The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) to strengthen the implementation and enforcement of Halal standards in the country.
The development is in line with the UNBS mandate of formulating, promoting and enforcing standards for the protection of public health and safety and the environment against harmful and sub-standard products.
According to the UNBS Executive Director Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru, Halal standards are aimed at protecting the interests of the Muslim Community and are complementary to the already existing quality standards which Manufacturers, Processors, Distributors and Retailers are expected to comply with in order to ensure that product are safe and of acceptable quality.
Implementation of Halal standards will give opportunity for enterprises to have a niche in manufacturing, supplying and distributing products and services that meet the requirements of the Muslim community in Uganda and exports to the Muslim countries abroad.
The Bureau will be working very closely with the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) and other stakeholders to make sure that those who claim that they are implementing Halal standards are verified and their products certified in order for the Muslim Consumers to have trust and confidence in them. “We do not want false claims which cannot be validated on any products. That is why we want to streamline and verify the production conditions of those implementing Halal standards. “ Mr. Ebiru added.
The General Secretary of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) Mr. Ramadhan Mugalu welcomed the collaboration with UNBS saying it will boost Uganda’s exports to Muslim based countries, besides meeting the requirements of the Muslim Community in the Country.
“We look forward to working together to implement and enforce standards in order to maintain the integrity of the Halal brand in the country. This will help us weed out all those who falsely claim their products are Halal certified, yet they are actually not. This development will also boost our exports by opening up markets in the Middle East countries and other Muslim-dominated countries world over.” Mr. Mugalu said.
The signed Memorandum of Understanding is aimed at;
• Providing a framework for collaboration between UNBS and UMSC specifically in the area of setting up a Halal Accreditation Body in Uganda and a Halal Testing laboratory;
• Facilitating the development of Halal Standards and other related deliverables in accordance with approved UNBS procedures;
• Facilitating competitiveness of Ugandan products and services in order to tap into the growing market for Halal food and other consumable products and facilitate global trade and
• Providing for and ensuring the enforcement of Standards to maintain integrity of the Halal Brand in Uganda.
• Participating in joint awareness creation and training activities in Halal Standards and related deliverables.