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