The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has come up with a revised standardization mark scheme in a bid to ease the product certification process.
Any manufacturer applying for the Standardization Mark (SM) will be issued with a permit valid for two years. This will be available from today.
“Under the revised SM scheme, manufacturers will be issued with a permit that is valid for two years instead of one year as has been the case. Manufacturers will also be able to apply and make payment for the SM Permit online. Additionally, the SM Permit will also be prepared and transmitted electronically. This will save time and cut costs associated with manual applications,” Lt Col (Rtd) Bernard Njiraini, MD KEBS said.
Currently, KEBS said that they have issued 14,400 valid SM permits to manufacturers.
The Standardization Mark permit is mandatory for placement of all goods in the Kenyan market and is issued to manufacturers once KEBS ascertains that they comply with the established standard requirements.
In the revised scheme, the permit will only be issued based on factory inspection and product sampling for lab tests. In the two year period, KEBS inspectors will carry out random and targeted factory inspections, market surveillance and sampling the products for testing.
Firms will also be required to maintain in-house testing and quality control records as agreed in the respective schemes of supervision and control.
KEBS has also come up with a guideline document for remote assessment activities which will be useful in cases such as the Covid-19 pandemic. These will complement the traditional on-site assessment.
KEBS has a campaign dubbed ‘Wajibika na KEBS’ urging the public to be on the lookout for suspected substandard products. Kenyans are encouraged to report suspected cases by sending the code under the ‘S’ mark to 20023 to verify the validity of the product.
If the validity details do not correspond, KEBS urges you to report to their toll free number 1545 during the official working hours between 8 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.