EFRIS system Awareness workshop in Kampala

Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA) in partnership with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) organized an awareness meeting on the 9th of August 2022 aimed at sensitizing the members on the application and the importance of using the system in their businesses as well as discussing other different tax related challenges that they face.

The Ugandan government on the 1st of January 2021 instructed all the formally registered companies to start using the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS) to report electronically issued invoices and cash receipts to the URA. Under this system, organizations and companies operating in the Ugandan market are to submit their electronic sales invoices to URA, and URA must approve the invoice before the company can transmit it to its client. The implementation of the EFRIS system aims to tackle tax evasion and the fraudulent practice of false invoices for fake purchases. Some of the documents to be sent electronically include: invoices, credit and debit notes, goods movement, inventories and others.

The main purpose of this meeting was to enlighten the members about the importance of using EFRIS in their business. The awareness session was held at the USSIA Board room in Kampala and was attended by over 34 industrialists.

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Micro Enterprise Development Training Held In Lira Zone

The USSIA Lira zone members participated in a Micro Enterprise Development training on the 8th of August 2022. The team led by the regional coordinator Lira zone was invited to take part in the training that was organized by Stanbic Business Incubator Limited whose main objective was to provide entrepreneurship, business training and other related follow up services aimed at sparking, inspiring and promoting innovation amongst the various selected micro enterprises and other early stage entrepreneurs.

The training was attended by over 30 participants of which 20 were USSIA members. The participants were taken through a number of entrepreneurial modules like Entrepreneurs Mindset, Basic Design Thinking and Analysis of Business Environments, Business planning, Business modeling, Financial Literacy and Sources of Funds, Building Relationship with your bank among others.

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Gulu City Roofings Manufacturer (Nile Roofings) Thanks USSIA for Q-Mark

Have you ever heard of the NileMax, NiloTile, UgaTile, and Tropical roofings sheets brands? Well, I presume you haven’t. But worry not, in the near future you will know them.
Those are roofing sheets brands of Nile Roofings Limited. Nile Roofings Limited is a fast-growing construction materials manufacturer based in Gulu City. The company founded in 2018 recently (January 31st) acquired the UNBS quality mark (Q-Mark) for its roofing sheets products in product standardization and certification process that was disrupted by COVID-19.
“Since I joined USSIA, Nile Roofings has enormously benefited from the capacity-building opportunities presented by the association,” says Mr. Erasmus Okurut the founder and managing director of the company as he signs off a company document.
“With the Q-Mark, now we can aggressively market our products” adds Mr. Erasmus whose company is gaining steady traction for its customized roofing sheets in the Gulu City area.
If many small-scale manufacturers like Nile Roofings get the Q-Mark then so much can change about the industrial and entrepreneurial ecosystem of Northern Uganda. With that many people will buy Ugandan and build Uganda.

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Remote Skilling of USSIA Members

Despite the fact that COVID 19 has adversely affected the livelihood of many people world over, technology has come through to provide opportunities. The members of USSIA in the Electrical and Carpentry sectors, who were trained by experts from Germany attended the remote training through video conferencing software (Zoom Video conferencing and MS Teams) on 26th October 2020 to 30th October 2020 for the Electricians and 23rd November 2020 to 25th November 2020 for the Carpenters.
The remote expert training, implemented by USSIA with support from Welt Hunger Hilfe was funded by the German Cooperation/BMZ under the Skill Up! Kampala Project. The training aims at enhancing the skills and capacity of the USSIA members who are training providers in the Skill Up! Kampala Project.
Electrical engineers under the instruction of the German master artisan Manfred Franz Becker learnt various steps in electrical circuit sequencing. One of the highlights of the training was when the learners were tasked to make traffic lights. Meanwhile, in the hands of Leon Herl (a German Carpenter and Brick maker) the carpenters who attended the training were taken through the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) measures/practices observed in a carpentry workshop. The sessions in the training enlightened the participants about some of the risks in a carpentry workshop and ways of preventing one from such risks. A lively training resulted into members sharing various scenarios they faced in their workshops relating to OHS.
The remote skilling training is therefore a technical capacity building service that USSIA provides members in order to enhance their performance and efficiency to be able to grow and economically develop their enterprises while keeping safe from COVID 19.

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How To Acquire Product Certification (UNBS)?

1. Benefits of UNBS Certification (Why Certification?)
The mark guides consumers to products that conform to UNBS Standards
ii) Through the mark, products gain customer satisfaction and trust
iii) The mark is a marketing tool for producers hence increasing sales
iv) The mark a way of constructing conventional trade structures that facilitate exportation and importation
v) The mark encourages continuous development & improvement of the product through corrective action
vi) The mark qualifies establishments to win local and international awards due to universal acceptance
vii) The mark enhances the name and reputation of establishments, locally, regionally and internationally
viii) The mark supports the National Economy, increasing competition in the local and international markets
2. Requirements for Registration for Product Certification (Quality Mark)
i) Tax Identification Number (TIN)
ii) Electronic Mail Address (E-Mail Address)
iii) Certificate of Incorporation (Soft Copy)
iv) Product Process Flow Chart (Soft Copy)
v) Product Label and Markings (Soft Copy)
vi) Certificate of Analysis for the Product (Soft Copy) N.B. This is optional
3. Application for the Quality Mark (Q Mark)
i) Log on to https://cims.unbs.go.ug
ii) Create an Account (Names of Contact Person & Company Name, TIN & E-mail)
iii) Log in with the Password is sent to the E-mail
iv) Click on Application and then New Application
v) Under Product information, select product standard, name of the Product and various brands under it
vi) Under Client information, fill in Company name, registration number, TIN, Office & Factory address,
Contacts, E-mail, Name of Business owner, Number of Employees, Details of Quality Control Manager,
Actual & Installed Capacity and Annual Turnover
vii) Under List of Raw Materials & Ingredients, name the Raw Materials and area of acquisition and Supplier
viii) Under Quality Control Checks, state the Raw Material, the Check and Nature of Records kept
ix) Under attachments, upload Certificate of Business Registration (URSB), Product Process Flow Chart,
Product Label and Markings and or Certificate of Analysis for Product, then Submit.
x) Repeat the steps from IV above, for each Product (and brands under the Product) to be certified
4. Purchase of UNBS Standards
i) Log on to https://webstore.unbs.go.ug
ii) Create an Account (Names of Contact Person & Company Name, TIN & E-mail, Password & TIN)
iii) Select Business Category e.g. Food and Agriculture for the required Standards
iv) Search Product Specification Standard e.g. US 62:2011 for Fruit Juice Specification and Select
v) Search Code of Practice for Hygiene Standard e.g. US 28:2002 for Food and Drink Manufacturing Industry and Select
vi) The two selected standards will appear in the “Shopping Cart”, click
vii) After Placing the Order for Purchase of Standards, Log onto https://www.ura.go.ug
viii) Generate a Payment Registration Slip (PRS) and then Pay for the Standards either through Mobile Money or through any Bank of your choice using the PRN. Minimum Cost per Standards is UGX 15,000/= (Twenty Thousand Shillings Only)
ix) After Purchase of the Standards, the USSIA UNBS Standards Facilitators will visit you at your Production plant and start preparing you for the UNBS Audit.
5. Audit Fees
i) After submission of the application for the Quality Mark, it will be assigned to a UNBS Officer for review
ii) If not successful, the application will be rejected and you will be notified. If successful, still you will be notified and an Invoice for Certification fees and Testing fees will be sent to your E-mail.
iii) Certification Fees will be UGX 500,000/= (Five Hundred Thousand Shillings Only) for each Product to be Certified, however, the testing fees will vary from one product (brand) to another.
iv) Still, you Log onto https://www.ura.go.ug, generate a PRS for each of the Testing and Audit Fees separately and then make the payment using the Payment Registration Number (PRN), either through Mobile Money or the Bank of your choice.
6. Audit Plan
i) Once the payments have been made and confirmed by the UNBS, an Audit Plan is shared with you i.e. the date of the Audit and names of the Auditors that will be conducting the Audit.
ii) At this point, the USSIA UNBS Standard Facilitators intensify the drills with the applicant for the Mark, a surprise check is made by the facilitators, just before the UNBS Audit itself.
7. Audit Process
i) Where the Audit date was agreed upon by UNBS and the applicant, Auditors are sent to the manufacturing premises and mainly cover various areas and described below. At the completion of the Audit, a sample of each of the Product brand for which the Q mark was applied is taken for analysis at the UNBS labs for Testing and Analysis
ii) Food Chain Controls and Practices. These are controls put in place and practices adopted by the producer from the point of entry of raw materials, through production and output to ensure that safety and quality requirements are adhered to e.g. testing of raw materials for heavy metals before production begins.
iii) Labeling, Traceability and Recall Procedures. These are procedures to ensure that all relevant information about a product e.g. source of raw materials, storage methods, production techniques, handling, packaging, batch etc. are recorded to ensure that errors can be detected in case of queries.
iv) Finished Products Analysis and Checks. This refers to the sampling techniques that are carried out on the final product to ensure adherence to quality standards and establish whether the product is safe for consumption.
v) Corrective Action. This refers to indicators within the manufacturing process based on the quality of the final product, suggesting that there is need for improvement. This may be in form of poor taste, poor packaging and labeling etc. that warrants the correction itself.
vi) Documentation Requirements. Various steps and routine activities in the production process should be documented for reference purposes and to ensure consistent output e.g. raw material acceptability criteria, cleaning schedule, the product formulations, staff health records etc.
vii) Pest Control. These are methods put in place by the producer to avoid infestation and contamination of raw materials and final products by pests such as rodents, cockroaches etc. Such methods may be physical or biological but it’s not advisable to implore chemical methods specifically in the Food and Drinks processing plant because it may lead to poisoning of the final products
viii) Staff Training. Staff should be trained more regularly to increase their awareness and capacity in carrying out the production activities. They should be trained on the hygiene and safety requirements as well as the standards in general e.g. sanitizing their hands when touching food materials.
ix) Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Hygiene Practices (GHP). GMPs are defined as the quality measures in the production process while GHPs refers to all practices regarding conditions and measures to ensure safety and suitability of the final product at all stages of the food chain. Examples include: acceptability criteria of raw materials, storage methods, labelling, packaging, sampling, weighing etc.
8. Sharing Reports
i) If not successful, the enterprise is given Non Conformity Forms (NCF) showing areas that require improvement for corrective action. If corrected, the Form is filled and proof of correction is as well attached on the Form e.g. Explanation and or Pictures.
ii) If successful, an Audit Report and Lab Report (Certificate of Analysis) are shared with the enterprise.
9. Certification
i) A double payment of the testing fees is pre payment for the surveillance test that will be done within the next valid period of certification.

ii) Note that all UNBS payments are made using the PRS from the URA portal through either the Bank or Mobile Money as previously explained above.

iii) Finally, a Q Mark is granted to the applicant for ONLY those Products applied for!

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The Women & Youth Working In Our Abattoirs

#DYK the women & youth working in our abattoirs become idle after 10 am when the slaughtering & flaying had ended? Under the ongoing MOBIP program supervised by @MAAIF_Uganda, we are contributing to reducing the effects of the beef value chain on #environment.

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