Exports to Uganda: HQTS India shares insights on Uganda PVoC Program

HQTS Group is one of Asia’s leading quality control companies, with a global presence in over 20 countries. They provide quality assurance solutions, including quality inspections, product testing and certifications. Recently, Logistics Insider spoke with Devnath Pillai, Vice General Manager of Operations at HQTS India, about the company being authorised to provide services under the Uganda Pre-Export Verification of Conformity to Standards Programme.

Can you give us an overview of the Uganda PVOC Certification and its significance for companies looking to trade with Uganda?

Uganda requires regulated products imported into the country to conform to the National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) requirements through the Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) program.

Currently, the product conformity assessment program covers 11 product categories. As part of this program, obtaining a Certificate of Conformity is a mandatory requirement for customs clearance. This certificate verifies that the products in question meet all relevant national standards and any approved equivalents and technical regulations.

Only inspection and certification bodies authorised by the Uganda PVoC program, such as HQTS, are authorised to issue this certificate.

Regarding the certificate of conformity, which is required for customs clearance, which party – the exporter, logistics company, or importer – bears the responsibility for obtaining it?

The exporter is typically responsible for obtaining the certificate of conformity for Uganda. But there may be exceptions depending on the specific circumstances. For example, the exporter may have authorised a logistics or customs clearance agency to handle this logistics process. Therefore, for any uncertainties, it is always wise to seek advice from relevant authorities or an approved Uganda PVoC Service Provider like HQTS.

It’s important to note that non-compliant goods may be penalised and potentially re-exported to their country of origin or destroyed, with the associated costs typically borne by the exporter.

How does HQTS India assist companies in obtaining the Uganda PVOC Certification?

HQTS is authorised by UNBS to issue Certificates of Conformity for exports bound to Uganda. The certificate serves as proof of compliance with Uganda standards, reducing the risk of customs delays and losses due to non-compliant products. HQTS provides efficient and comprehensive solutions to ensure your shipments conform to Uganda’s requirements.

What prompted HQTS India to expand its services to include the Uganda PVOC Certification?

Uganda has experienced significant economic development and modernisation in recent years, with an average annual growth of 4.5% between 2016-2021. As a result, the country’s imports have steadily risen and are now valued at $7.94 billion, with further growth anticipated. For all your Uganda PVoC needs, HQTS is your one-stop shop.

What is the current trade volume between India and Uganda, and how has it evolved in recent years?

Uganda’s total population is approximately 41 million people, with a regulated import value of 1,016,924k USD per annum (source: UNBS). The derived TIC market size is estimated at 4,576k USD.

India is the second-largest exporter to Uganda, after China, with a partner share of 11.62%, highlighting significant opportunities for Indian businesses in the Ugandan market. The current volume of trade for all commodities is valued at 58.7M$.

How does HQTS India differentiate itself from its competitors in the market for Uganda PVOC Certification services?

HQTS is one of only six companies authorised to provide Uganda PVoC services for general goods. With over 25 years of experience in quality assurance services, a global network, membership in the International Federation of Inspection Agencies, Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC) industry council, International Safe Transit Association and operational in India since 2008, we are well-equipped to help exporters comply with governmental certifications.

Our dedicated team is available to assist at every step of the application process, and we aim to issue draft certificates within three days and PVOC certificates within five days, subject to all documents being in order.

For Indian businesses, HQTS India is the best quality partner, as we deeply understand the local regulatory frameworks, culture, and business language in both countries.

Are there any long-term growth plans for HQTS India regarding other governmental certifications or services in the country?

HQTS has a definite long-term goal that involves expanding our reach to new regions and becoming their trusted certification body.

We have previously been accredited by the Central Organization for Standardization and Quality Control (COSQC) to issue Iraq’s Certificate of Conformity and Certificate of Inspection. In addition, we are authorised by the Uzbekistan government as a provider of Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI) services for imported goods, and in partnership with TASBEER, we can issue Certificates of Conformity for regulated products imported into the Saudi Arabian market.

We are also an SFDA-approved certification body, enabling us to issue Certificates of Conformity for consignments that comply with regulations and can clear customs at Saudi ports and borders.

Currently, we are authorised by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) to provide Pre-Export Verification of Conformity services, furthering our commitment to expanding our reach and providing certification services globally.

What advice would you give to companies currently trading or considering trading with countries with conformity assessment programs?

In today’s global market, adhering to prescribed quality standards is essential for both exporters and importers. To fulfil this obligation, you may require the assistance and advice of TIC companies such as HQTS, which can serve as your all-in-one solution. 

Partnering with a third party inspection company in India can result in cost savings, expanded exports and a higher overall sales potential. By prioritising exports, businesses can broaden their market reach and increase sales.

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