The Kenya Bureau of Standards has moved to ease the product certification process with a revised standardization mark scheme.
Manufacturers applying for the Standardization Mark (SM) will now be issued with a permit valid for two years. This will be available electronically beginning 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.
The Bureau says that currently, t14,400 valid SM permits have been issued by them to manufacturers.
The Standardization Mark permit is a mandatory requirement for placement of goods in the Kenyan market and it is issued to manufacturers for products whose compliance with established standards has been ascertained.
In the revised scheme, the issuance of the permit will be based on factory inspection and product sampling for lab tests. Throughout the two year period, KEBS inspectors will carry out targeted and random market surveillance, factory inspection, and sampling the products for testing. It will also involve firms being required to maintain in-house testing and quality control records as agreed in the respective schemes of supervision and control.
The Bureau has also developed a guideline document for remote assessment activities to complement the traditional on-site assessment activities during extraordinary events like the COVID-19 pandemic.
KEBS also has a campaign called Wajibika Na KEBS where they urge the public to be on the lookout for products suspected to be substandard. People can report cases about substandard products by sending the code underneath the S Mark to 20023 to get the product validity status details. If they are different, KEBS says report to their toll-free number 1545 during official working hours (8am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm) from Monday to Friday.