the Anti-counterfeit bill in parliament.
The Bill was introduced in 2015 with the aim of combating the importation and sale of counterfeit products on the Ugandan domestic market.
But State Minister of Trade Michael Werikhe withdrew the Bill from Parliament in January, stating that there are other laws that can address the gap.
Kyambadde has now told TheUgandan that the major query in Cabinet was on the enforcement agency, she says there was disagreement on whether the main enforcement agency should be the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) or the Uganda Police.
She states the bill will be brought back with URSB as the main enforcement agency.
Last year, 232 metric tonnes of counterfeit goods worth sh1.7b were seized by UNBS, while 48 Metric tonnes of substandard goods worth about 950 million were destroyed between July and December 2017, revealed Godwin Bonge Muhwezi, the public relations officer UNBS.
The destroyed products included cosmetics containing hydroquinone, assorted food stuffs, cement, iron sheets, electrical products (extension cables, electrical cables, bulbs etc.), mattresses, weighing scales, paints, diapers, sanitary towels, baby powdered milk, toilet paper, among others.
The goods seized included steel bars, iron sheets, assorted food stuffs, energy savers, extension cables, cosmetics, agro-inputs, sweets, cooking oil, second hand tyres, beers, paint, and maize flour.
“We have so many substandard goods on the market for three major reasons: we have many traders that have failed to comply with pre-export verification conformity check from the service points from countries of origin, while others are smuggled in through our porous borders and the lack of funds to enforce the law,” he noted.
Samuel Kuloba Watasa of the Uganda Consumer’s protection Association said Ugandans have chosen to be ignorant making it hard to fight counterfeit products.