KENYA – The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has announced that manufacturers applying for the Standardization Mark (SM) will now be issued with a permit valid for two years and accessible electronically beginning 1st of July 2020.

The Standardization Mark (SM) permit, which is a mandatory requirement for placement of goods in the Kenyan market, is issued to manufacturers for products whose compliance with established standards has been ascertained.

Under the new move, manufacturers will also be able to apply and make payments for the SM Permit online which will also be prepared and transmitted electronically. This will save time and cut costs associated with manual application.

The revision of the Standardization Mark scheme comes as KEBS seeks to improve efficiency and enhance the ease of doing business in Kenya by addressing logistical and administrative challenges including delays in the processing of SM permits that have often led to the loss of business opportunities and undue shortages of respective goods, reports Capital fm.

“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,” said Bernard Njiraini, Managing Director, KEBS.

“Additionally, the SM Permit will also be prepared and transmitted electronically. This will save time and cut costs associated with manual applications,” he added.

KEBS will also be issuing guidelines for accepting test reports which have been done in accredited laboratories for the purpose of product certification.

“Under the revised SM scheme, the issuance of Standardization Mark Permits will be based on factory inspection and product sampling for laboratory tests.”

Throughout the two-year period, KEBS inspectors will carry out targeted and random market surveillance, factory inspection and sampling the products for testing.

In the revised scheme, firms will also be required to maintain in-house testing and quality control records, as agreed in the respective schemes of supervision and control.

These records shall constitute the basis for maintenance of the product certification and future permit renewal.

In addition, KEBS has developed a guideline document for remote assessment activities to complement the traditional on-site assessment activities during extraordinary events or circumstances such as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as part of the business continuity strategy.

Currently, 14,400 valid SM permits have been issued by KEBS to manufacturers.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE