KAMPALA – Uganda will save money on accreditation of goods, services and facilities provided within the country as well as exported, with the establishment of the Uganda National Accreditation Services (UGANAS).
UGANAS is provided for in the Accreditation for Conformity Assessment Bill 2018, now before the House Committee on Trade.
The Minister of Trade, Hon. Amelia Kyambadde while appearing before the committee chaired by Hon. Robert Kasule Sebunya on Wednesday said that the passing of the Bill will among others enhance bilateral and multilateral trade agreements.
“We do not have a regulation and accreditation service body in Uganda, but with the establishment of UGANAS, there will be good governance based on risk assessments to enhance objective decisions, as well as fair markets for our products,” said Kyambadde.
She added that the proposed accreditation body will act as a soft infrastructure to attract foreign direct investments, to invest in export free zones or free trade zones to increase manufactured exports and tax revenue.
Kyambadde told the committee that the country’s conformity assessment service providers currently seek accreditation from external accreditation bodies outside Uganda, which hinders private sector investment in quality infrastructure.
“The accreditation charges by South African based firms SANAS and SADCAS total up to US$11,000. This cost can be reduced by about 20 to 30 percent when provided by UGANAS. Ugandans will build capacity in accreditation services,” Kyambadde said.
Committee members raised concerns about the capacity of operation of the proposed accreditation body citing the composition of experts in the business to implement efficient accreditation.
“One of the concerns is the expatriates because Ugandans do not usually get opportunities yet the law is clear that you can only bring in expatriates where you do not have capacity as a country,” said Hon. Monicah Amoding (NRM, Kumi Municipality).
Kajara County MP, Hon. Michael Timuzigu queried the feasibility of the certificate of financial implications of the Bill valued at shs1.5 billion which he observed could not ably run the new body (UGANAS) with its different structures or offices.
“This Bill is creating an institution that will handle other clients from East Africa and beyond. Such a big body will have a good number of employees and other structures, so the certificate of financial implication should be thought about thoroughly before the Bill comes back to the House,” said Timuzigu.
As reviewed by the Finance Minister, implementation of the bill will bring in revenue of approximately shs1.6 billion over a four-year period from accreditation, assessment and subscription fees and trainings.
Minister Kyambadde told the Committee that Ugandan nationals would be trained in conformity and accreditation to run the Uganda National Accreditation Services, once it is in place.
The major objective of the Bill is to establish a national accreditation system to carry out accreditation in respect of conformity assessment and calibration of equipment for service providers in Government and the private sector including medical services and to promote accreditation as a means of facilitating international trade and enhancing economic performance and transformation.