Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has suspended the importation of second hand clothes into the country for an unspecified period of time.
“Following the declaration of the coronavirus disease, a global pandemic by World Health Organisation and in line with Uganda Standards US EAS 386:2005 and US EAS 356:2004, UNBS wished to inform all stakeholders and importers of used footwear and used textiles that as a precautionary measure, the importation of these commodities has been suspended with immediate effect until further notice,” said a statement by the UNBS Executive Director, Ben Manyindo.
The UNBS boss said the move was meant to protect the public health and safety but also to ensure consumers get quality products that match value for their money.
Uganda imports mainly used clothes and footwear from the US, China, India and Turkey among other countries which are used by the biggest percentage of the population in the East African country.
The suspension of the importation of the second hand clothes and foot wear will therefore hit hard both the businessmen who were earning a living from the sale of the items but also many members of the public who were finding them cheap.
The former US Ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac in 2016 warned parliament against passing the anti-second hand clothes law as it would have huge negative impacts on the population.
For a number of years, Uganda has mulled banning the importation of second hand clothes and foot wear but it has always stirred a public uproar because a biggest percentage of the population are beneficiaries as consumers and dealers in these products.