We shall catch you: UNBS warns manufacturers, dealers of substandard iron bars

The national standards manager, Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), has warned manufacturers, dealers and other businessmen selling substandard iron bars to be used in the reinforcement of concrete.

According to UNBS statement, those caught dealing in such bad bars shall face heavy punishments as provided by by the laws of Uganda. “UNBS warns all manufacturers, importers, stockists, dealers and contractors against selling/using substandard steel bars. If found, the substandard iron bars will be seized and destroyed with no recourse and charges will be brought against you in accordance with the Laws of the Republic of Uganda.  This warning takes immediate effect.”

UNBS says substandard Iron Bars are flooding the market with many unsuspecting individuals falling victim. “The sale of substandard iron bars deprives the customer of the value for their money, promotes unfair trade and compromises with the quality of the construction thus safety of structures.”

All ribbed bars should meet the requirements of the Ugandan Standard US EAS 412-2:2019 – Steel for the reinforcement of concrete – Part 2: Ribbed bars (3rd Edition). Bars not meeting these specifications in the standard shall not be placed in the market for sale.

Most of the substandard bars have the following characteristics:

·         Length shorter than the specified 12m

·         Smaller nominal diameter than the specified

·         Poor labelling/marking

·         Easily fail/break on bending

·         Less weight per meter than that specified in the standard

Customers are encouraged to verify the labelling of the steel bars before purchase. The bars should be marked/labelled as follows: Each bar shall be legibly and indelibly marked with the following: manufacturers name or logo; steel grade (for instance, 500C WR, 500B WR, ); and

Nominal diameter (e.g. 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20, 25, 32, 40, or 50) at interval of at most 1.5 m.

Each bundle shall be marked with the following: manufacturers name or logo; steel grade (e.g., 500C WR, 500B WR,); country of origin; nominal diameter; and batch/cast number at the time of dispatch from the manufacture premises.


Choose the right rebars for your construction and do not compromise the integrity in strength and safety of your building, neighbourhood, and image of Uganda.  Always check with your supplier or contractor to ensure the following:

The bars have the right markings as prescribed above.

The bars are of a standard length of 12 metres unless you have a UNBS permit for using special sized iron bars. Use a UNBS verified/calibrated measuring tape to confirm the length by sampling some of the iron bars.

The thickness for each iron bar has the prescribed diameter as explained above.

Maintain appropriate documentation e.g. valid receipts for every transaction.

For all other Standard requirements, it is your fundamental right to;

Ask for the chemical and mechanical properties test certificate issued by the manufacturer.  Your supplier, whether stockist or manufacturer are mandated by UNBS to have this information available to you upon request for your projects.

Carry out independent test for the iron bars purchased at any UNBS recognised testing laboratories.  These laboratories can be found on UNBS website or contact UNBS through the contact details below.

Ask for a refund or replacement of the iron bars if the iron bars do not meet the requirements of the Uganda Standard.

Seek legal redress through UNBS in case your stockist or manufacturer is not collaborating

Report to UNBS using the contact details below, in case of doubt about the quality of the iron bars in accordance with the requirements of the Uganda Standard.

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