The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has commenced enforcement activities against substandard steel products in different parts of the country in line with its mandate of ensuring fair trade and protecting the public and environment against dangerous and sub-standard products.
The resumed enforcement exercise follows the expiry of the January 31 ultimatum issued by UNBS to all manufacturers of steel products to recall all substandard products on the market.
During a steel sector meeting on standards held on January 19 convened by UNBS, attended by Steel sector manufacturers and hardware dealers, the following resolutions were made:
- All steel products manufacturers liaise with their downstream supply chains to recall all substandard products by January 31
- Any substandard steel products found on the market starting February 1 will be seized by UNBS.
- Manufacturers of the substandard products will be prosecuted in courts of law
- Substandard materials shall be destroyed at the cost of the manufacturer.
Despite the ultimatum issued, UNBS has so far seized approximately 15,500kgs of substandard ribbed steel bars and hollow sections worth over Shs640 Million in the Kampala Metropolitan area.
The UNBS operations that kicked off in Kampala last week are to continue to different regions in the country.
UNBS developed quality standards for steel products available on its website for public knowledge of good quality construction materials. Some of these include:
- US EAS 412-1; Steel for the reinforcement of concrete — Part 1: Plain bars
- US EAS 412-2:2019 Steel for the reinforcement of concrete — Part 2: Ribbed bars
- US EAS 412-3; Steel for the reinforcement of concrete — Part 3: Welded bars
- US 194-1:2016; Nails – Part 1: Steel nails – Specification
- US EAS 914:2019 – Mild steel nails – Specification
- US EAS 11:2019 – Hot-dip galvanized plain and corrugated steel sheets – Specification (3rd Edition)
- US EAS 468:2019 – Pre-painted metal coated steel sheets and coils – Specification (3rd Edition)
- US EAS 410: 2005 – Hot-dip aluminium-zinc coated plain and corrugated steel sheets – Specification
UNBS has urged all manufacturers of steel products to ensure that their products meet the quality standards and are certified by UNBS, and all middlemen, hardware dealers and importers to ensure that they deal in only certified steel products and consumers to verify the quality of materials before purchasing them.