Uganda - Country Commercial Guide
Standards for Trade

Describes standards, identifies the national standards, accreditation bodies, and lists the national testing organization(s) and conformity assessment bodies.

Last published date: 2021-11-12

Overview

Uganda’s regulatory framework is predominantly government-driven, although the government often consults with stakeholders.  Standards are drafted and enforced by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), which is supervised by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives.  Uganda is a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the African Regional Organization for Standardization, the East African Standards Committee, COMESA, the FAO/World Health Organization Codex Alimentarius Commission on International Food Standards, and the World Trade Organization (WTO).  Local standards are developed through the Uganda Industrial Research Institute.  Priority areas for standards with potentially large procurement opportunities are food and agriculture, mechanical and building engineering, metallurgy, energy management, and ICT.

Standards

The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is charged with developing and checking standards.  UNBS develops some of the standards, but in some cases adopts those developed by others.  UNBS is a member of ISO, Codex Alimentarius, the International Organization of Legal Metrology, and Afrinet.  Uganda applies European Union directives and standards, with some modifications.  Importers/exporters should contact the UNBS for specific information on standards.

Testing, inspection and certification

Test certificates from foreign labs are accepted if the lab is UNBS-accredited.  Proposed and final technical regulations and laws are published in the Uganda Gazette (hard copies of which may be purchased at select book stores in Kampala).  For further details, please contact the Uganda National Bureau of Standards.

Publication of Technical Regulations

The UNBS website provides technical regulations

In fulfillment of the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, the UNBS is the designated Technical Barriers to Trade Enquiry Point responsible for answering WTO members’ questions and providing all relevant documentation relating to, among other issues, technical regulations and standards adopted by Uganda.

Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are required under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) to notify to the WTO proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures that could affect trade.  Notify U.S. (https://tsapps.nist.gov/notifyus/data/index/index.cfm) is a free, web-based e-mail registration service that captures and makes available for review and comment key information on draft regulations and conformity assessment procedures.  Users receive customized e-mail alerts when new notifications are added by selected country or countries and industry sector(s) of interest and can also request full texts of regulations.  This service and its associated web site are managed and operated by the USA WTO TBT Inquiry Point housed within the National Institute of Standards and Technology, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.