The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has warned of rising cases of substandard iron bars flooding the market.

According to the standards regulator, many unsuspecting individuals are falling victim to the substandard iron bars

“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,” UNBS said in a statement issued on Friday, June 18, 2021.

They said most of the substandard bars have the following characteristics: length shorter than the specified 12m, smaller nominal diameter than the specified, poor labelling/marking, they easily fail/break on bending and less weight per meter than that specified in the standard

UNBS urged customers 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 (e.g., 500C WR, 500B WR, etc); 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, etc); country of origin; nominal diameter; and batch/cast number at the time of dispatch from the manufacture premises

“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,” the standards body said.