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KEBS out to improve standardization

Kenyans  will  soon  enjoy  quality  products and services once  a  standards Act that is under review by Kenya Bureau of Standards is enacted.

The  KEBS is in the process of reviewing the Standards Act and developing a National Quality Policy aimed at enhancing standardization and quality of products and services offered in the country.

According  KEBS Legal  Advisor, Brian M’mbwanga, , the review of the standards Act Cap 496 is informed by the fact that it was enacted in 1973 and since then things have changed.

M’mbwanga said the Act- The Standards Act, 2019 is aimed at enhancing issues of conformity assessment and enforcement provisions in relation to the control at the border or within the territory of the Republic of Kenya and provide a list of offences and subsequent penalties.

“The purpose of the review of the Act is to include new terminologies, new aspects of market surveillance and newpenalties,” M’mbwanga observed.

The legal counsel who was addressing the media in Embu during a one day public sensitization workshop on the Standards Act, 2019 said penalties in the current Act do not commensurate with the offences since the value of shilling has highly depreciated since 1973.

He further said The Standards Act, 2019 will enhance metrology, conformity assessment and market surveillancewhich  will help to deter unscrupulous traders.

Dr. Cecilia  Mutuku, Head of National Quality Institute noted that the Standards Act is also recommending establishment of standard tribunal where those aggrieved by KEBS can take their grievances for redress.

Dr. Mutuku  also said a draft for National Quality Infrastructure Policy is also under review alongside the Standards Act, 2019 to address challenges that continue to undermine the products destined for the Kenya market or manufactured in Kenya to ensure compliance with international standards.

The  workshop participants were drawn from among other players, county government, professional bodies, NGOs, and private sector.

By  Kimani  Tirus

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