Uganda National Bureau of Standard (UNBS) has carried out an operation and impounded consignment of cosmetics suspected to be of poor standard and containing dangerous chemicals.
The Operation was carried out last week in down town Kampala city mainly in shopping arcades. According to Godwin Bonge Muhwezi the Public Relation officer of UNBS, the agency has been getting intelligence about some cosmetics dealers importing poor quality cosmetics into the country.
“After getting the Information about the presence of such products on the market we had to come in and collect the suspected products from the market before it’s distributed in the country. Where possible the suspects will be taken to courts of Law to face charges of importing substandard products in the country which contravene with the Laws of Laws of Uganda as it stipulated in the UNBS Act,” he explained.
During the operation, some cosmetics traders were arrested and police says they will be taken to courts of Law.
On how the substandard cosmetics find its way on the Uganda market, Muhwezi said the importers on many occasion smuggled the merchandise into the country. This, according to him, limits the UNBS officials to carry out the mandatory testing on the products before they are released to the owner.
“Uganda has many entry points of which some are not manned by the UNBS and Uganda Revenue Authority Enforcement Officers so the business communities exploit such opportunities to smuggle in products. Some are substandard and other contains dangerous chemicals making it not fit to be imported into the country,” he added.
According to an enforcement officer who carried out the operation, majority of the cosmetics impounded are those used by women to bleach their skins which contain hydroquinone.
“Creams that contain Hydroquinone are not allowed into the country because of their effects on people’s health especially on the skin. Once we carry out our tests and find the elements in the cream then the impounded consignment will be destroyed by UNBS,” said.
It is believed scientifically that Hydroquinone has the potential to cause cancer of the Skin during the process of skin whitening or bleaching which is done by some women.