Trade Ministry Takes Counterfeits War to Consumers

1422 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Under the campaign, the Ministry and UNBS intend to stage roadside shows and debates to educate consumers on counterfeits. Nakakande is optimistic that the intervention will implore consumers to look beyond the manufacturing and expiry dates on the products and also look at other details such as the ingredients and certification among others.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives has teamed up with Uganda National Bureau of Standards-UNBS to take the fight against counterfeit products to the final consumers.

Despite the mandate of the Ministry and UNBS to strengthen Uganda's economy through the promotion of quality and safe products, bulky consignments of counterfeit products find their way easily onto the local markets.  
  
The products are consumed by unsuspecting Ugandans since they are relatively cheap compared to the genuine products. Hadijja Nakakande, the Trade Ministry Spokesperson, says they have rolled out a mass sensitisation campaign to empower consumers to fight counterfeits.
 
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Under the campaign, the Ministry and UNBS intend to stage roadside shows and debates to educate consumers on counterfeits. Nakakande is optimistic that the intervention will implore consumers to look beyond the manufacturing and expiry dates on the products and also look at other details such as the ingredients and certification among others.

Nakakande also urged consumers to strictly examine both imported and locally made products they buy at any time so that they can get value for their money.

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Barbra Kamusiime, the UNBS spokesperson, says they intend to mobilise all stakeholders to fight this illicit practice. She is optimistic that many Ugandans will embrace the campaign since many are victims of counterfeits.

Swaibuh Wamala, a shoe dealer in Masaka town wants the Ministry to step up surveillance at all porous border points if the campaign is to register success. According to Wamala, most of the fake products are smuggled into the country through the porous borders.
 
The UNBS Act was amended in 2015 to increase the fine of those found guilty of trading in counterfeit products from 250,000 to Shillings 10 million with an appropriate imprisonment sentence.