The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has called on local manufacturers and importers to conform to the 205 new standards which have been developed targeting various sectors of the economy.
Speaking during the inaugural Emerging Standards Workshop on Monday,KEBS Director General Bernard Njiraini said manufacturers and importers are expected to ensure they adhere to the new standards when six months window after gazettement elapses in December this year.
In the third quarter of the financial year 2021/22 ending March,KEBS through the National Standards Council developed and published 205 new standards under Food and Agriculture Standards, Chemical Standards, Cosmetics Standards, Services Standards, Leather and Textile standards, Engineering Standards, Electrotechnical and ICT Standards.
“In six months, these standards become effective and our enforcement starts immediately. Of course you know we control and regulate many products and It is the responsibility of the manufacturers and importers to implement the standards. They do not have to wait for KEBS to raid their shops or cease their products. It is easier responsibility for them to implement the standards,” said Njiraini.
According to Nijiraini, the adoption of the new standards will ensure Kenyan products become competitive on the world stage as the level of compliance among traders of various goods and services improve.
“These standards are there to enhance business competitiveness and they are the tools that you use and you cannot have any improvements unless you have the standards. When we tell Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to get their products certified by KEBS, what we are telling them is that you will be able to sell your products outside Kenya,” he added.
Food and Agriculture has had five new standards develop for tea industry which include code of practice standard and raw materials extraction specification, dairy cattle feed premix specification, poultry feed premises specification and compounded indigenous (kienyeji) chicken feed specification.
“Creating standards to guide how we handle agricultural products is a necessity. Apart from new standards that provide for the requirements of the tea intended for further processing into tea extracts such as infusions, KEBS has also developed standards to ensure that dairy and poultry feeds have adequate levels of vitamins and minerals appropriate to the type, age and physical status of the animal,” added Bernard Ngore, Chairman of the National Standards Council.
With increased adulteration of fuel which has seen nine fuel stations blacklisted by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), KEBS says the chemical standards will improve quality of petroleum and coal products.
“The coal standards that were recently approved addresses methods of analysis and sampling to determine critical parameters for coal such as mechanical strength, phosphorous content, total sulphur, chlorine and carbonate carbon. These standards are meant to ensure a particular supply of coal meets the needs and application and is used in the most effective way,’ said Esther Ngari, KEBS Director for Standards Development and Trade.
Leather and Textile standards are expected to address specifications for cotton bedsheets, men’s trousers and ladies briefs while the Engineering Standards will guide on the use of alternative building materials such as bamboo, concrete and development of ceramics.
“Globally, buyers and sellers thrive on certainty and high quality; broadly accepted and relevant standards provide authoritative requirements that guarantee best practices for quality, safety , environmental protection and conformity assessment,” added Eddy Njoroge, Chairman of the Standards Appraisal Committee.
Other are Electrotechnical and ICT standards which will ensure adoption of proper IT infrastructure and measurement of environmental noise, services standards to guide on distance learning in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.